Phil Francisco
VP Product Management & Marketing

Phil Francisco, IBM Netezza's VP of Product Management & Product Marketing, divulges insights on new products from IBM Netezza, its partners and competitors. This blog takes IBM Netezza's corporate product marketing message a step further, providing humor, cultural anecdotes and deep technical knowledge in clean, simple speak, and is a must-read for anyone interested in IBM Netezza or other data warehouse offerings.

EMC Swallows a Green Plum?

July 7, 2010
News broke on Tuesday that EMC plans to acquire Greenplum to focus on data warehousing and analytics on “big data”. The idea is that by doing so, EMC is officially throwing its hat into the competitive ring for the ‘Data Warehouse Appliance’ (DWA) market – something of a defensive mechanism now that virtually all of the major data warehouse vendors are now selling their own versions of a DWA – and consequently greatly reducing sales pull-through of EMC storage for data warehouse deployments. Some referred to the merger as “a good fit for a storage vendor with appliance-y ideas” and others hailed it as follows, “the market has shifted as of late moving toward integrated appliances and this move gives EMC a very important arrow in its quiver” and labeled Greenplum as a purveyor of “very high performance database systems”.   Read More

Netezza Migrator: A Point of Clarification

June 27, 2010
It may have been the result of a misunderstanding or a comment heard out of context. But whatever the background for the commentary, let me simply state that Netezza is completely committed to the success of the Netezza Migrator and all the other Netezza products and functionality launched at Enzee Universe 2010 this past week. Migrator eliminates a potential barrier to TwinFin™ adoption (i.e., migration costs) and logically should lead to easier acceptance and broader system sales for Netezza. Furthermore, our partnership with EnterpriseDB at both the corporate and technical levels has been and remains extremely solid and strong. Read More

A Seriously Happy Customer Exposes a Common Dilemma

June 7, 2010
"I cannot imagine life without Netezza." – from a tweet by "noogle" (Twitter, 11 May 2010) Late in May, members of my team and I were in Tokyo's ultra-bustling Shibuya district for a few days on our "worldwide whirlwind training tour" with the global field sales teams regarding the details of the TwinFin i-Class product offering. The late-night scene, hairstyles and outfits there border on the outrageously-hip. There are high-def billboards, electronic gadgets, and of course the bright lights of retailers, bars, clubs and restaurants all through Shibuya. Advances in high technology are virtually 2nd nature to the people there. So with that as the backdrop, imagine the surprise of hearing over a beer or two (see earlier reference to bars & clubs in Shibuya) that a customer "could not live without Netezza".   Read More

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You: nzLabs

May 17, 2010
"Learning to learn is to know how to navigate in a forest of facts, ideas and theories, a proliferation of constantly changing items of knowledge. Learning to learn is to know what to ignore but at the same time not rejecting innovation and research." – Raymond Queneau (1903-1976), French poet, novelist and co-founder of 'Ouvroir de littérature potentielle." A bit of “letting the cat out of the bag” here today. Coming soon to a blog near you is the public surfacing of nzLabs by Netezza, headed up by our CTO Justin Lindsey. The nzLabs team has been the primary driver for the TwinFin i-Class which Netezza announced back in February. As we head toward our Enzee Universe annual user conference in Boston starting on 21st June, Justin and his team are launching a website and blog to provide insights, information and opinions about the technology side of industry and the directions being taken. Read More

SAS Goes Inside the Netezza Appliance

November 16, 2009
“The best vision is insight.” -- Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990), publisher of Forbes magazine, New Jersey state senator and adventure hobbyist. A couple of big announcements from our friends at SAS today. For the industry at large, SAS’ commitment to in-database analytic processing is a confirmation of trends that we have been discussing for over two years: more and more, the “data warehouse” is becoming the hub of all analytics processing for the enterprise. While that announcement covers multiple database vendors, today’s other announcement from Cary, NC on the availability of the “SAS Scoring Accelerator for Netezza” means that we and SAS are immediately putting this recommitted strategy into action. Read More

A "FUD-machine" in Overdrive?

August 4, 2009
A loyal customer alerted us toan Oracle blog by Jean-Pierre Dijcks earlier today that showed the Oracle FUD machine is fully revved-up and ready to go. I'd like to offer a rebuttal, however in the interest of not intruding on Jean-Pierre's entry with an overly-long comment, I've just put a short response on his blog post with a pointer to this one. Misconceptions and Misunderstandings, or Errors and Plain-old FUD? I’m writing to correct *just a few* of the misconceptions about what is really important in high-performance, scalable data warehouse systems, errors, or just plain-old pure “competitive FUD” points from Jean-Pierre's posting earlier today. We certainly have posted some information recently about the TwinFin product and Curt Monash’s postings late Thursday provided more info. If his readers are interested in learning more, or even signing up for a “Test Drive”, they should visit Read More

Shooting the Curl in San Diego

August 4, 2009
"You stay classy, San Diego." -- Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) in "Anchorman" (2004) This morning a few others from the Netezza Marketing and Product Management teams and I are ensconced by the Marina in sunny San Diego, CA for the TDWI World Conference and for an news announcement or two. And who better to bring us "Breaking News!" than the Number 1 newsman in all of San Diego, Ron Burgundy. [For those of you who might have been "hoping for more" from Ron in a quote about San Diego, you can check out the IMDB database for some great ones, including Ron's own historical (and hysterical) etymology for the city's name.] Read More

Change, But No Change

July 31, 2009
Just trying to clarify. Curt Monash's informative blog on the coming Netezza system and family of products includes the following: Beyond the switcheroo in components, Netezza is making substantial changes to its hardware architecture. In current Netezza products, the FPGA plays the role of a disk controller on steroids — it receives data, does some SQL or other analytic operations on it, and then throws it over the wall to the CPU for the rest of the processing. The new Netezza product family, however, adds an actual disk controller. More important, it adds fast interconnects between the FPGAs, the disk controller, and RAM — specifically, as Phil Francisco put it in an email, using multiple parallel channels of PCIe with much faster interconnection rates and lower contention between the blade server and the “DB accelerator card” with the FPGAs. DMA (Direct Memory Access) technology also fits into the picture somehow. ...which seems to beg further clarification. Read More

"Catch a wave and you're sittin' on top of the world"

July 30, 2009
Surf's up! Summer seems to finally have arrived in the Boston area and a number of vendors in the data warehousing and analytics space are hoping to catch a wave riding on a flurry of industry announcements. A few trends continue to build in the news: Data sizes continue to grow alongside the pressure to increase performance & shrink data latencies; Workload complexity and user counts continue to grow; More and more, customers are seeing the value of running advanced analytical processing directly in their primary data repository (see item #1 for reasons why); and Industry prices for data warehousing and analytics have begun another shift downward. Read More

Setting the Record Straight

December 16, 2008
We came across a series of blog posts the other day which seemed to insinuate that Netezza and other competitors might be trying to shape our 10-100X performance message on the backs of comparisons to antiquated, end-of-service life systems and not comparing to current competitors' platforms . When we got to this one - "Database Customer Benchmarketing Reports" - I felt we just had to correct the record, so I wrote a response to Greg Rahn's posting to give Netezza's side of the story, namely that... Read More