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IBM Netezza Performance Server OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Netezza Performance Server is the #9 ranked solution in our list of top Data Warehouse tools. It is most often compared to Oracle Exadata: IBM Netezza Performance Server vs Oracle Exadata

What is IBM Netezza Performance Server?
IBM Netezza appliances are now part of IBM PureSystems - expert integrated systems with built in expertise, integration by design and a simplified user experience. Part of the PureData family, the Netezza appliance is now known as the PureData System for Analytics. It has the same key design tenets of simplicity, speed, scalability and analytics power that was fundamental to Netezza appliances.

IBM Netezza Performance Server is also known as Netezza Performance Server, Netezza.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Data Warehouse Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

IBM Netezza Performance Server Customers
Seattle Childrens Hospital, Carphone Warehouse, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Battelle, Start Today Co. Ltd., Kelley Blue Book, Trident Marketing, Elisa Corporation, Catalina Marketing, iBasis, Barnes & Noble, Qualcomm, MediaMath, Acxiom, iBasis, Foxwoods
IBM Netezza Performance Server Video

Archived IBM Netezza Performance Server Reviews (more than two years old)

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KV
Director at Priority Consulting Services
Real User
We have sub-second query performance, and users are happy with the product

What is our primary use case?

Our use case is, we use Netezza as a data warehouse and for analytics.  

How has it helped my organization?

We have sub-second query performance, and users are happy with the product.

What is most valuable?

Row-secure tables, IBM Fluid Query, and others.

What needs improvement?

This is an appliance-based product with limited capability. It has all the horse-power that one can imagine and can handle all workloads.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What is our primary use case?

Our use case is, we use Netezza as a data warehouse and for analytics.  

How has it helped my organization?

We have sub-second query performance, and users are happy with the product.

What is most valuable?

Row-secure tables, IBM Fluid Query, and others.

What needs improvement?

This is an appliance-based product with limited capability. It has all the horse-power that one can imagine and can handle all workloads.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user718284
Senior Manager - Data Quality and Governance with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Doesn't properly maintain the workload that we have

Pros and Cons

  • "The performance is most important to me, and it helps our ability to make business decisions quickly."
  • "The scalability is not as expected. The capacity in the black box is not enough."

What is most valuable?

The performance is most important to me, and it helps our ability to make business decisions quickly.

What needs improvement?

They should make it work better in a multi-user context. This solution works, but not for the workload we have.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. We use it in our data warehousing complex, and the performance is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is not as expected. It is shipped to you as an appliance, a black box. If you want to expand it, you have to get an extra CD,or whatever, and they come and program something int he box to release extra bits. If this were a cloud product, you could just expand and subtract as you wish. The capacity in this black box is not enough.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the tech support a five, on a scale of one to ten. It is obviously not that great. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had Teradata before, and I am not really sure why we switched.

What other advice do I have?

Based on first conception, do a POC, scale up to the volumes and get the vendor to prove that it can work with their requirements. Get them to scale it up, either simulate it, make sure it can actually do what it says, rather than buying beta and then get it and then find out that it doesn't actually do everything it says it does.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AT
Database Admin. Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Over 90 percent of our query executions are one second or less. We do millions of queries everyday.

Pros and Cons

  • "We are able to execute very complex queries. Over 90 percent of our query executions are one second or less. We do millions of queries everyday."
  • "Our main problem with it is concurrency. When there are too many users running Netezza at the same time, this is when we have the most complaints."
  • "We are not able to scale. The only way to scale is to get another appliance, but we have a customers who would need us to hydrate the data between the two appliances, and Netezza does not do that."

What is our primary use case?

We use it primarily for analytics.

How has it helped my organization?

Over 90 percent of our query executions are one second or less. We do millions of queries everyday.

What is most valuable?

  • It is hands-off when everything works well. 
  • We are able to execute very complex queries.
  • It has good performance.

What needs improvement?

Our main problem with it is concurrency. When there are too many users running Netezza at the same time, this is when we have the most complaints.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, the product has improved. Netezza has improved the product over the past 10 years. We now have better monitoring and can be more proactive about detecting issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have come to the point where we need to watch out for our capacity, as we are adding more users onboard with Netezza. We are not able to scale. The only way to scale is to get another appliance, but we have a customers who would need us to hydrate the data between the two appliances, and Netezza does not do that.

We are looking at the cloud approach, but we still have applications on-premise that we have to support.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has degraded overtime, especially after Netezza was bought by IBM. It appears as if some of the Netezza's SMEs left after IBM bought them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were previously using Oracle Database. We switched for performance reasons and running complex queries. Compared to Oracle, Netezza has superior performance.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very complex. However, this can be attributed to our environment and the complexity of the business which we process.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is very expensive. It has a lot CPUs with a lot of components in it. It also has built-in redundancy for resiliency reasons. I believe that's why it is so expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at some other analytics platforms a few years back.

We are now looking at solutions due to scalability, such as: Db2 Warehouse, Exadata, Teradata, and Yellow Brick. Then, on the cloud side, we are considering Redshift and Snowflake.

What other advice do I have?

Get the requirements and have them finalized. Then, be very specific about the requirements that your organization needs. Based upon your requirements:

  1. Identify whether Netezza will be suitable for your requirements. 
  2. Get the sizing right.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
KS
Technical Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The underlying hardware is made for performance on large amounts of data, and for analytics

Pros and Cons

  • "The underlying hardware that IBM provides with this appliance is made for a specific purpose, to serve performance on a large amount of data, and to do analytics as well. It is faster, when you compare it to any other product."
  • "The only issue is that it's not expandable."

What is our primary use case?

Our prime use is for warehousing and analytics.

What is most valuable?

Being an appliance, the best features are its analytics and the performance level.

The underlying hardware that IBM provides with this appliance is made for a specific purpose, to serve performance on a large amount of data, and to do analytics as well. It is faster, when you compare it to any other product, like Hadoop or DXC Hadoop or Presto on AWS. It's made for a specific purpose and it serves that very appropriately.

What needs improvement?

It really serves its purpose. It meets the need for performance, it meets the need for robustness, and it also serves as a perfect data warehousing appliance. The only issue is that it's not expandable.

The new versions of Netezza, they are expandable. They can be on-prem and on the cloud like dashDB from IBM. It replaces the previous Netezza versions. We are currently on Mako because TwinFin support is going in 2019. Maybe in the next couple of years, we will be replacing Netezza with Redshift.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As a database administrator, and in warehousing part for the last 12 years, we always have stability issues in every technology. So the issue is how well they support their product. IBM does support their product very well. We have had issues where there were queries that were generating billions of rows. It's all about how you understand the underlying architecture. The coder who understands the architecture can write a better query. We sometimes need to educate them. So there are always stability issues but not in terms of hardware or support. It's always how well you write your queries.

If you don't know Netezza, if you don't SQL or you don't know the underlying architecture but you are a good SQL developer, you know all the business logic and you write a query - but it is not actually performing - it's because you have not understood the distribution part of it. You need to consider the distribution keys or the organization keys. That makes the difference.

The stability doesn't depend on the hardware, it depends on your coding in SQL.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If I was using TwinFin appliances, if my data grew to the limit that TwinFin supports, obviously I would have to buy a new appliance. I cannot just ask them to increase the memory or increase the storage or the CPUs. That would cost me another appliance. If our business side agreed to that, I would keep using Netezza and buy a bigger appliance, I'm okay with that. But the expandability is not there.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support at seven out of 10. We have our own SLAs and they have their own SLAs and things go around that. If we want to a fix in two days, it might be that they are not able to provide it, until it becomes business critical.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Netezza was the first one which we incorporated and started using heavily. Before that, we did test the other data warehousing technology but it was just a PoC and PoV test.

In some of our business areas, they still use SQL Server data warehouses and Oracle data warehouses. But once we moved to Netezza, different business units bought in, and now we are up to Hadoop solutions and AWS solutions.

How was the initial setup?

Once it has been shipped and installed in your data center, it's just the point of plugging it in and the initial configuration. IBM people come and when they install it, they initialize it and then they give us the password and from there we move on in. It's very simple from there.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Netezza is a costly solution. It does serve a specific purpose but it's costlier than what's available in the market, if you go to the cloud.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are also doing a proof of value and proof of concept for AWS and Hadoop DXC.

What other advice do I have?

My client is looking towards replacing Neteeza with one of the up and coming warehousing solutions like Presto. They don't want the in-house or on-prem cost of managing that particular appliance. When everything is available on cloud, we pay less. My client develops medical products. They wanted to concentrate on the medical part, not on how to manage their IT. So they're moving towards more and more towards the cloud to replace the on-prem solution.

My advice would be to fully categorize your needs. Why you need Netezza should be a specific question, because there are so many different analytic solutions and which provide performance and which are cheaper than Netezza. Until you figure out completely that you only need a PDA (pure data analytics) system, you should really look at other products and compare them.

I wouldn't choose Netezza in today's world when we have Redshift, Presto, EMR, when we have Teradata, and when we have Oracle Autonomous. In today's world, you should look at these solutions first. If they don't serve your purpose, then look to Netezza.

In the current world, data is the big question. Nowadays, we are receiving a lot of data. It's like the data generation has come. We have terabytes of data and it might be, in a year or so, you cross the petabyte scale. So go with a petabyte-scale solution instead of a non-expandable Netezza appliance.

We are currently working on the latest Mako version. After that - Mako retires in 2024 - I don't think they have anything on Netezza. What they have is dashDB and Sailfish, which is a completely different product for IBM, but similar to Netezza. And those are expandable.

Netezza is a good product in and of itself, aside from the fact it is not expandable. Overall, it's a good product but definitely has room for improvement.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user857862
Business Intelligence Administrator at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Architecture is fixed, there is no scale-up availability at all, and the support is poor

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature would be the fact that it has been running for awhile in an appliance format."
  • "In terms of features that I would like to see, one is the ability to actually scale out an architecture. Right now, if you buy one, it's fixed. There is no scale-up availability at all."

What is our primary use case?

Neteeza is a data warehouse for customer analytics. 

How has it helped my organization?

We're looking to get away from it, so I can't really say that it improved things. It did augment some of our product delivery resources.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature would be the fact that it has been running for awhile in an appliance format. The appliance format may be the best part.

What needs improvement?

There won't be another release. They're converting to DB2 and that is one of the reasons we are looking at other options.

In terms of features that I would like to see, one is the ability to actually scale out an architecture. Right now, if you buy one, it's fixed. There is no scale-up availability at all.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty good when it works. It's pretty stable overall. But if you have a problem, support is a nightmare.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not possible.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been awful. I found them unwilling to help, and with direct VPN connection to systems, unwilling to actually connect and look at information, which is part of our contract. They did not actually do their job.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We're looking to switch away from Netezza because the platform database system that it runs on is no longer going to be in existence. It's moving to DB2. If it moves to that direction, the amount of changes in logic and queries that it would require is pretty substantial. At that point I would basically be rewriting everything.

When selecting a vendor, obviously I don't want somebody who is brand new. I want somebody who has a track record of actually being around for awhile. It needs to be a company with a product that does the functions that a database should do, and not something that's only a partial solution. There are a lot of solutions out there that do three-quarters of what a warehouse should be doing, but three-quarters of a warehouse are not sufficient.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the setup. But it's an appliance, so there is no real setup, other than there is a day for an IBM technician to come out and stand it up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Vertica was one of them. I looked at it recently. It has limiting factors on things like updates and deletes of data, where it has performance issues. That's a big problem for us. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Netezza at four out of 10. There is not too much involved to set one up from a customer perspective, but after the initial setup it is pretty awful on the customer support side of it.

My advice would be, check out all options. Don't just go with big-name vendors, because that is not always going to be the right answer.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user776508
Lead Business Intelligence Analyst at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Speed, updated ETL, revamped scheduler, mean we refresh data multiple times per day

Pros and Cons

  • "The benefit is really because of the additional speed that we have and, truth be told, the more updated ETL processes and the revamped scheduler in general."
  • "The data governance prospect... from what I've seen, that is a really powerful tool as well, to help with data lineage and keeping track of that."

    What is our primary use case?

    For now, we use that as our enterprise-wide data warehouse. Performance-wise, it's been great. The speed has been excellent. We haven't really had any hardware issues with it that I'm aware of. We've had it for heavy-use in the past six months to a year. It's been good.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The big benefit that we've had is, in the past with the legacy data warehouse solution, we've been limited to having just a nightly batch, running on SQL Server. It's a slower batch process, so throughout the day we would be limited to stuff that happened as of some time in the evening. 

    So the benefit is really because of the additional speed that we have and, truth be told, the more updated ETL processes and the revamped scheduler in general. We've been able to move the refresh timing up to six times a day, so at any given point in the day, the data would be only four hours old, which helps us give much better - not quite real-time data - but closer to real-time data for the day, which helps the decision-makers get the most up-to-date information possible.

    What is most valuable?

    The speed.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I would say it's very stable. Whenever we have any sort of outage, the hardware team always communicates it, and it's been months since we've had any sort of outage, outside of the standard maintenance window. There have never really been any issues there. Stability has been good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    For scalability, we're still in process - half the business is still not on this data warehouse, the company is also moving over to a different production system - so the scalability, we'll really see throughout this year, as the rest of the business gets migrated over to that new production system, and that data will be falling into the Netezza data warehouse platform. So for scalability, it's a little too soon to really give an answer yet.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have not used tech support. I'm not on the hardware team.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Our IT leadership made the decision to go with Netezza before I joined the company, that decision had already been made. Prior to that we were using Microsoft SQL Server.

    The only thing that I was really privy to was, Netezza was chosen because of its analytical capabilities and for the ability to process through a very high volume of records and give an aggregate solution from an analysis standpoint, in a very quick fashion.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was not involved on the hardware side, but I was on the data modeling aspect.

    I would say it was straightforward. We used the IBM InfoSphere for the ETL scripts. Those seem to give plenty of visibility for allthe different steps in the ETL process, especially debugging or going in and making modifications as different tickets come through.

    Working with some of the other developers, whenever they are given a ticket, it's pretty simple to see what step in the process and additional code needs to be added, or modified, or removed; to see exactly where it is and how it's going to affect things downstream, and to be able to see at what exact point that something has failed. That part, it's been more straightforward and just the visibility of the whole process.

    What other advice do I have?

    The most important criteria when selecting a vendor for a data warehouse solution are, obviously, the speed and the ability to handle large amounts of data. That's especially true from an analysis standpoint, and having it not only do the math and select statements but also do more aggregation and analysis-type queries.

    The speed has been excellent for us, in pulling information, as well as the batch timing, and the suite of tools that comes with it for the ETL withIBM InfoSphere. Also, the data governance prospect, as a company we haven't really delved too far into that, but from what I've seen, that is a really powerful tool as well, to help with data lineage and keeping track of that. So the speed is good and the suite of tools seems to be very beneficial.

    From my standpoint, I would give it a nine out of 10. It has done everything that we needed it to do, it's great. The only reason I wouldn't give it a 10 is because, early on, there were a couple of maintenance things that we had to do.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Data Warehouse Architect at a consultancy
    Consultant
    Distribution concurrency control is key for us

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Netezza and Teradata in our project environment where I work as an admin and data modeler.

    What is most valuable?

    Distribution concurrency control.

    What needs improvement?

    Concurrency limit needs to be increased somewhat.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Great stability in Netazza's Mako.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    As of now, no issues with scalability. But like Teradata, we can’t add a node/SPU to the existing appliance.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I work with IBM PDA support. They are wonderful and fix issues in good time.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used Teradata…

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Netezza and Teradata in our project environment where I work as an admin and data modeler.

    What is most valuable?

    Distribution concurrency control.

    What needs improvement?

    Concurrency limit needs to be increased somewhat.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Great stability in Netazza's Mako.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    As of now, no issues with scalability. But like Teradata, we can’t add a node/SPU to the existing appliance.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I work with IBM PDA support. They are wonderful and fix issues in good time.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used Teradata for Data Mart for certain applications but issues arose once the data setup grew. Using PDA, the issues were resolved.

    How was the initial setup?

    Setup is not that complex. Within 24 hours we had everything completed and had copied the dataset from Oracle. Our migration approach was to use a shell script (pipe).

    What other advice do I have?

    Best if you have a robust infrastructure, where network bandwidth is good. We used 10GB Ethernet cable for data transfer.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Senior Consultant at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Reports used to take 30 to 60 minutes, now run consistently in seconds or minutes

    What is our primary use case?

    Enterprise reporting data warehouse using Business Objects, Microstrategy and data mining using SQL. Being a data repository for a single customer view. Also contained staging tables, some of which were designed like an ODS and contained all data from the source system and was updated on a nightly basis. The applicance contained over 12 TB of data uncompressed (less than 4 TB compressed).

    How has it helped my organization?

    Reports which used to take between 30 to 60 minutes or would time out on an Oracle database, which was previously used for the enterprise DWH, now run consistently in seconds or in less than five minutes.

    What is most valuable?

    High performance RDBMS appliance optimized for data warehousing and enterprise reporting. Very simple to manage huge volumes of data without having to worry about indexing and partitioning. Automated compression of tables without any custom scripting or manual intervention. Achieved almost 3x compression effortlessly which meant that 12 TB of data compressed into around 4 TB.

    What needs improvement?

    Could do better to support more concurrent update queries. We had to stagger our ETL loads to prevent queuing of jobs and random failures.

    Also, it would have been good if the admin application showed more detail on the validity and usage of zone maps (this may have been implemented in later versions of the admin app).

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The database runs stable unless there are hundreds of queries running in parallel.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Every query is a full table scan. If the table contains mostly integers, then performance is good. If the number of users is in the thousands, then it may be better to use cubes or other solutions to service reporting needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Before being acquired by IBM, Netezza corporation had exceptional support and used to respond very quickly (less than 30 minutes) in case of production issues. Round the clock support and monitoring were offered and support tickets were handed over very professionally between engineers working across time zones. After being acquired by IBM, support has not been as responsive, but there weren't as many issues as the box was stable.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Previously, Oracle was used as the data warehousing platform, and performance was low and not meeting the needs of the enterprise reporting and analytic user community. My customer switched to Netezza mainly for performance, and it was a big improvement.

    How was the initial setup?

    As the box was very heavy, datacenter flooring required additional reinforcement. The box runs Linux and the initial setup is quite straightforward. ODBC drivers on the servers (ETL or reporting) which connect to the box may need to be upgraded.

    What about the implementation team?

    Implemented this through a vendor team. As there is no need to spend time on partitioning and indexing, a lot of vendor time was saved. Table scripts for partitioned oracle tables run into hundreds or thousands of lines of code and we used to be charged accordingly. But a Netezza table script is much much simpler and we saved money there. Review of table scripts for performance and best practice was also easier as there is only a limited set of best practices to be implemented for high performance. So even vendor teams having low or medium level of expertise can deliver properly as long as they understand how MPP works - governance effort is definitely lesser with Netezza compared to Oracle or SQL Server.

    What was our ROI?

    ROI is high because analyst productivity improved drastically. As mentioned before, queries which used to run for several minutes now run in seconds or less than a few minutes or the duration of a typical pop song. So analysts can ask more questions of the data per hour compared to Oracle.

    Also, the compression feature saved us a lot of money on per terabyte costs for the data.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    From a cost per terabyte perspective, Netezza is definitely more expensive compared to Hive on Hadoop, but due to its simplicity and ANSI SQL Compliance and high performance which can be achieved with less tuning, it may be worth it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    My customer upgraded from Netezza 4.x to Twinfin 6.x.

    What other advice do I have?

    Netezza is a great option for data warehousing, but give due attention to concurrency and find out how much would be the peak load the database may have to handle. Also, check whether performance is acceptable for APIs and web services. Performance may not scale for thousands of single row lookups, as the database is more suited for complex aggregated data warehousing queries.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Ariovaldo Santos
    Senior Solution Architect at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    The platform is very efficient and robust.

    What is most valuable?

    It is extremely easy to use. The platform is very efficient and robust as well.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Generally, the machine utilized for the PoC is rarely returned once the overwhelming results are seen! Customers decide to keep the project, almost from scratch! The initial KPIs are delivered with low investment. There is quick implementation and considerable outcomes which make the platform a valuable asset to the organization.

    What needs improvement?

    Marketing, I dare say, should be improved. The ads should never mention “big data” since the platform was not initially designed for it.

    I worked years and years ago with Teradata, and this is the platform to which it should be compared. It is important to emphasize that Netezza and Teradata have different markets. Netezza performs very well “in its peculiar and valuable small world.”

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We did not have any stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is not designed to process a huge volume of data.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I worked for different companies and my experience is really wide. Teradata is the paramount solution! Oracle’s Exadata invests a lot in both technology and marketing, sometimes losing the focus on “real” analytics. They used to address the platform as both OLAP and OLTP (“one size fits all”), which is not correct.

    How was the initial setup?

    The rule of thumb in the data warehousing/business intelligence space starts with a simple PoC. That being said, there must be a few questions to be answered by the platform. The data model must be simple and flexible enough to address some “extra questions” within a set timetable, in case the customer wants to extend the PoC prior to making the purchase.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Comparisons with other solutions, including pricing and licensing, is as important as a PoC.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I compared Netezza to Teradata and Exadata.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user685353
    Lead Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    We can query large data volumes.

    What is most valuable?

    IBM PureSystems or NPS has a patented NDAC or Netezza data accelerator card inside each of the SPUs (Snippet Processing Arrays). The SPUs act as individual processors that share part of a query. This helps in high-speed parallel processing of big data volumes. Querying a large data volume takes just a few seconds to minutes, if it is done right.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Analyzing years of data requires high processing power and storage. IBM PDA has exactly that. Years of processed data (tables) can be queried and retrieved based on management requirements. This can be done in minutes for analysis. This is extremely important in identifying trends for decision making in higher management, to serve customers better in today’s business environment.

    What needs improvement?

    It is a highly complicated architecture and only IBM engineers/support, or someone who worked on the hardware side of the system, can understand the system architecture completely.

    This means that:

    • Replacements can only be done by an IBM engineer
    • Components are not generic and are not on the market
    • Many of the systems are IBM patented
    • Service support costs are high

    Storage, although high, is limited depending on the rack configuration. For example, an N3001-80, which is an eight-rack Mako Server and also the top end model with the highest storage, can store a maximum of 384TB. Should your data exceed this limit, the storage cannot be extended.

    It cannot be used for unprocessed data. The data has to be in a table format.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using the solution for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We rarely had stability issues. You may expect an average of one outage every two months for a few minutes, if it is maintained properly. This is mostly due to “pollreplytimeout” errors of the SPU.

    All the rack components are dual for redundancy. Almost all components have failsafe/backup, including the host that is configured in cluster for high availability. With this, the system is up and running all the time, or you can get it up at the earliest possible time in case of component failures/system down situations.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We had scalability issues. Storage, although high, is limited depending on the rack configuration. For example, an N3001-80, which is an eight-rack Mako Server and also the top end model with the highest storage capacity, can store a maximum of 384TB. Should your data exceed this limit, the storage cannot be extended. You will have to purchase a new appliance.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate the technical support at 7/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not use a previous solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    IBM sets up the NPS and does the initial configurations. As an admin, you will have a completely configured system ready to work on.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    This is a multi-million dollar product. The software and hardware are both IBM patented.

    Netezza SQL ('nzsql') runs only on PDA systems, and cannot be installed on other enterprise-class servers. Power consumption is high and these systems must have mandatory IBM support, due to the patented and exclusive IBM hardware. However, the benefits outweigh the costs if you have large data volumes that require fast analysis on a day-to-day basis.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We didn't really examine any alternatives. I started working directly on IBM PDA (Netezza) and I haven't had any chance to work on the competitors' products. I was not a decision maker in the selection of this product. This was a higher management decision.

    A close competitor of IBM PDA is Apache Hadoop. As of now, no other product is as fast or as stable.

    What other advice do I have?

    You can definitely consider this appliance if you have:

    • A large volume of processed data (tables) that are created on a daily basis
    • Data that requires daily analysis, critical for decision making, and a budget to complement it.

    This is one of the most stable and fastest data warehouse appliances available in the market today.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user685368
    QlikView Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Consultant
    It has improved our management information systems and reporting capabilities.

    What is most valuable?

    Distribution (no index or partition), built-in analytics is a major advantange.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has improved our management information systems and reporting capabilities.

    What needs improvement?

    It should also consider cloud based solutions.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using the solution for more than ten years from the 8000 series,

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I can't extend the storage, only up to 6x compress of data. You need to plan this when selecting the right product to buy.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Netezza support is good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used Oracle previously. The performance required less maintenance when comparing index and data maintenance issues.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup took only a few hours with all built-in apps. It is very quick and easy to use.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    One license and one support, also cheaper compared to other products.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated MS SQL server.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is easy to use. Make sure you select the right ETL and reporting tool. Also select the right tool for the organization to hold it in the long run.

    It has a compression engine and FPGA on but you should still analyze your volume of data and decide on the right model and size.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Sr Technical Specialist at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It is very fast which makes our life easier to run huge queries for analytics.

    Valuable Features:

    We use Aginity to access Netezza database. We really like the way we can dominate the physical distribution of the data hence know how to improve the performance of the query. Netezza on its own is very fast which makes our life easier to run huge queries for analytics.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    This has really helped us to improve the performance of our Data Marts and warehouses. We can run our reports very quickly. It has also improved the turn around time of business requests. 

    Room for Improvement:

    In Aginity there should be a way to format the SQL queries. I think we can't format the query the way we can do it in Oracle editor (beautifier). Say, for example, if we are trying to get the DDL of an existing view, we lost the formatting. It's a minor issue, but important from usability point of view. Other than this, I think we are good so far with Netezza as a whole.

    Use of Solution:

    We have been using this product from last 5 years. 

    Deployment Issues:

    We did not experience any issues.

    Stability Issues:

    We haven't had any issues.

    Scalability Issues:

    We've not experienced any issues.

    Other Advice:

    If volume is the issue, use Netezza. Nothing is better than this product.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user379629
    IT Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It has Standard SQL, ODBC, JDBC, and OLE DB interfaces.

    Valuable Features

    • Supports both business intelligence and advanced analytics
    • Efficient even if being used by thousands of users at the same time
    • Streaming architecture based on blades
    • Compatible with the most popular business intelligence and analytic tools
    • Standard SQL, ODBC, JDBC, and OLE DB interfaces

    Improvements to My Organization

    We had lot of POC's on data warehousing project with the help of Netezza, we have proved that it has really improved time on doing analytics

    Use of Solution

    I have used this solution for more than two years

    Deployment Issues

    There were no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues

    It's reliable and available, with 99.99% uptime.

    Scalability Issues

    There were no issues with the scalability.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Support for this product is good.

    Initial Setup

    Initial set-up was straightforward.

    Implementation Team

    It was done by an in-house team.

    Other Advice

    It is good product if you are choosing to go for datawarehouse business intelligence.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user374055
    Data Warehouse Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    The fact that the hardware and software are designed to work together is nice.

    Valuable Features

    • The speed of the MPP platform
    • The ability to load large amounts of data in very short order
    • The fact that the hardware and software are designed to work together and are supported in unison by IBM

    Improvements to My Organization

    We can process through more data much faster than we could with prior technologies.

    Room for Improvement

    More monitoring tools would be nice. I have found no tools within the tool which help with long running query issues. I would like to see the ability of static binds so access path can be counted on.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using this since 2010

    Deployment Issues

    There were no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues

    Stability comes and goes. Every software upgrade removes some problems, but introduces others. None have been critical, though.

    Scalability Issues

    There were no issues with the scalability.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    It's 7/10 as when something goes wrong within IBM, it can take quite a bit to get it straightened out including a phone call to the sales rep to light fires.

    Initial Setup

    It was a straightforward set-up. You just have to install the appliance, turn it on, and you can start using.

    Implementation Team

    Netezza themselves set up the machines. We implemented our business rules using a vendor team to get us up to speed on MPP processing.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We evaluated this and Greenplum. Netezza won the battle for being an appliance that is wholly supported by the vendor. Greenplum won the individual transaction battle, but it was not enough to overcome the ease of an appliance.

    Other Advice

    The most difficult time I have with people is getting them to understand that Netezza is not meant for individual transactions, but for full set processing.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user373929
    Database and DataWarehouse Specialist - Oracle and Netezza at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Its ability to push down optimization through the use of FPGA to limit data at the storage layer is a valuable feature.

    What is most valuable?

    • Elimination of space management with less time spent on capacity planning
    • Push down optimization through the use of FPGA to limit data at the storage layer
    • The concept of an appliance where everything is pre-built (storage, hardware, database and OS) and the support for each of these components is through one vendor.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Query and process response times have improved resulting in customers being able to process and analyse more in less time.

    What needs improvement?

    Certain database maintenance tasks related to the catalogue need for the database to be offline. Enabling those tasks to be done with the database on-line would be beneficial. Also, the availability of additional SQL and database tuning options would be good.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for six years. We currently use the Mako, TwinFin-6 and TwinFin-3 appliances.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Deployment is straightforward.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The appliance is stable for the most part. All components have fail-over/spare components built-in. Any failed component is replaced within 24 hours by IBM support.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Since it is an appliance, individual components within the appliance cannot be scaled. Scaling would mean buying the next generation of the appliance.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    7/10

    Technical Support:

    7/10

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Our previous solution was in Oracle which had a custom data model. The reason for the change in technology was due to the data model. The new data model was purchased from IBM and their recommendation was to use Netezza for it.

    How was the initial setup?

    The hardware set-up is straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    It is done by IBM support in a day or two. The use of the appliance to implement the data model require for knowledgeable development and database resources. Prior working knowledge of Netezza would be an added advantage.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    IBM offers great pricing on refurbished appliances. These appliances are just like new but can be negotiated to be offered at much lower prices.

    What other advice do I have?

    Resources who have previously worked with Netezza should be asked to work on the project. If people with prior Netezza knowledge cannot be engaged then candidates who are familiar with Linux should be sent for Netezza training offered by IBM prior to engaging them to work on this platform.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user373134
    BI/BA Consultant at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It is used in several key areas such as customer analytics, pricing, predictable analytics and forecasting, and reporting etc.

    What is most valuable?

    The ability to support a lot of complex queries to analyze rather big data sets at the same time is a valuable feature for us.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Netezza appliances are used on several key areas such as customer analytics, pricing, predictable analytics and forecasting, and reporting etc. The platform is really versatile and cost effective.

    What needs improvement?

    Data lineage on column or even object level does not exist, therefore external applications have to be used

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using it for three to four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    There were no issues deploying it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is generally a reliable and stable platform.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no issues scaling it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    As a developer I am not dealing with IBM customer service related activities.

    Technical Support:

    As a developer I am not dealing with IBM customer service related activities

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    No other solution was used previously.

    What about the implementation team?

    I was not part of the initial set up but I know that the main challenge was to set up IBM CDC to transfer data to the Netezza appliance

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No other solutions were looked at.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: IBM is one of our partners.
    it_user365241
    Sr Technology Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It reduces system administration and database administration effort.

    What is most valuable?

    Netezza partitions all database objects across all available SPU’s. With traditional RDBMS systems, partitioning database objects requires a lot of planning and configuration. Netezza, only requires to develop a partitioning scheme. This eliminates several steps in the process, vastly simplifies performance tuning leading to very high performance.

    As the system is preconfigured, the site level configuration required is minimal. Eliminates the need for a separate SAN.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Reduces system administration and database administration effort. Simplifies performance tuning effort. The net effect is reduced load on DBA team and quicker turnaround.

    What needs improvement?

    Application development in Netezza is done using SQL scripts and stored procedures. GUI based ETL tools provides higher level of visibility and higher productivity. I hope to see a GUI based application development environment. This could also be achieved through tight integration with an ETL tool, like IBM’s own ETL tool DataStage.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've used it for five years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Netezza was one of the components in our application. This component had the least number of issues

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Netezza was one of the components in our application. This component had the least number of issues

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Netezza was one of the components in our application. This component had the least number of issues

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Good. We had Netezza experts assigned to the client site and had easy access to them.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    1. Compared to other RDBMS, Netezza provides much higher performance and much lower maintenance effort
    2. Compared to Teradata, lower cost and lower administration

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial set-up of the system is quite simple. Eliminates several steps required in a custom built platform, like storage system configuration, planning database storage.

    What about the implementation team?

    I was a consultant from the system implementation vendor.

    What other advice do I have?

    1. Netezza is well suited for data warehousing and analytics, not for OLTP application
    2. The key approach is to develop an uniform data distribution scheme and collocation of data partitions across related database objects. For example, if we have a large customer dimension and a large sales by customer fact, these tables will be joined very frequently. To get the best performance, both tables should be distributed on the same key, e.g. customer_id.
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are system integration provider for Netezza
    it_user365232
    Data Centre Manager at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We like the ease of which we ported data onto it and the fact that it does not take a lot of administration.

    What is most valuable?

    • Lots of space
    • Implicit compression
    • High Availability with multiple redundancy

    How has it helped my organization?

    The performance has meant that we reclaimed many hours in our batch window. The ease of which we ported data onto it, the fact that it does not take a lot of administration and the overall manageability of the box have improved our company.

    What needs improvement?

    Ability to use constraints to enforce uniqueness would be an improvement.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We got our first Netezza box in 2004 and the Pure Data in 2014 following the acquisition by IBM.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    A blade failure at the commissioning stage, but the box (and predecessors) have been extremely stable and provides us with lots of scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Very good for this product. It was excellent when it was Netezza and that support seems to have continued with IBM.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Previously used DB2 LUW but this could not provide us with the performance we needed at the time. We looked at Netezza as they were trying to get a foothold in the UK and the portability of data and the speed with which it performed was incredible.

    How was the initial setup?

    Very straightforward for Pure Data but the initial set-up was affected by the fact that we seemed to get a junior technician from IBM who was not as good as other engineers we have had.

    What about the implementation team?

    Build a strong relationship with your technical account manager as you will be referring to them quite a lot. Could save many man hours in the long term.

    What was our ROI?

    I can't comment on the figures but needless to say it has been a resounding success for us.

    What other advice do I have?

    IBM support is very good for this product. It has very few issues and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Check for the functional limitations of the logical database e.g there are no such thing as indexes/primary key constraints where you might want to force uniqueness.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user364464
    Member of the Board of Directors at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    It has integration with Linux-based ETL and data streaming technologies. ​It is not designed for transactional systems.

    What is most valuable?

    • Ease of use
    • Lack of performance problems for analytics and massive data systems
    • Integration with Linux-based ETL and data streaming technologies
    • Integration with distributed computing platforms

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has been the primary driving technology behind the corporate wide transition to Netezza as a standard data platform. A whole ecosystem is beginning to develop around the product.

    What needs improvement?

    It is not designed for transactional systems. Transactional systems that require frequent updates, deletes, etc should use a different solution.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Netezza does not perform well with a significant volume of individual record operations. Netezza is designed specifically for set based operations.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Netezza does not perform well with a significant volume of individual record operations. Netezza is designed specifically for set based operations.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    The appliance is installed and maintained by vendor.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user365262
    Programmer Professional Markets (Manager) at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    ​We now have a single store of critical business metrics in the investment bank.

    What is most valuable?

    Distributed querying Seamless concurrency Fast loading High velocity analytics

    How has it helped my organization?

    We now have a single store of critical business metrics in the investment bank.

    What needs improvement?

    The query optimization is crap, and the machine could use more alerting around bad design and bad queries.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for four and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Releases from IBM are poorly tested, but once they work once, they’re stable – i.e., the machine only goes down immediately after an upgrade.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is fixed. It’s big, but not at all scalable.

    How are customer service and

    What is most valuable?

    • Distributed querying
    • Seamless concurrency
    • Fast loading
    • High velocity analytics

    How has it helped my organization?

    We now have a single store of critical business metrics in the investment bank.

    What needs improvement?

    The query optimization is crap, and the machine could use more alerting around bad design and bad queries.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for four and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Releases from IBM are poorly tested, but once they work once, they’re stable – i.e., the machine only goes down immediately after an upgrade.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is fixed. It’s big, but not at all scalable.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Moderate. IBM is really good at communicating to us that they take our problems seriously, but they don’t seem to fix them very quickly.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were saddled with this.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We implemented it in house. My advice would be to follow the tool, and not try to force a schema designed for another system on it.

    What was our ROI?

    We have no ROI. We’re a cost center.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No other options were looked at.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user17130
    Manager Enterprise Data & Analytics Infrastructure/DBA at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It works well for many “campaign” queries that run for our clinical analytical area, but while some queries do run very fast, you cannot load up the box with several queries.

    Valuable Features

    It can run heavy CPU queries really fast, and this is valuable.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We have a lot of “campaign” queries that run for our clinical analytical area and this product seems to work well for them.

    Room for Improvement

    While some queries do run very fast, you cannot load up the box with several queries.

    Use of Solution

    We've used TwinFin for over four years and Striper for around one-and-a-half.

    Deployment Issues

    It does not scale like other databases and expect them to run at the same time.

    Scalability Issues

    Netezza does not scale like other databases, so it cannot run several queries at once.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    It's good.

    Initial Setup

    It was pretty straightforward, but we had to get several areas…

    Valuable Features

    It can run heavy CPU queries really fast, and this is valuable.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We have a lot of “campaign” queries that run for our clinical analytical area and this product seems to work well for them.

    Room for Improvement

    While some queries do run very fast, you cannot load up the box with several queries.

    Use of Solution

    We've used TwinFin for over four years and Striper for around one-and-a-half.

    Deployment Issues

    It does not scale like other databases and expect them to run at the same time.

    Scalability Issues

    Netezza does not scale like other databases, so it cannot run several queries at once.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    It's good.

    Initial Setup

    It was pretty straightforward, but we had to get several areas involved in initial setup.

    Implementation Team

    We worked with the vendor to implement it.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    It is a pretty expensive solution, but it is worth it for the right environment.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Technology Consultant (Netezza/Big Data) at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The cost-based analysis of query by optimization, it makes query execution faster and provides enough scope to DBA to improve queries.

    What is most valuable?

    With a field-programmable gate array, it has the capabilities to do arithmetic calculations at memory level. Also, the cost-based analysis of query by optimization, it makes query execution faster and provides enough scope to DBA to improve queries.

    What needs improvement?

    In my opinion the product is the best for the purpose it has been built.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for six years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Not much, IBM guys are quite professional and ready to help with every bit and piece.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Not much, IBM guys are quite professional and ready to help with every bit and piece.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Not much, IBM guys are quite professional and ready to help with every bit and piece.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    The level of customer service is good.

    Technical Support:

    The level of technical support is good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I've never used any other solutions.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup is pretty straightforward, as IBM provides ramp-up training through in-house training and assigns a technical account manager to make faster resolution of queries.

    What about the implementation team?

    Both ways, as the box got setup by us and IBM provided a huge set of documents, which made life easier.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Before buying the physical product from IBM, there is an option to use the solution in the cloud to perform a POC and get your stats ready with actual data for better analysis of your investment.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user357468
    Regional Support Specialist at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    It has the capacity to handle terabytes of data with query response times that are very low. Setup is complex.

    What is most valuable?

    Personally, I like the Compression and Partitioning features.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has the capacity to handle terabytes of data with query response times that are very low. This has helped us a lot.

    What needs improvement?

    It’s a good product for analytical processing, but they need to conduct more seminars and hands-on training and events. They need to be showcasing the product and features to create awareness among businesses.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working on it for the last two-and-a-half years and now we are in process of a tech refresh. We’re moving from the old Netezza to the newer IBM Pure Data Analytics, using a quarter of the rack for Pure Data.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered with deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered with scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    They're very good, helpful, and knowledgeable.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    It’s a complex setup.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was handled by the vendor as it's proprietary.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's fit for the purpose it's designed for. It's an analytical/hierarchical database, now in great demand, that can store plenty of data and return the results in no time for complex queries.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user351462
    Data Architect/Modeler with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    It provides outstanding performance for structured data, but bitemporal support is needed.​

    What is most valuable?

    Performance Not complex to administer

    How has it helped my organization?

    It provides a key repository for risk information - suitable due to volume of data.

    What needs improvement?

    Bitemporal support is needed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We found some bugs - boundary conditions mostly.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are no issues with scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    9/10 - I have always be able to reach someone at IBM with the correct answer.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Non analytic databases used to be all there was. Netezza provides outstanding…

    What is most valuable?

    1. Performance
    2. Not complex to administer

    How has it helped my organization?

    It provides a key repository for risk information - suitable due to volume of data.

    What needs improvement?

    Bitemporal support is needed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We found some bugs - boundary conditions mostly.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are no issues with scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    9/10 - I have always be able to reach someone at IBM with the correct answer.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Non analytic databases used to be all there was. Netezza provides outstanding performance for structured data.

    How was the initial setup?

    I didn't set up but our database administrators have said it is much simpler than Oracle, or DB2.In house - have a person trained on PureData - it will pay off

    What about the implementation team?

    In house - have a person trained on Pure Data - it will pay off

    What was our ROI?

    I can't quantify ROI.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Licensing is straightforward - you end up buying the box with Netezza on it as it's an appliance.

    What other advice do I have?

    Every query has to be set based - no iteration over a result set. stored procedures should be used sparingly.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user347586
    Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 11-50 employees
    Vendor
    Billions of data are processed within an optimal amount of time, and it supports almost real-time analytics.

    What is most valuable?

    • Scalability
    • User friendly
    • Always innovative

    How has it helped my organization?

    Billions of data are processed within an optimal amount of time, and it supports almost real-time analytics. This helps the executives to define their strategy for further expansion and identify potential opportunities with informed decisions.

    What needs improvement?

    It has already integrated with Big Data Hadoop; however, integration with XML is still not there for nzload utility.If nzlad supports XML files along with flat flies ,it will give them an edge over other MPP Architecture.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for eight years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It's the best.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used other MPP architecture solutions such as Microsoft PDW and Teradata. However, Netezza has an edge as it is convenient to use and it doesn't need a database administrator to perform a successful implementation of a Netezza migration from any RDBMS.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward as it is an appliance. IBM's technical support team takes care of the entire setup process, and you don't need an expert in Netezza to perform the implementation.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it in-collaboration with IBM, and in my opinion, this is the best way to embrace new technology. Once you gradually build up your capability in new technology, you should then take control of it with your in-house talented experts.

    What was our ROI?

    We had a significant ROI as business increased multi-fold with such a scalable solution.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Compared to other MPP's, Netezza's pricing is quite reasonable considering long term business expansion with low maintenance cost.

    What other advice do I have?

    Any potential customer who has an inclination towards large scale analytics, should consider Netezza as an option. This not only gives a faster response, but you can also save on resource cost compared to other MPP's. Netezza's maintenance cost is quite low and this will give you an edge for long term revenue growth.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    FP
    Business Unit technical Lead at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    SQL is 100% ANSI compliant, but support for interfaces has been poor.

    What is most valuable?

    • The ability to load data very quickly
    • SQL is 100% ANSI compliant
    • Queries run very fast and require no hints (Oracle)
    • No space management
    • Tuning SQL is generally pretty easy

    How has it helped my organization?

    For every organization that I have been in that has Netezza, the ability to load and run queries is greatly simplified and A LOT faster than any other DBMS out there.

    What needs improvement?

    Netezza is just starting on real time integration with Big Insights (big data). Support for interfaces has been poor. Hoping this improves.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for nine years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Netezza servers used to have disk issues in the early days, however, for the most part this has been addressed.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    9/10.

    Technical Support:

    9/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have used Oracle and Teradata as a DBA. I have found Netezza to be the easiest in terms of DBA management

    How was the initial setup?

    Very straightforward. Data movement is very easy. It works better if you do 1 large file as opposed to several small files

    What about the implementation team?

    Netezza servers are installed by IBM but implementations are sometimes handled in house and for others it maybe a mixture with BI vendors. We are a BI vendor and do implementations.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Most shops I am in have used Oracle, Sql Server, or Teradata. Depending on what the data is being used for (OLTP, OLAP). OLAP is the best application for a Netezza server.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners with IBM.
    ITCS user
    Senior Hadoop Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The cross-database writing function allows users to run commands in the block as single execution.

    Valuable Features:

    Cross-database writing and more UDFs. Netezza NPS 7.1 has added a feature of SET CATALOG statement inside an AUTOCOMMIT ON block which enables a user to do a cross-database writing in a stored procedure (or on a tool "Aginity") which was never done before. This also allows users to run GROOM, GENERATE STATISTICS etc. in the block as a single execution (auto commit).

    Improvements to My Organization:

    Simplified development process with less administration

    Valuable Features:

    Cross-database writing and more UDFs.

    Netezza NPS 7.1 has added a feature of SET CATALOG statement inside an AUTOCOMMIT ON block which enables a user to do a cross-database writing in a stored procedure (or on a tool "Aginity") which was never done before.

    This also allows users to run GROOM, GENERATE STATISTICS etc. in the block as a single execution (auto commit).

    Improvements to My Organization:

    Simplified development process with less administration

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Senior Data Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Netezza vs. Teradata
    Original published at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/should-i-choose-net... Two leading Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) architectures for Data Warehousing (DW) are IBM PureData System for Analytics (formerly Netezza) and Teradata. I thought talking about the similarities and differences would be useful to decision makers who may need to choose or recommend one technology over the other. A few years ago, I evaluated the viability of Netezza and Teradata (shortly before the Aster Data acquisition), to meet my company’s DW needs. Both Netezza and Teradata follow the relational database paradigm and use table joins. My recommendation was Netezza, based on the particular DW use case and Netezza’s MPP architecture, in-database analytics, low DBA maintenance and price.…

    Original published at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/should-i-choose-net...

    Two leading Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) architectures for Data Warehousing (DW) are IBM PureData System for Analytics (formerly Netezza) and Teradata. I thought talking about the similarities and differences would be useful to decision makers who may need to choose or recommend one technology over the other.

    A few years ago, I evaluated the viability of Netezza and Teradata (shortly before the Aster Data acquisition), to meet my company’s DW needs. Both Netezza and Teradata follow the relational database paradigm and use table joins. My recommendation was Netezza, based on the particular DW use case and Netezza’s MPP architecture, in-database analytics, low DBA maintenance and price.

    Bottom line, Netezza costs less to own and operate, and is easier to manage. If your DW environment doesn’t need to support many thousands of users or ever increasing volumes of data, then Netezza is an excellent choice. Teradata scales better but is also more expensive and requires more skilled DBA labor.

    I recently spoke with a VP who migrated off Teradata to Netezza because Teradata was too expensive and required a lot more DBA effort than his company’s needs required. In this post, I’ll contrast the two technologies at a Database Architect or Designer level of understanding. I’ll first point out some similarities, then highlight a few important differences.

    Architectural Similarities

    The idea behind parallel processing is that “many hands make light work”. In other words large tasks become small when divided among several people. In this context “people” are processing units of memory, CPU and disk. MPP is when you get 64, 128, 256, or more synchronized processing units executing a database query simultaneously.

    The primary design philosophy of both Netezza and Teradata is simple. Each processor has total control and responsibility for a disk. The rows of every table are spread or distributed as evenly as possible across all the disks in the system and then data can be retrieved in parallel.

    A processing unit in Teradata is called an Access Module Processor (AMP). In Netezza it’s called a Snippet Processing Unit (SPU). In Netezza, a database query is first compiled into C and divided into units of work called snippets.

    Each processing unit (Teradata AMP or Netezza SPU) has its own memory, CPU and disk. This is also called a “shared nothing” architecture. Data retrieval and manipulation operations proceed in parallel and are N times faster than they otherwise would be (where N is the degree of parallelism).

    All the processing units (worker bees) are guided by the query optimizer and query coordinator. In Teradata this is the parsing engine.

    Architectural Differences

    Concurrency

    Concurrency is a by-product of performance. Concurrency is the number of simultaneous database queries running at any one given time in the database. In this context, the word “query” includes searching, adding, updating or deleting data. Netezza will never physically run more than 48 queries at a time. Netezza can support up to 2,000 active read-only queries at one time, but at most 48 will be running, and the rest will be queued. The active query is interrupted so other queries can use the CPU. This context switch prevents any one query from monopolizing the CPU, and ensures all queries get a fair share of CPU time. The limit makes sure Netezza is not wasting time switching between sessions.

    While there can be up to 2,000 concurrent read-only queries, Netezza has a limit of 64 active add, update or delete queries (anything that might change data). This usually isn’t an issue in a typical analytics environment where the work of getting data in and out of Netezza is done as quickly as possible and the writers are typically ETL processes.

    In contrast, Teradata can support millions of concurrent queries allowing greater flexibility. Teradata’s benchmarks show their system in a better light relative to concurrency but they are not real world workloads.

    Enforcing Referential Integrity (RI)

    Netezza does not enforce RI, but depending on your DW use case, that may be perfectly fine. Netezza defines primary and foreign key constraints as metadata, but doesn’t enforce them. In general even DWs like Oracle Exadata and Teradata that do enforce RI will disable the constraints when loading data. Otherwise the load process would be radically slower since the referenced keys would need to be validated one row at a time.

    For a DW, RI is often performed in the Data Integration Framework and incoming data is cross-checked with the available keys. Once the ETL has a handle on the data quality and is preventing data errors from entering the DW, the constraints can be disabled forever because the ETL becomes the de facto gatekeeper of data quality.

    With IBM PureData System for Analytics, data load and bulk-data comparisons are incredibly fast. And because the primary and foreign key pairs are known metadata, some repeatable, metadata-driven patterns can be built that allow the referential checks to be parameterized in the ETL.

    Primary and foreign key constraints are usually enforced with indexes, which Teradata provides to improve query speed and performance. Teradata distributes the data based on Primary Index (PI). Choosing a PI is based on data distribution and join frequency of the column. Secondary indexes provide another path to access data. Both primary and secondary indexes can be unique or non-unique.

    In contrast, Netezza’s approach to indexes is simple. Netezza doesn’t offer them. Instead, Netezza uses a distribution key, performs massively parallel table scans, and relies on zone maps for performance.

    Minimizing I/O

    Both Netezza and Teradata compress data and use cost-based optimizers to calculate the most efficient query plan. A query plan is like the “GPS” in your car. In a DW, it’s used to find and retrieve data.

    Netezza minimizes I/O by applying restriction and projection conditions to data in a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) as the data comes off the disk. The FPGA architectural firmware is the “secret rocket” that gives Netezza such incredible speed. Each Netezza processing unit includes memory, CPU, a disk drive and an FPGA.

    Applying restriction and projection conditions to data in Netezza as it comes off the disks and before it reaches the rest of the I/O sub-system makes the most sense where only a relatively small fraction of the data in a particular table is required to support the rest of the query. It is still the case that all of the data has to first get off the drive before the unwanted data can be discarded in the FPGA. Although incredibly fast, Netezza’s use of parallelized full table scans can limit query concurrency.

    Instead of an FPGA paired with each disk drive, Teradata minimizes I/O through more traditional methods such as range-based partitioning, which supports partition elimination and the use of advanced indexing which reduces the amount of data that would otherwise have to be scanned. Partitioning and indexing strategies require more DBA involvement.

    Netezza has a single active host node that can become a performance bottleneck. All sessions and data must flow through this single node for final sorting and merging of results. Netezza’s use of co-located joins helps minimize sorting. Teradata automatically spreads sessions across multiple servers, providing scalable bandwidth for data flow.

    Mixed Workloads

    Mixed workloads are different types of queries running in the Data Warehouse and are directly related to concurrency. A DW needs to optimize a mix of ad-hoc and tactical queries, reports, data mining, data loads and visualization queries.

    Using a traffic analogy, think about driving through a big city at 6 AM. The roads are quiet and uncrowded and traffic is light. But by 9 AM, the crowds, taxis, trucks and ambulances turn the streets into an all-day traffic jam. Your vehicle only goes as fast as the car in front of you. Not until 8 PM does the congestion dissipate.

    Now imagine no stop signs or traffic lights. Then, eliminate the "drive on the right side of the street" rule. There would be constant chaos and traffic would gridlock.

    This is similar to the daily workloads that pass through a DW. Reports (cars), tactical queries (motorcycles and bikes), executive queries (ambulances), data mining (buses) and data loading (trucks) can simultaneously clog the system by taking up space (CPU) and producing congestion (blocking others). Like a city, query elapsed time is faster and the DW performs better if the traffic flow is organized.

    Fair-share, priority and pre-emptive scheduling (slow lanes, fast lanes, cutting in front) ensure that no active queries starve for lack of CPU time. Resource governors (stop signs and traffic lights) throttle out-of-control queries like billion row table-joins. Organizing and prioritizing workloads ensures the executive query (ambulance) or tactical query (motorcycle or bike) are consistently fast and can zip though, regardless of concurrent traffic.

    Teradata has what is generally acknowledged to be the best mixed-workload management capability in the industry.

    Distribution, Skew and Co-Located Joins

    Let’s use an example of distributing 128 million rows across 128 SPUs. Once loaded, using “random” distribution, each SPU will control 1 million rows. So the table exists logically once, and physically 128 times. The SQL query will physically run on all 128 SPUs simultaneously. Each SPU will work on its portion of the data and be merged into a result set. So, the total duration of the query is the speed a SPU can scan 1 million rows. Using “random” distribution, all the SPUs will move at this speed, in parallel, and finish at the same time.

    Let’s say the 128 million rows are in an Order table, and 256 million rows are in Order_Detail. Both tables are joined on Order_ID. Rather than using “random” distribution, it appears Order_ID is what we want for a distribution, but this may skew the data. When a distribution is assigned, Netezza will hash the distribution key into one of 128 hash values (the number of SPUs). Every time a particular key appears, it will always be assigned the same hash value and land on the same SPU. So now we can distribute both tables on Order_ID and be absolutely certain that for any given SPU, all of the same ID's for both the Order and Order_Detail table are physically co-located on the same disk.

    If we choose Order_ID and it turns out that a large number of rows hash to one or more overloaded SPUs, then the data distribution is “skewed” and detrimental to performance. Skew makes queries run slow, because the other SPUs will finish faster and wait on the overworked SPUs with the extra data.

    Each Netezza table has only one distribution key. If a table is distributed on another key, the data would have to physically leave the SPU as it finds a new SPU home to align with its distribution key. Because redistributing data is the single biggest performance hit, the columns selected as distribution keys cannot be updated. You would need to delete the row, and insert a new one.

    The distribution key can consist of 1-4 table columns. If the chosen key provides good physical distribution, then there is no reason to use more columns. More granularity in a good distribution has no value. All columns in the distribution key must be used in a join in order to achieve co-location. If we use a compound (1-4 column) distribution key, we are committed to using all columns in all joins, and this is rarely the case. You would usually use additional columns only if a single column produces high physical skew. The distribution key is a hash value for SPU assignment, not an index. If all of the columns in the distribution key are not mentioned in the join, Netezza will not attempt co-location. So even if a particular distribution key does not "directly" participate in the functional answer, it must directly participate in the join to achieve co-location.

    Collocated joins provide optimal performance because data movement is minimized. In a non-collocated join, the data first needs to be sorted in memory. In a collocated join, the two data sets are already in sorted order on disk and each SPU can operate independently of the others without network traffic or communication between the other SPUs.

    Scaling Up

    IBM now offers a “Growth on Demand” model where IBM will bring in more capacity than initially required and start out licensing half of that environment. Customers can then “turn on” capacity when needed by licensing more of the environment. This is controlled by IBM’s Workload Management capabilities. An example would be to bring in a two rack system and license it as if it were a single rack. Customers can then add in 1/8 increments from there until the two rack system is fully utilized. If you grow past the two racks, then you’d consider upgrading to a 4, 6, 8 or 10 rack configuration.

    Teradata, by contrast, allows systems to expand incrementally by adding server nodes as necessary to meet growth needs.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, before choosing or recommending one DW technology over another, evaluate your particular DW needs and execute a well-constructed benchmark for the platform you are considering with your workload and data.

    These views are my own and may not necessarily reflect those of my current or previous employers.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Santosh K Dash
    Solution Lead at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    MSP
    It's an easy-to-use data warehouse appliance, but it doesn't support correlated queries.

    What is most valuable?

    • Zonemap features
    • AMPP (SMP+MPP ) architecture
    • High availability
    • Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)

    How has it helped my organization?

    The Netezza deployment is easy, and there is less administration and coding than in other databases.

    What needs improvement?

    • Correlated queries are not supported.
    • Concurrency - the performance dips with number of concurrent queries; for example, if more than 48 queries are run concurrently, it queues up.
    • Scalability - if the data increases, you need to go for a bigger appliance as you cannot add to Netezza incrementally.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for two-and-a-half years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Some minor SPU communication issues with IP protocol.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    They deliver the products to customers faster and with greater accuracy, i.e. within the agreed-upon due date.

    Technical Support:

    Netezza already had a excellent customer satisfaction and the rating would be 8/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously used Oracle then migrated to Netezza because its deployment is easy, and there is less administration and coding when compared to Oracle. Also, the query performance is excellent in Netezza.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is very straightforward because Netezza's initial setup took less than two days and the entire data set was loaded onto the Netezza appliance to which users had full access to the system.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Netezza is an easy-to-use data warehouse appliance. It's extremely fast with a low cost and the customers run their BI and advanced analytics in a very flexible manner.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also looked at Teradata.

    What other advice do I have?

    Netezza should have enough advantages with implementation, i.e time to deployment, price, performance, and the ability to integrate with the existing environment.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user255891
    DBA at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    With this solution, there are few things to worry about.

    What is most valuable?

    Performance Simplicity Few things to worry about

    How has it helped my organization?

    Netezza technology has served us perfectly well. It is the server for our all BI data.

    What needs improvement?

    Our overall business intelligence has improved.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: 8/10. Technical Support: 8/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    No previous solution was used.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward.

    What about the

    What is most valuable?

    • Performance
    • Simplicity
    • Few things to worry about

    How has it helped my organization?

    Netezza technology has served us perfectly well. It is the server for our all BI data.

    What needs improvement?

    Our overall business intelligence has improved.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    8/10.

    Technical Support:

    8/10.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    No previous solution was used.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was done by an in-house team with assistance from some IBM consultants who had very good knowledge about Netezza.

    What was our ROI?

    Very good. Our BI enviroment with Netezza, Cognos and Data Stage has been a great success

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    The in-house team and IBM consultants suggested the solution. There is a partnership between IBM and our corporation.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a very good product. Like always, good people with good expertise will help a lot

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
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