Data Warehouse Appliances: Conflicting Stories

I usually stick to the technical stuff but today is strictly about entertainment. One has to laugh when a company (Tesco) is involved in two press releases in two days with two different database vendors and the press releases are a bit conflicting. I’d say this appears to be a case of open mouth, insert foot.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show…

On September 9, 2008 Netezza put out a press release entitled “Netezza Bags Tesco“. In this press release Marcel Borlin, Programme Manager at Tesco states:

“We currently have around 25 heavy analytical users running large queries on Netezza. They are analysing transactional discrepancies across millions of items and item movements every day, right through the supply chain; from stores to distribution centres. The specific application is designed to find wastage such as stolen, destroyed, out-of-date or lost items. It is an important function, as it affects the financial position of the Company. Yet, on the Teradata platform we had to allocate time slots for running these analyses, or the system would grind to a halt.”

On September 11, 2008 Tesco put out a press release entitled “Tesco Reconfirms Commitment to Teradata“. In this press release Marcel Borlin, Programme Manager at Tesco states:

Tesco is satisfied with the consistently high performance delivered by Teradata and particularly its proven ability to run a mixed workload of management information and complex analytics. As part of our ongoing programme to evaluate different technologies and architectures, we have deployed some analytical users on a small Netezza system which has been reported in the press recently. This implementation does not reflect any dissatisfaction with Teradata. Tesco continues to add new applications to the Teradata EDW which has now grown to 60 terabytes. The EDW is providing Management Information Systems for Commercial Reporting, Supply Chain and Stores as well as Tescolink thereby providing information to 8000 people across more than 2000 suppliers.”

I’ll keep my comments at this: I surely would not want to be Marcel Borlin.


  1. Peter Scott

    Maybe not foot in mouth but perhaps misguided…

    Like many “newcomers”, Netezza is keen on publishing new customer sales, especially to big names. Older names also like to keep their key customers – I suspect press release two came as a result of big pressure from outside the business

    I see it as no big deal having two DW-type systems for this kind of thing – the use case of wastage tracking is a complex, IO and compute intensive one where you look at masses of detail and virtually no aggregated data (similar to the graphing techniques used to establish relationships between people of interest to the security services) and as such is likely to benefit from running in isolation from the ‘normal’ users.
    And “evaluating” another vendor always [should??] keep the incumbent on their toes

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