• According to Mr. Russom, the definition of "data warehouse appliance" is shifting from a full hardware/software stack to a packaged or bundled system using commodity hardware (my words, not his). I think it's hard to argue with that, despite my belief that for most systems "appliance" is a misnomer.
One thing that became especially clear was how much DATAllegro needs this shift in definition to take place. They are one of only two vendors I can think of, Kognitio being the other, who started with a proprietary system and moved to a bundled system based on commodity hardware. Appliances are sexy, so everybody wants to have one, but DATAllegro and Kognitio need the terms to change so they don't have to change their message.
• In one slide, it was said that Dataupia is "usually" added on as an accelerator. As far as I know that's the only way you can use it.
• One of the recommendations made was that data warehousing professionals should "stick with the data" and not spend their time dealing with hardware configuration. While this clearly favors the new breed of database vendors in general, and not least of all the talk's sponsor DATAllegro, I think this is sound advice. A bit utopian, but a worthwhile goal and a good yardstick by which to measure your solution.
• In a nice reality check, the point was made that hardware re-use is unusual in practice and that there isn't really much reason to get hung up on it when selecting a vendor. In my experience it is fairly common for old systems to get moved to test environments or simply disposed of, as was suggested in the talk, so I think this is a valid point.
• Maybe my favorite point of the entire talk was the assertion that data warehouse appliance vendors will continue to become more diverse. Amen to that.
• If you're interested, a recording of the webinar was promised, though I don't think it'll be available until tomorrow.
• Lastly, one nit that I need to mention just to vent: "precedence" is not an alternative spelling for "precedents". They mean different things. Grr.
All in all, a pleasant way to spend a lunch hour. I look forward to more.
UPDATE: Slides from the presentation are available, as well as an On-Demand Replay.
First, at noon EST, is Data Warehouse Appliances: An Update on the State of the Art. I'm happy to set aside my definition of appliance for an hour to hear what Mr. Russom has to say.
Shortly after that at 2PM EST comes A New Era in Business Intelligence: More People, More Data, Faster Answers with LogiXML and Vertica. We've heard a lot about the LogiXML/Vertica partnership recently, and I'm looking forward to getting a look at what it's all about.
Hope to see you there!