Follow the Leader - Kind Of

VP product marketing, Acunu

Donna Somers guest posting ...


Today's announcement of SQL Server 2008 parallel data warehouse in partnership with HP sees Microsoft following in Netezza’s footsteps. It has taken years for the industry mega-vendors to recognize the customer demand for data warehouses offering fast performance packaged in easy-to-deploy systems requiring minimal administrative effort. As the leader in data warehousing and analytic appliances, Netezza opened customers’ eyes to the possible, now vendors including EMC, Oracle and even Microsoft are scrambling to offer me-to products.


Microsoft pitches their latest data warehouse offering as available on multiple hardware platforms including HP and Bull - more evidence of an industry giant lumbering behind the industry leader. Since early 2010, NEC customers have been using the Infoframe Data Warehouse Appliance, jointly developed by NEC and Netezza. Netezza provides NEC with our database software and database accelerator card, NEC builds the appliance using their commodity blade servers, iStorage arrays and host servers. Sharing its architecture with TwinFin, NEC’s appliance provides similar powerful performance for analytic queries, low cost of ownership, and the simple and fast deployment model consistent with Netezza's appliance promise.


A couple of lines in Microsoft’s release particularly caught my eye. The first, “HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance, which is built on HP Converged Infrastructure and optimized for Microsoft SQL Server”, responds to the reality that engineering complex systems to behave simply is difficult, but highly valued by customers. Are Microsoft and their hardware partners delivering appliances or mere bundles of hardware and software, leaving the onerous burden of systems integration to their customers? Netezza’s “keep it simple” approach is proving difficult for larger vendors to replicate. The second line reads “The HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance will be available through HP in December 2010” – nearly a year after NEC successfully delivered its data warehouse appliance to the market.


Netezza continues to lead, the big companies continue to follow… kind-of…