Data warehouse 2.0

Vendors are preparing cloud-based data warehouse services to aid business intelligence

Analytic databases are the principal engines driving business intelligence, delivering operational data into reports, dashboards and ad-hoc queries.

Essential as they may be, analytic databases have been largely overlooked in the business intelligence industry's recent consolidation spree. Sitting at the core of data warehouses everywhere, these data stores have been treated as mere plumbing rather than as differentiating platform components.

Instead, most recent business intelligence mergers have been driven by vendors' desire to beef up their financial analytic applications, or add more sophisticated visualization, search and other access-oriented features to their business intelligence platforms.

Though often taken for granted, analytic databases will almost certainly become a key business intelligence solution differentiator over the next several years. With the trend toward commoditization of core business intelligence features, more vendors will distinguish their offerings through the speed, scalability, throughput and mixed-workload support that only a well-tuned analytic database can provide.

Every self-respecting business intelligence vendor will boast that their analytic database can handle more concurrent users, process more complex multidimensional queries, load bulk data more rapidly, execute more compute-intensive transforms, and manage more massive data sets than the competition. Just as important, they'll brag that they can do all this more affordably than the next guy.

In an increasingly commoditized business intelligence market, analytic price-performance is becoming the principal buying criterion. This trend is fueling the industry's growing focus on analytic appliances, which are also called business intelligence appliances or data warehousing appliances.

Indeed, most of the leading business intelligence vendors -- SAP/Business Objects, IBM/Cognos, Oracle, Microsoft and SAS Institute -- provide their own analytic appliances or are developing appliance-based offerings on their own or with partners.

Though these vendors will continue to deliver business intelligence/data warehouse solutions as packaged software offerings, they all see the appeal of appliances as turnkey solutions for many customer requirements. Midmarket customers, in particular, are taking a keen interest in appliances, which provide them with quick-deployment pre-optimized solutions and relieve the burden on their limited technical staffs.

As analytic appliances become central to enterprises' business intelligence strategies, data warehouse appliances will evolve into full-fledged business intelligence platforms in their own right. Appliance vendors such as Teradata, HP, Netezza, Greenplum, DATAllegro, Dataupia and ParAccel will expand their ability to run "in-database analytics" and other applications developed in-house, or by partners and customers.

Appliance vendors will outdo each other in tuning database features -- such as indexing, partitioning, in-memory caching, compression, cubing, tokenization and query-plan optimization -- that are geared for managing myriad analytic workloads. And every appliance vendor will beef up its hardware's scalability through massively parallel processing, clustering, workload management and other ongoing enhancements.

In addition, every vendor of column-oriented databases -- which are exquisitely well suited to data-intensive query processing -- will soon either realign its go-to-market strategy around appliances or get out of the analytics market altogether.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
James Kobielus

James Kobielus

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?