Baseball Was the Common
Thread"> Major League Baseball was the common customer that brought Sun and Greenplum together several months ago into the partnership that eventually produced the new appliance, Golkar said. "When Jonathan [Schwartz, Suns CEO] found out about what Greenplum could do, he blogged that he thought Greenplum was one of the smartest startups hed seen," Golkar said."Then the wheels started turning; we already had Thumper, and we decided to use Greenplums software, so our group starting working overtime and through holidays to get this done."Justin Shaffer, senior vice president of new media for MLB, said that his organization needs to "collect data about every single pitch, over the course of 2,430 games each year, [so] the power necessary to analyze and make available that data has become incredibly important. "The new data warehouse appliance has the potential to open up new ways in which MLB.com can share information with our customers and partners," Shaffer said. IT publisher Tim OReilly said that the new appliance can transform the way companies think about handling big data. "As OReilly continues to harness the collective intelligence of the Web to better understand the technology industry and where its headed, the ability to quickly and cost-effectively analyze large volumes of data is critical," said Tim OReilly, CEO of OReilly Media. "In the new era of Web 2.0, data will become the next Intel Inside. Together, Sun and Greenplum are creating technologies based on open source that will help power the next generation of companies and services." But will companies trust it? How hard will it be for mainstream companies to believe such an open source/general standards storage system at such an inexpensive price will be reliable enough to do daily, often mission-critical production work? "Theres little question in my mind that the specific combination of hardware and software will present certain educational challenges to a potential customer, but there are several factors that will mitigate potential skepticism," analyst Stephen OGrady of Red Monk in Denver, Colo., told eWEEK. "First is the open-source pedigree of the database. While it does not have the traction that MySQL does, the Postgres core of the Greenplum software is very well regarded," OGrady said. Click here to read about how Sun is banking on its upgraded storage business. Second, is the almost universally positive reviews that Suns latest x64 entries are getting. Last, the price. Paradoxically, the low cost, which is potentially a concern for some customers, could ultimately be its strongest selling point," OGrady said. Greenplum, based in San Mateo, Calif., is only three years old and not a well-known entity, even though PostgreSQL database has built a good reputation. Does that cause a problem of uncertainty among potential enterprise customers? "Suns reputation is, I think, a positive factor here in that: a) they have a reputation for being able to sell high end systemsa plus when youre competing against Teradata, and b) they have some good momentum and mind share working for them with their new hardware lines," OGrady said. "This offering is an intriguing one from a storage market perspective. It represents a collapsing of the server and storage layers, so that the application can be run right on top of the storage." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.