Data warehousing appliance maker Netezza has put together a cut-down version of its TwinFin analytics appliance, called Skimmer, to chase midrange customers who do not need the full-tilt-boogie TwinFin setup. The Skimmer appliance is based on the same hardware and software setup that Netezza announced in August 2009 for the high …
I remember when Netezza were brought in to trial their database for a VERY large dataset (I cannot name names unfortunately). A typical table had over 30 million rows!
Running a constrained SQL query on a beefed up DB2 database took up to a minute, the same query, the same data, on a Netezza box, took seconds to complete!
My jaw dropped when I saw this response, and I was surprised that it was not bought by the client. Furthermore, I loved the fact that I didn't need to constrain myself to indexed fields only!
</Not a Netezza employee or have a vested interest, but have worked along side them in the past, and LOVED their offering!>
Corrections to the storage details in the article
The Skimmer 1 has 8 x 1TB SAS drives of storage attached to the S-Blades, these provide approx 2.8TB of physical storage that is available for storing "user" data, the rest of the storage is used for mirroring the data and for swap/temp space. The Skimmer 1 has built-in data compression capabilties which allows you to store approx 10TB of "user" data in that 2.8TB of physical storage (obviously depends on the actual compresssion ration achieved).
Likewise the TF3 has 24 x 1TB SAS drives of storage attached to the S-Blades, these provide approx 8TB of physical storage that is available for storing "user" data, which equates to approx 32TB of "user" data with compression.
Speed isn't everything
Okay, so this thing is pretty fast, and quite expensive, but what does it actually do?
I think the best way of describing this in simple terms
is to imagine you dumped the entire UK Bank accounts records including all transactions onto a traditional RDBMS server, such as Oracle 11G. Now imagine you wanted to query the entire database for all transactions between £100 and £150. You would require a LOT of tuning to get the database to return Google'esque speeds on a traditional RDBMS. Now imagine you wanted to query the entire database for all accounts opened up within a 20 mile radius of a certain address... again, a massive amount of tuning.
With Netezza, there is no tuning at all (OK, there may be tweaks, but nowhere near the level of the traditional RDBMS's), and you can query any field regardless of whether or not it would have been indexed on a trad-RDBMS, with the speed of results from an index-field only search.
It is like taking a massive database, and asking it to perform with Google-like speeds with no intervention!
You really have to see it to believe it, and it is shocking how good it is!
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