Netezza to launch faster, cheaper data-warehousing appliance

TwinFin will hold up to 1 PB of user data and cost less than $20,000 per TB

Netezza Corp. plans to release a new data warehousing appliance that it says is a third of the price of its previous model and runs on new, faster blade server-based hardware.

The Marlborough, Mass. vendor's new appliance will be called the TwinFin, an apparent reference to a type of surfboard. The fourth generation of Netezza's data warehousing appliances, the TwinFin will be able to store up to 1 petabyte of user data and run faster than the prior 10000-series appliances because of its use of Intel-based IBM blade servers, according to Phil Francisco, vice president of product marketing,

It will cost about $20,000 per TB of user data, even when configured with fast SCSI drives, said Francisco, compared with $60,000 per TB with the 10000-series appliances.

The TwinFin will be shown at The Data Warehousing Institute's conference in San Diego next week.

One of the first of a wave of data warehousing appliance vendors that emerged about five years ago, Netezza has about 300 customers. It competes with longtime vendor Teradata Inc. and recent entrant, Oracle Corp., which introduced its own Database Machine last year.

Francisco said the new blade servers, combined with Netezza's Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chips for accelerating data throughput, will enable the TwinFin to run two to five times faster than the 10000, which he claimed "will stretch our performance lead over the Oracle Database Machine."

The TwinFin also beats the Database Machine's all-inclusive price of $33,000-per-TB, and will approach the $16,500-per-TB list price of Teradata's Extreme Data Appliance 1550 announced last fall.

Analyst Curt Monash said other data warehousing vendors, such as XtremeData, have also released appliances at the same price range as the TwinFin, and that Microsoft Corp., via its acquisition of DATAllegro Inc., plan to do so (full disclosure: Monash counts Netezza as a client).

Netezza plans to release three other models in the same family as the TwinFin.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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