More generally, EDC is in many ways a response to the inflexibility of the hardware appliance model. Fortunately for Greenplum, we didn’t build a proprietary hardware solution like Teradata or Netezza and are now the leader in high-end software-based data warehousing, as is indicated by our 6.5PB warehouse at eBay. This allows us to transition to the next evolutionary step -- flexible self-service infrastructure on commodity hardware -- in a way that these hardware vendors cannot.
whurley: What's the future for data warehousing and enterprise data clouds?
Yara: The biggest change is going to be the new kinds of practices that an EDC approach brings to data warehousing. Today we are still using 30-year old approaches: treating the warehouse like a mainframe as Teradata has taught the industry. The result of these unrealistic practices is organization tension, lack of agility, and an explosion of shadow IT as the business fights to get its work done despite the constraints of the warehouse. EDC and the newer practices that are emerging are creating a new agile approach that is about getting data in the hands of analysts ASAP without extensive upfront modeling, empowering them with sandboxes and self-service, and focusing on pragmatic business results rather than process.
So will Greenplum's entry cause a potential data warehousing shake-up? Tough to say. There are lots of players, established appliance vendors like Teradata and Netezza are having trouble inserting their proprietary hardware into a cloud infrastructure ridden with commoditized hardware, and newcomers like Cloudera are still in their infancy. Still, data warehousing is a target-rich environment, and Greenplum is giving it a good shot. Huge data stores at low cost are always cited as a prime application of cloud computing, and widening access to critical data warehouse analytics is a compelling idea.