Netezza and SPSS Strike an Accord

The data warehousing appliance arms race spills over into the partner arena.

When you think of companies that are naturally synergistic, Netezza Corp. and SPSS Inc. probably aren’t the first two that come to mind.

Nevertheless, Netezza and SPSS entered into an accord last week, when SPSS’ Clementine data mining workbench was certified for use with Netezza’s Performance Server (NPS) data warehousing appliance. The good news (for joint customers, anyway) is improved data mining processing and superior analytical performance, according to company officials.

SPSS adds a feather to Netezza’s cap. Until March of this year, Netezza was the first and last name in the data warehousing appliance space. That changed when start-up vendor DATAllegro Inc. announced its own data warehousing appliances, which—like Netezza’s—are also powered by commodity Intel hardware. Since then, the two appliance vendors have engaged in a kind of Data Warehousing Cold War, with each refusing to explicitly acknowledge that the other is in fact a competitor.

There’s also been a sort of data warehousing arms race, too. For example, shortly after DATAllegro’s announced its first data warehousing appliance, Netezza announced plans to double the capacity of its NPS systems—with 100 TB units promised by the end of the year. Shortly thereafter, DATAllegro followed suit, announcing that its larger appliances (27 TB, or about the same size as Netezza’s former high-end models) would be available immediately.

This summer, the arms race spilled over into the partner arena, too. For starters, DATAllegro notched a partnership with Business Objects SA, which (as far as some industry watchers were concerned) helped lend the upstart startup some much-needed credibility.

The partnership was hardly unique, however. Netezza has a similar relationship with Business Objects, and the appliance pioneer also has accords with other prominent BI players. (At about the same time this summer, Netezza expanded its relationship with Systech Solutions Inc., a developer of customized BI solutions.) It’s not as if SPSS is just another notch in Netezza’s proverbial bedpost. The two companies say that the integration between Clementine and NPS should pay a number of dividends, especially for joint customers doing iterative analysis on large volumes of data.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.