Storage Station

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Netezza Announces Upgrade; Oracle Apparently Listening

Netezza (pronounced Net-teeza), which makes analytics appliances for data centers and has a strong reputation in the data warehousing world, made a simple product announcement earlier this week. Now the company is suddenly a hot possibility for a buyout. The rumored suitor? Oracle--one of its biggest competitors.

The company, based in Framingham, Mass., announced that it is upgrading its high-performance Netezza Performance Server appliances to scale up to the petabyte level to meet a "no-end" demand for fast, comprehensive analyses on growing corporate data volumes. This demand is especially needed in high data-growth industries, such as telecoms, financials, Web 2.0 companies and the federal government, Netezza Chairman and CEO Jit Saxena told The Station.

Continued advances (40 percent year-over-year increases, according to world market leader Seagate) in hard disk capacity, thanks largely to breakthrough perpendicular magnetic recording technology, and improvements to Netezza's own software are the foundations for the upgrade to terabyte-level analyses enablement, Saxena said.

For the record, neither company is commenting on the buyout rumors. "As far as I know, Oracle is still a Netezza competitor," a Netezza spokeswoman told The Station.

Netezza delivers real-time business intelligence information on demand; users don't have to wait hours or days for up-to-date customer and market information. Its appliances are cutting-edge in that they integrate a relational database, server and storage into a single compact unit.

"When we launched the Netezza appliance in 2002, our largest system capacity was six terabytes. In 2004, we increased the maximum capacity of our systems to 27 terabytes, and in 2005 we increased the top end again, to 100 terabytes," Saxena said. "Now with this expansion, we have a very broad range of high-performance system options to mirror the needs of our customers as they manage and analyze their growing data volumes."

The new Netezza configurations will be available starting in mid-2008. The turnkey-type appliances are modular in nature; companies can start with one unit and add as many as they wish as their business grows, Saxena said.

Oracle, which has nothing in its product line like this, has got to be interested, because it's a simply more cost-effective way to do what some of its software already does--especially for the burgeoning SMB market. We'll be expecting more news on this soon.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...