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December 15, 2009

The Commoditization of MPP

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Next year will be the start of much more difficult times for the existing MPP start ups/ early stage companies (including Greenplum, Vertica, Netezza, Xtreme Data, Kognitio, Aster Data etc).  This is because Microsoft introducing an MPP solution is the start of the commoditization of the technology and market (Madison now known as Parallel Data Server).  To understand this you need to understand the sales process for MPP.  It goes something like:

CIO: We need a data warehouse, what platform should we use?
DBA: We are an [Oracle | SQL Server] shop so use that.
CIO: Ok.

Some time later….

CIO: Our data warehouse is very slow and people are complaining.
DBA: The server is too small as you have loaded much more data than planned. We need a bigger box.
CIO: Ok.

Some time later….

CIO: Our data warehouse is slow again
DBA
: I know but we have the biggest box we can get and we have tuned everything and I am out of ideas.

CIO: Our data warehouse is slow
Consultant
: Yes of course it is, you need to use an MPP platform
CIO: We are an [Oracle | SQL Server ] shop so do these vendors have a solution?
Consultant: [Yes but it will cost you | No].
CIO: What about [SQL Server | Oracle ]?
Consultant: [No | Yes but it will cost you].
CIO: What about Teradata?
Consultant: Yes but it will cost you.
CIO: Oh.  Any other options?
Consultant: Yes there are a bunch of start ups selling MPP solutions.
CIO: Which one is best?
Consultant: They are all good but all slightly different.
CIO: Ok, make a short list and we will do a proof of concept to see which platform does what we want at the price we want.

Some months later.

CIO: Congratulations [Vertica | Greenplum | Netezza | Aster Data | Kognitio ] you have won our business.

You see the problem in this approach for the existing MPP vendors is much of the trickle down that is occurring now is going to be caught higher up by the shear fact that Microsoft has MPP.  This must be a big worry and I think we will see some consolidation of MPP vendors before 2012.

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