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Technology / Data

Cloud breaks online analytics services

On-demand analytics and data warehousing cloud services will become available following a partnership brokered between the data warehouse appliance supplier Netezza Corp, and a cloud compute operator known as AppNexus.

The two companies are to test the market for cloud-based analytics with a terabyte-scale data warehouse aimed at online advertising media companies. 

The main functions of the AppNexus cloud are said to be broadly similar to that of Amazon’s EC2, alongside which the company has developed what it calls a Content Delivery Network. 

The company, which was founded by the people behind Right Media’s online ad exchange – and after the company was acquired by Yahoo – has already developed a customer roster that includes several well-known media brands. These will now be offered the option of on-demand analytics.

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AppNexus reckons it is possible to provision new servers instantly with its cloud service, and that a business intelligence or analytics platform can be set up in less than a day. 

Other than speed of deployment, the benefit most often mooted in favour of a cloud service is that it can bring some much-needed financial flexibility to IT projects. Vertica, another niche grid-based analytics operator, argues that cloud services could transform the economics of data warehousing.

The company argues that organisations can start to conduct more short-term ad-hoc analysis with cloud-based resources. “The cloud gives companies a way to get a data mart created in a few hours or days, have business people slice and dice to their hearts’ content for as long as they need to, then cancel the cloud cluster, and it goes away with no leftover hardware or software licenses.”

In contrast to traditional data warehouse systems which patch together general-purpose database, server, and storage platforms that were not originally designed for analytical processing of large amounts of constantly changing data, Netezza’s data warehouse appliance is designed to provide high-performance data analytics. 

How well it performs as an engine for cloud analytics remains unclear. 

For one, an on-demand data warehouse can only load and analyse data as fast as the connection used to access it will allow. Experts in the field have also argued that cloud computing needs data to be location-independent, whereas the traditional data warehouse likes to treat it as a centralised, persistent data store.

 
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.

CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.