Feeds

IBM fattens up Netezza data warehouses

Fresh TwinFins

Boost IT visibility and business value

Sometimes the big data is bigger than you would like, and you need to hold onto it longer than you otherwise would for regulatory or business reasons. There's nothing worse than waiting to get a moldy gob of data back off tape, and it is even worse (and less likely to be successful) on a very large bucket of said musty data.

With this in mind, IBM's Netezza unit has rejiggered the TwinFin data warehousing appliance to be skinny on the blades and fat on the disks, so companies can create what is, in effect, a nearline data warehouse.

The Netezza High Capacity Appliance comes in a two-rack or four-rack configuration, and will eventually scale up to six and then eight racks and has four times the disk capacity and about 40 per cent less processing capacity than the normal TwinFin appliances. The TwinFin is based on IBM's BladeCenter x64 blade servers and chassis, and was before IBM paid $1.9bn to acquire the appliance maker last September.

The current machines are based on two-socket HS22 blades using four-core Xeon 5600 processors, and are mated with a field programmable gate array (FPGA) co-processor that Netezza uses to speed up the heavily modified PostgreSQL database that runs on top of the iron. The combination of the HS22 and FPGA blades is called an S-Blade. There are eight FPGAs on the accelerator blade - one for each x64 core - and they speed up the filtering of data moving off storage before being passed on to the database software as well as doing complex sorting and joins of database tables as part of analytical routines.

The High Capacity Appliance rack puts four S-Blades in a rack, with 32 cores and 32 FPGAs, and 144TB of uncompressed data in a dozen disk enclosures, each with a dozen 2TB drives. The rack also includes redundant host servers for loading data and distributing workload across the cluster and planning queries. The C1000-8 has two racks, for a total of 64 cores, 64 FPGAs, 288TB of uncompressed user data capacity, and 1.1PB of capacity with compression turned on. The C1000-16 doubles that up to four racks, and the future C1000-24 model will have six racks and the C1000-32 will eventually offer eight racks.

That top-end model will have 256 cores and FPGAs and 1.15PB of uncompressed data space and 4.4PB of compressed capacity. Such a behemoth, by the way, draws 44 kilowatts. Eventually, IBM plans to offer C1000-40, -48, -64, and -80 designations that scale to over 10PB of in 20 racks and offer data load rates of 5.5TB per hour.

Here's what the Netezza C1000 rack looks like:

IBM High Capacity Netezza

IBM's high capacity data warehousing Netezza appliance (click to enlarge)

Phil Francisco, vice president of product management for the Netezza unit (which is technically part of IBM's Information Management division, not part of its System x hardware division), says that the C1000 high capacity appliances will be available in the middle of July. IBM plans to charge $2,500 per user terabyte for the high-capacity appliance, which is considerably lower than the $10,000 per user terabyte that IBM charges for the regular TwinFin appliances. Those FPGAs and server nodes don't come cheap, apparently. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.