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SAS Goes Inside the Netezza Appliance

VP Product Management & Marketing

“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.

Of primary importance to Netezza’s customers is the fact that with SAS’ intensification of In-Database functionality, SAS and Netezza will continue working together to deliver ever more advanced analytic capabilities inside the Netezza appliance. And the first step on that path is an excellent one: the availability SAS Scoring Accelerator for Netezza means that Netezza’s customers are able to execute SAS scoring models directly within the Netezza appliance and in-line with other SQL query processing on their data. The SAS Scoring Accelerator for Netezza will be Generally Available in early 2010, and Netezza and SAS are already working with a small number of early adopter customers such as Catalina Marketing, as they begin to benefit from this powerful functionality.

These scorin-sight+logo+small.pngng models are used in virtually every vertical market in which Netezza sells our products for fraud detection, credit and risk analysis and market segmentation. By embedding them in the Netezza appliance, customers will get the same 10-100X market-leading performance on scoring their data as they do on query processing. By running in-database customers can score all their data and not be reliant on only using samples or aggregates for expediency. And the in-database scoring also means that the inherent delays, or latency, in getting at the data to score it has been eliminated. The best way to deal with the large amounts of data being loaded in today’s data warehouse systems is not move it unless necessary, so Netezza’s AMPP architecture and method of moving the data processing as close as possible to where data is stored delivers huge performance gains for in-database analytics.

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n-sight logo small.pngThe on-going partnering work with SAS, and specifically the Scoring Accelerator, are part of the conversation with customers, partners and the market in general that Netezza began back with our Enzee Universe world tour in September regarding our vision for the industry and for Netezza. It’s known as “Netezza Insight” and CEO Jim Baum used his keynote addresses in seven cities around the world to begin the dialogue of taking Netezza and the concept of data warehousing “deeper”, “higher”, “wider” in a “unified” enterprise-wide platform approach together with other partners in the community. In smaller settings with customers, partners and analysts since then, we’ve continued that dialogue since the Enzee Universe and generated real excitement as they come to understand the full breadth of what Netezza is enabling in the market.

In coming days, we’ll be writing more about Netezza Insight and how it is manifest in product platforms, features and applications. But for today, let’s just say that SAS and Netezza customers are already able to do more, faster, with our combined products than ever before and that this is just a step toward even more powerful capabilities.

As Rick (Humphrey Bogart) said in the closing scenes of Casablanca, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

[UPDATE: Rather than just reading what I have to say, you can watch SAS Executive Vice President and CTO Keith Collins describe his take on the value of in-database processing and the Scoring Accelerator for Netezza in the following video from the Enzee Universe 2009 show in Boston.]