EMC has set up a data warehousing/business intelligence competency centre to tie its virtualised servers and desktops, Clariion and Symmetrix storage, to DW/BI application vendors' software.
Recently HP announced a tie-up with Oracle to build the specialised HP Oracle Database Machine for DW and BI apps. Sun has also been working with GreenPlum and other SW vendors in that space to turn its X4500 server/storage product into a scale-out DW/BI storage system.
Several software vendors, such as Netezza, are offering DW/BI appliances saying their dedicated technology performs better than Terradata-type big SW environments on standard servers and storage.
DW/BI is reckoned to account for up to a fifth of enterprise storage by Chuck Hollis, EMC’s global marketing chief technology officer, and he wants EMC to sell more kit in that market and not let HP, Sun and the appliance vendors profit at EMC's expense.
EMC's three-way schtick is that by tuning Clariion and Symmetrx storage to run DW/BI and analytics software better, then users will get great performance. Next, DW/BI applications don't run in isolation - they produce lots of downstream data which has to be stored and protected. There is lots of development work needing storage snapshots and replication, and the DW/BI storage itself has to be protected and may need high availability features. EMC can do all that.
The third leg of EMC's stool is virtualisation; VMware can divvy up a 6-core, 4-socket server into VMs that can run the DW/BI apps and then VMware's Desktop Infrastructure, now called View, could run the analytics software as virtual desktops on PCs or thin clients.
EMC reckons no DW/BI appliance vendor can offer all this and wants to demonstrate that. Its competency centre, located in Santa Clara, California, has EMC engineering resources and links to the DW/BI and analytics software vendors, such as Teradata, Netezza, GreenPlum, Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft (DATAllegro)and others, plus a Cisco TelePresence link to EMC in Hopkinton. Prospects can sit there in the exec' briefing centre and talk to the EMC and DW/BI vendor people in Santa Clara to hear the good news.
There's a lot of money in the DW/BI business, and it's set to grow as businesses want to trawl through all their customer records to extract the data needed to gain every last sale they can. Running the DW/BI apps in a virtualised data centre and desktop infrastructure instead of buying specialised and extra kit is a message that should be well-received by customer CIOs under the cash-saving cosh. ®