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HP's Neoview appliance – think fridge

Warehouse soup to nuts in a (big) box

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One of the most interesting factoids about Neoview, the data warehousing platform sort of announced by HP last year, is that it really is a "platform", a box which takes the notion of plug'n'play to new levels.

It is, of course, based on the NonStop high availability O/S which now runs native on HP's Itanium-based Integrity servers. Given that the technology behind Neoview was originally developed by the company's Storage Systems Group, it is no surprise to find that the system is a complete box – a data warehouse appliance that comes with full onsite management and support provided remotely by HP.

According to Russ Daniels, VP and CTO of HP Software, the word "appliance" means that potential users should be thinking "large refrigerator, not toaster".

As a marker what HP feels the appliance can achieve, Daniels said it planned to use the technology itself. "We are aiming to reduce some 700 datamarts within HP down to one."

Getting down to a single data warehouse for the whole of HP is, he acknowledges, an ambitious target and he accepts that it might not be achievable in practice.

"But Mark Hurd (HP's CEO) ultimately runs one company which can deal with customers at a number of levels. One customer can be using our servers, storage, and enterprise software and our printers and supplies, so he knows he needs a consolidated view of the customers," he said.

Data input from existing databases will be performed using ETL (Extract Transform Load) technologies and output will be through any one of a number of Business Intelligence tools, such as those from SAS Institute, Business Objects, Hyperion, and Cognos.

The target market for the Neoview appliance, according to Daniels, is made up of those users that are seeking Teradata-scale data warehousing but cannot afford the price tag. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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