A new twist to appliances

I wondered what Foster Hinshaw would get up to after he left Netezza, and now we know. He has set up the rather awkwardly named Dataupia, a data warehouse appliance with a difference. It is an important difference, as his appliance runs on Oracle rather than on a proprietary database like Netezza. It will also run on DB2 or SQL Server, for that matter. You just plug in MPP capable hardware to take advantage of the appliance. This is important, since having a proprietary database brings with it not only a certain amount of cost and new skills required, but also makes conservative corporate buyers nervous. If you are a Telco with really vast amounts of transaction data then this trade off may be worthwhile, as indeed can be seen in Netezza’s considerable success, but if you could get much of the benefit (and this is unclear since at this stage there are no comparative performance figures) while still running on your existing mainstream database, this would sooth the nerves of corporate CIO types who might otherwise try and block the introduction of a new database. Just as importantly, it allows existing data warehouse applications to be able to claim appliance like performance boosts. While the vast bulk of data warehouses today are custom built, this ought to be of interest to true data warehouse applications such as Kalido, which could presumably easily run on top of Dataupia’s appliance.

I think this is a very interesting development, assuming that the new product delivers on its promise. The market for an appliance capable of running on a mainstream database platform ought to be much broader than the set of applications that currently addressed by hardware appliances (or even software-based ones with their own database like Kognitio).