Netezza Doubles Streaming Analytic Performance with Compress Engine

Netezza Corporation (NYSE Arca: NZ), the global analytic appliance market leader, announced the addition of a Compress Engine that doubles the performance of its enterprise-class streaming analytic(TM) appliance. Netezza has achieved this performance improvement through an innovative, patent-pending algorithm designed to increase performance while decreasing data footprint. This performance gain follows the Company’s recent announcement of Release 4 of its Netezza Performance Server® (NPS®) appliance, which delivered a doubling of performance through software, with no increase in price, hardware footprint or power and cooling requirements.

The FAST Engines Framework
This continuous innovation in price/performance is made possible by Netezza’s patented streaming architecture, which leverages field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and other commodity components to place processing power next to the data, so data analysis occurs at the source at streaming speeds, delivering an unprecedented boost in performance.

Netezza’s streaming architecture is built on the FPGA-Accelerated Streaming Technology (FAST) Engines(TM) framework, which consists of several analytic functions that are programmed and customized at run-time in the FPGA to deliver performance advantages and enhanced capabilities for the NPS system. These Engines have already provided more than 125 Netezza customers worldwide with the high-performance analytics they need to analyze their data and make informed decisions about their business.

Existing FAST Engines within the framework include:

  • Control: Manages access as the data flows from the disk to provide a continuous stream of data
  • Parse: Deconstructs the incoming data stream into relevant columns and passes only the appropriate data downstream
  • Visibility: Enforces ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability) compliance to ensure data integrity
  • Project: Filters column data so that only the relevant columns are moved into memory for further processing
  • Restrict: Filters row data to eliminate all the rows that don’t meet the specific criteria required by the query logic

The Compress Engine
With the Compress Engine, Netezza adds its latest FAST Engine to the framework, doubling query performance through a software enhancement to the NPS appliance. Employing a patent-pending method for compiling columnar data in all tables of the database, the NPS system will be able to compress the data to use disk much more effectively and greatly increase query performance as data streams from the disk.

Unlike traditional compression approaches used by several of the competitive data warehousing vendors, Netezza’s Compress Engine is designed primarily for performance improvement, and not merely to reduce data sizes and system footprints. Other compute-intensive approaches typically mitigate any performance gains, or result in a performance degradation to accomplish the compression effects, whereas Netezza’s approach delivers a significant boost in performance.

As data is loaded, inserted or updated into the NPS appliance it is automatically compressed into a compiled format, column-by-column, with the original data replaced by the Compress Engine “instruction set” for decompilation. Then, as this data is read from the disk during query operations, the Compress Engine reads its instruction set and reassembles the original data as it streams from the disk, effectively doubling the streaming data rate.

The FAST Engines framework also lays the foundation for ongoing innovation and new product capabilities, such as encryption and security, which will broaden the role of appliances throughout the enterprise.

NYSE Euronext, which operates the world’s largest and most liquid exchange group and offers the most diverse array of financial products and services, has implemented Netezza’s streaming analytic appliances for high-performance analysis on 200 terabytes of data. “We’ve already seen the value Netezza brings to large-scale data management by enabling analyses of massive amounts of data in a compact footprint,” said Steve Hirsch, vice president, Technology Support, at NYSE Euronext. “We’re looking forward to the increased performance we will realize with this new Compress Engine. Our preliminary tests have yielded strong gains in storage capacity with no additional hardware, as well as significant improvements in data load speeds.”

The Compress Engine will be available as a feature in the NPS product family in May 2008 for new and existing customers.

About the Netezza Performance Server System
The Netezza Performance Server family of streaming analytic appliances is designed specifically for high-performance, terascale analytics, and architecturally integrates a relational database, server and storage into a single compact and power-efficient unit. The system’s advantage comes from its patented streaming architecture design. Netezza has placed processing power next to the data, so analysis occurs at the source at streaming speeds, delivering an unprecedented 10-100 times the performance of traditional systems at a fraction of the cost. Analyses that took days now take just seconds. This means a dramatic increase in productivity across the enterprise and faster time to value for business initiatives. Netezza appliances are changing the way organizations leverage information, creating a powerful analytic foundation for a new generation of business analytics that improve strategic decision-making and drive results.

About Netezza Corporation
Netezza is the global leader in analytic appliances that dramatically simplify high-performance analytics for business users across the extended enterprise, delivering significant competitive and operational advantage in today’s information-intensive marketplaces. The Netezza Performance Server® (NPS®) family of streaming analytic(TM) appliances brings appliance simplicity to a broad range of complex data warehouse and analytic challenges. Customers who have realized the benefits of Netezza appliances include Ahold,, CNET Networks, Debenhams, Department of Veterans Affairs, Epsilon, Neiman Marcus, Orange UK, Premier, Inc., Ross Stores, Ryder System, Inc., The Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media. Based in Framingham, Mass., Netezza has offices in Washington, DC, the United Kingdom and Asia Pacific.

Netezza, Netezza Performance Server, NPS, FAST Engines and streaming analytic are trademarks of Netezza Corporation.