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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Colin's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

New announcements from Netezza and Celequest will increase the growing momentum in the blossoming data warehouse and business intelligence appliance marketplace.

Netezza has announced new data warehouse appliance product lines, enhanced scalability and performance, and an improved pricing model. The company now has three product lines: NP 8000, NP 10000 and NP 5000. The existing NP 8000 series supports data warehouses up to 33 terabytes in size. The new NP 10000 series employs high density hardware (up to 12.5 terabytes per rack) and supports very large data warehouses of up to 100 terabytes in size. The new NP 5000 is a 28 processor system that is designed for data warehouses in small and medium sized businesses and supports up to 3 terabytes of data. Enhanced performance features double query performance, increase data warehouse load/unload speed to about 500 gigabytes per hour, and improve the management of mixed workloads.

Netezza’s new pricing model enables customers to purchase and use the processing power of a complete system, but only pay for the data storage they use. As data storage requirements increase, the customer purchases additional modules of storage capacity. Expansion costs can be as low as $40K per terabyte. Additional storage racks can also be added to a system.

At present Netezza has about 50 customers, of which some 35 have deployed systems. The largest market sectors using Netezza’s products are retail/CPG and banking/finance and insurance. Typical application usage includes customer segmentation, campaign management, fraud and advertising analysis, load and credit analysis, and telecommunications network and pricing analysis.

The latest entrance into the appliance marketplace is Celequest who have just announced a unique and intriguing BI appliance that is targeted at companies that need an off-the-shelf appliance for managing BI-driven operational business performance. The LAVA appliance integrates Celequest’s operational BI software with a hardware and software appliance to create a packaged BI server solution.

There are many unique aspects to LAVA. The machine comes with integrated operating system (Linux), Web services, data integration, analytical, dashboard and collaborative software. Web Services is used to retrieve data changes and events from source systems and to populate Web-based business performance dashboards. JSR 168 compliant portlets are provided, which enable dashboards to be incorporated into BEA AquaLogic and IBM WebSphere portals. As data flows through the server it is analyzed in memory and the results used to populate the dashboards. Events and cached results can be made persistent in the server, but it would be more usual to store them on a network-attached storage device. LAVA can participate in and initiate application and collaborative workflows.

The standard LAVA server supports between 2,500 and 5,000 users. It has a fixed price of $125K and has no limits on the number of users, data sources and dashboards that can be supported. The enterprise version costs $175K, supports double the number of users, and has several fault tolerant features. The SMB configuration supports about half the number of users as the standard model and costs $75K. All servers support LDAP security and authentication.

The simplicity and low cost of LAVA will make it a very attractive solution for BI users who need to deploy operational BI to a large user audience. Some Celequest customers, e.g., Cendant Hospitality, moved LAVA even before the product was announced. Many of these are using Celequest and LAVA to supplement their traditional BI analytical processing environments. Typical applications include logistics and distribution analysis, call center analytics, and logistics.

Posted April 11, 2006 1:07 PM
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1 Comment

I like LAVA, I think it's a great idea. I realize LAVA isn't a replacement for a DW, but it's about time that we had approaches to put pressure on data warehousing to shed its bloat. Best practices frameworks like the Corporate Information Factory help to streamline and standardize data warehousing processes. But, they do not provide standardized strategies for linking those IT activities to business priorities on a consistent and dynamic basis.

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