I wanted to pull together a quick summary of the Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Appliance space. It is a continually maturing space with a set of strong vendors still fighting for market share. Teradata, DATAllegro, Netezza, NeoView from HP and Dataupia all provide solutions that combine hardware, operating system and database software into a single unit. Calpont, Kognitio, Vertica and ParAccel provide software only and platform independent solutions. The benefits of these appliance solutions include a reduced total cost of ownership, increased performance through massively parallel systems, reduced administration and database administrators, and high availability and scalability. Where these solutions typically sell is through a proof of concept where a customer has a very specific performance issue that the vendor can show proven results. Industries that collect massive amounts of transaction data such as retailers or web clickstream data are inherit sweet spots for DW appliances.
If you aren’t familiar with the DW Appliance space, I would recommend taking a look at a series of articles from Krish Krishnan (intro, part 1, part 2) on the topic. I also came across this blog posting fact or fiction that unwinds some of the misconceptions on the DW appliance space.
Another interesting area that has followed the DW Appliance trend is in Business Intelligence. I have come across fewer vendors here, but Celequest (acquired by Cognos) and Ingres Icebreaker are two that provide a bundled hardware, operating system, database software and reporting tools. Business Objects has also partnered with Netezza to provide a single point solution in data warehousing and business intelligence. All the solutions adhere to standards which allows for integration with a majority of the BI vendor software that are SQL based tools.