Data Warehouse Appliances – Simplifying the Delivery of Analytics

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Director of Technical Marketing, IBM Analytics, IBM

So if you would have told me 5 years ago that myself and several key architects from my data warehouse Best Practices Team would be sitting at the opening day together of the IBM Netezza User conference - welI would have fallen out of my chair laughing. 

Who could have predicted the massive changes we have seen on our industry over the last few years?  Fact is that it was Netezza who started the entire industry down the path of appliances.  Yup it's true. Back then we thought it was just a passing fancy, I mean seriously- it was so proprietary how could it possibly do well against the biggies like IBM and Teradata? 

However, Netezza saw something we all didn't at first, they recognized the need for simplifying the delivery of analytics.  The spirit behind those early days is still very much the spirit that drives product management today, but with one small change- now the label also says IBM and for an old time IBM data warehouse person like me,well that couldn't be "cooler". 

I know many customers on both sides (heritage IBM and Netezza) are wondering- well what's next for Netezza given that it has now become part of IBM?  Well, I spent my entire IBM career of 12 years in the data warehousing segment of IBM.  Today, I work in the product management and strategy team under Netezza- here is the twist- the strategy work I focus on is for the overall data warehouse business which includes the IBM and Netezza side. Yes that's right, both IBM and Netezza.   We have a plan and it's a darn good one.

The beautiful thing about bringing these two companies together is that the products- IBM InfoSphere Warehouse (DB2) and Smart Analytics wonderfully compliment the Netezza portfolio.  On the heritage IBM side customers gain the benefit of years of research, investment, innovation and sophistication in the technology that exists in both our hardware and our database software for data warehousing. We have accomplished things that no other vendor has such as "Watson". The real life implications of what Watson can do in healthcare and other industries is unparalleled. 

On the Netezza side you also get the benefit of sophisticated technology and innovation but with the focus of simplifying and delivering on analytic solutions.  Netezza has built a great success story by delighting customers with solutions that allowed them to better respond to the business need for more analytics, after all that is the reason we built data warehouses!

Let's face it workloads are all over the place in our analytical infrastructure- they include operational workloads, traditional reporting and analysis, low latency, and in database mining.  Many industry experts have come to the conclusion that the monolithic approach is not the best way forward.  It's time to re-think how we architect these environments to support serious analytics and of course, BigData.  Now that our data warehouse "family" is complete, we have the means to help you evolve to meet these challenges.

If you were at the conference or read Phil Francisco's blog, you already heard about our Smart Consolidation Strategy.  This new evolution allows our customers to leverage all that IBM has to offer across our entire portfolio.  No other vendor can offer the depth and breadth of services and solutions for data warehousing today. What other vendor can state that they continue to focus more than $100 million in the research of system to leverage BigData and analytics?  Hmm, I think ONLY IBM. 

So I sat there at Enzee Universe last week, proud to be an IBMer, proud to have Netezza as a part of our growing family of solutions to help customer meet the challenge of serious analytics.  Speaking of, last week we announced the IBM Netezza High Capacity appliance which can scale up to 10 Petabytes.  Imagine being able to tackle that capacity with an appliance that still offers the simplicity and time to value that you expect from our Netezza family? It's not a dream, it's really here.

Where do we go from here?

As a matter of fact, it's quite simple.  Our goal is to help all our customers evolve their architectures to meet the demands of today's analytic infrastructure.  As Steve Mills mentioned on opening day last week, analytic led organizations just perform better in both revenue and return on investments (IBM CFO Study 2011).

Our goal is to help our customers be the leaders in their industry by leveraging their data and information. We look forward to the road ahead.