Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/13/warehouse_appliances/

Warehouse appliances: boom or bust?

And the winner is ...

By Philip Howard

Posted in Developer, 13th December 2005 12:32 GMT

Comment From the number of vendors entering the market as suppliers of data warehouse appliances you would think that this was a major growth area. It probably is. And you would also think it was easy. It isn't.

Here is a list of the companies that, over the last few years, have attempted to move into this market: Netezza, DATAllegro, XPrime, Metapa, Greenplum, Calpont and Vertica. I have heard rumours of one other vendor that is planning to move into the sector as well, but that remains unconfirmed.

Now consider the fate of these vendors and their products:

What should be pretty obvious from all of this is that Netezza is successful and everybody else is trying to emulate them. What is not clear is whether any of the other vendors will do so. And, if so, who? There is also an apparent question of funding. While VC companies are interested in the market following Netezza's success you have clearly got to have a good story to tell.

How much space is there in the market? Well, three or four vendors maximum probably. And bear in mind that in the UK at least, there is also Kognitio, previously WhiteCross, which more or less fits into this category. But with existing customers and a 20 year history the same criteria do not apply. So, no more than a couple of vendors from the list above, apart from Netezza, are likely to survive. This in itself creates a major problem: organisations will need a lot of persuading before they invest substantial sums in companies that may not be around for long.

While I hope that at least some of the vendors listed survive and prosper, at the moment it looks very much like a one horse race: Netezza is out in front and at present it is leading by a distance. I don't see that changing much any time soon.

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