When IBM announced end-of-support for Netezza, the industry’s first data warehouse appliance, it put companies still relying on Netezza’s appliance models into a state of flux. The fact that Netezza boxes will eventually become fully obsolete actually opens up a great opportunity for businesses.
Companies are seizing this moment to move toward a more modern, sturdier and more advanced data architecture on the cloud. The only question remaining is which partner can be trusted to assist with the many technical hurdles involved.
Shift to Cloud
To avoid getting behind the technology 8-ball, we recommend a proactive approach to solving your company’s data warehouse needs by switching to an alternative cloud-based platform. IBM has not released any new Netezza products since 2014. The business advantages of cloud-based computing and storage is one of the primary factors in IBM’s decision to discontinue support for Netezza.
Cloud solutions provide several advantages over local data warehouse appliance setups. To help you make the right decision with this transition – including choosing the ideal platform for your company – our specialists at Trianz will take you through the four main cloud-based alternatives to Netezza and the benefits of migrating to each of these.
First, though, let’s talk about the general benefits of the cloud.
The Benefits of Cloud Data Warehousing
The move from on-premise data warehousing to the cloud offers several benefits:
Modern cloud hosting platforms use resource-based billing models to minimize operating costs. This means that when you move to the cloud you will only pay for the computing resources you use, saving money in the long-term. Depending on the platform you choose, you also have access to a range of storage options, including SSD, HDD, and tape-based storage drives, allowing you to minimize costs when storing infrequently accessed datasets.
Along with resource-based billing, cloud platforms also take away the burden of infrastructure maintenance, freeing up IT staff hours to work on development rather than repetitive infrastructure management tasks. This translates to indirect cost savings, as you are using your human resources more efficiently when compared to an on-premise data warehousing approach.
Processing and Storage Scalability
A significant drawback for on-premise data warehouses is limited access to computing resources. When a server reaches maximum capacity, you will need to either upgrade or add a new server, which also results in service downtime.
Cloud platforms offer virtually infinite scalability via pooled computing resources. You can quickly provision more vCPU, RAM, or storage capacity when needed or scale back down when demand drops to maintain your data warehouse service delivery quality.
Cloud Disaster Recovery
On-premise data backups can be time-consuming and challenging to automate, especially with a traditional data warehousing solution like Netezza. Monumental amounts of hard drive space are needed to facilitate backups in the first place, leading to increased hardware costs.
All major cloud platforms have built-in disaster recovery functionality, offering backup replication and scheduled backups that help you to achieve recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs). For older backups, you can transfer them to slower (read: often lower cost) archive storage solutions in the cloud, further reducing your disaster recovery operation costs. You can even leverage the power of third-party multi-cloud Replication-as-a-Service tools to increase network resiliency further.
There are several great options out there when it comes to cloud data services, and these benefits make it clear why cloud is as popular as it is. Our experts would be happy to guide you further through the process and help you make the best choice for your organization.
And once you do make your choice, our highly experienced cloud team can fast-track your migration project as we have done globally for numerous clients of all sizes.
Trianz has been a gold-tier Microsoft Azure Managed Services Partner since 2015. Our dedicated team of Azure-certified engineers has knowledge across the entire Azure platform, allowing us to provide you with expert assessment and development services.
The benefits of migrating from Netezza to Azure include:
Seamless ETL From Netezza to Azure – Trianz has developed a leading extract, transform, load (ETL) tool called Evove, which allows us to quickly and efficiently migrate up to 95% of your existing DDL and SQL configurations automatically.
For the small remainder that Evove cannot convert, our dedicated data warehousing team will manually migrate those functions to your new data warehousing platform on the Azure cloud, offering a seamless and expedited migration process. Once this process is complete, you can then take advantage of cloud-native functionality that you won’t find on Netezza. This includes third-party integrations with analytics and ITSM tools.
Fully Optimized Datasets Before, During, and After Migration – With your new data warehouse on Azure, a lot of Netezza-based configuration data can be omitted, without compromising the integrity or functionality of your database. These data redundancies can inflate the size of datasets in the pre-migration phase, resulting in a slower and more expensive migration process. The leaner your migratory data, the faster and easier your migration will be, making this an important point to consider.
To perform data cleansing for ETL processes, we have integrated Lineage Optimizer into our Evove tool. Lineage Optimizer works by tracing all data columns in your pre-migration database, uncovering redundant data that can be purged before translation to the Azure platform. Along with cost reductions and expedited timescales, this also sets your new database up for efficient operation to maintain long-term performance.
Once the migration process is complete, Lineage Optimizer will perform regular auditing processes on your new database, maintaining high compliance standards that help you adhere to GDPR, CCPA, and PCI-DSS.
Trianz is an Advanced Consulting Partner, Managed Service Provider (MSP), and Strategic Global Go-To Market Partner for the AWS platform. Our close partnership with AWS allows us to leverage knowledge on best-practices that maximize the value of data warehousing on the Amazon Redshift platform.
The benefits of moving from Netezza to Amazon Redshift include:
Scalable Databases on Serverless Computing Hardware – With AWS, you can minimize infrastructure management by taking advantage of scalable, serverless database computing hardware. This involves data storage on the Amazon S3 platform, linked to an Amazon Aurora Serverless RDBMS.
Your database can automatically scale and grow as your datasets increase, with the added benefit of unified, automated infrastructure management and resource-based billing models that minimize costs. We can help you move all your data to Aurora, using our proprietary Evove extract, transform, load (ETL) tool. This automates up to 95% of data processing, cleansing, and translation for migration, getting you up and running in the cloud as quickly as possible.
Third Party Analytics and Visualization Tools – With your traditional on-premise Netezza database, companies are not able to leverage the power of third-party integration tools. Instead, they are reliant on the features that are already present, with the knowledge that no further development will be made on the platform.
When migrating to the Amazon Redshift platform, a world of third-party integrations will become available to you. This allows you to pick and choose between best-of-breed data tools that maximize the value of your data warehouse migration. Trianz is partnered with some of the leaders in this space, including the data visualization firm Tableau, and the comprehensive, unified data warehousing platform Snowflake.
Customizable Storage for Different Data Types – AWS offers a range of storage options to cater to different needs. Faster SSD-based storage is available through Amazon FSx for Lustre, which is a perfect platform for real-time database instances. With disaster recovery and backup workflows, you can opt for archive storage on the slower but more cost-effective Amazon S3 Glacier platform.
Snowflake is a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution that piggybacks on both the Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage platforms.
Trianz is partnered with Snowflake to offer comprehensive data warehouse assessment and implementation services on its platform. Our proprietary Evove ETL tool offers highly automated migration to the Snowflake platform, backed up by our expert team of data warehousing engineers, to streamline your migration journey.
Faster Performance with Platform-Agnostic Serverless Computing - Snowflake offers a serverless approach to database hosting and query processing, allowing you to forget about infrastructure hardware management completely. This is accomplished by decoupling storage through both Amazon S3 and Azure Blob and assigning separate compute clusters to minimize inter-warehouse performance impacts associated with traditional cloud data warehouses.
Centralized Metadata Management - Snowflake uses something called Centralized Metadata Management to facilitate the maintenance and administration of its platform. By centralizing this information, Snowflake can standardize metadata and make it accessible in a platform-agnostic manner, improving integration between multiple cloud platforms. This metadata processing is automatic and operates separately from your other computing resources. Ultimately, performance impacts on your vital database services are minimized.
The Snowflake platform also automatically controls certain aspects of data warehousing configuration and management to further simplify your data management workloads in the cloud.
At-Rest and In-Transit Data Encryption – The Snowflake platform automatically encrypts your data, using a minimum of 128-bit, and up to 256-bit AES encryption at all times. When ETL processes occur, Snowflake can downgrade the encryption level to 128-bit, potentially resulting in a 40% or higher boost to performance through reduced processing overhead.
Identity Access Management (IAM) – The Snowflake platform offers IAM tools, including AWS and Azure native integrations.
Every individual employee on your network can be allowed or restricted from accessing data, allowing you to maintain high-security standards when migrating from Netezza to Snowflake. This IAM can operate on a per-object basis with proper categorization and tagging of database information, maximizing accessibility, and minimizing compliance risks.