Big things come in small packages

By Wendy Lucas,

It may seem like it’s too early to talk about the holiday season.  We haven’t even hit Halloween yet, but some stores have already put out their holiday decorations and retail wares.   It’s the season of wonder for many children.  Younger children are excited by lots of gifts and the bigger the gift, the better.  As we get older, we learn to appreciate the sentiment behind the gift and quickly learn that it isn’t the quantity or size of the gift that matters.

Great value coming in a small package can be seen with IBM’s new PureData System for Analytics N3001-001, also affectionately called the “Mini Appliance.”  Don’t be fooled by its name.  This mini appliance packs a big punch in terms of it’s value for data warehousing as well as surrounding capabilities for a complete big data and business intelligence solution.

Why did IBM add a mini appliance to the family?

The value of Netezza data warehouse appliances, and later the PureData System for Analytics, has been realized by organizations for over a decade.  These appliances are designed and built with integrated hardware and software components that are very quickly deployed, put in use without tuning and used to very quickly gain insight from information.   Organizations who deal with vast amounts of information benefit from its simplicity, speed, scalability and built-in analytics.

But who are we to say what is “large” in terms of data?   It’s pretty easy to see how a large multi-national bank who deals with hundreds of terabytes of information would benefit from an enterprise class appliance to help them manage all that data and get value from that information, but what about small and midsized organizations?  Organizations dealing with small numbers of terabytes have the same need to use analytics to drive competitive advantage in their industries.   Small and mid-sized organizations may not have the same level of budget or IT resources as larger enterprises, but what if they could have access to an appliance that is purpose built to make advanced analytics simpler, faster, more accessible and more affordable?  What if they could take advantage of the same simplicity, speed and smarts?

And we shouldn’t limit our thinking to small and mid-sized organizations in the context of stand alone companies.  There are also departments within larger enterprises who have the need for a simple and fast analytic solution, or maybe IT organizations who need this same value in a test or development system.   For these reasons, the Mini Appliance makes a great addition to the PureData System for Analytics family.

Introducing the PureData System for Analytics Mini Appliance

The PureData System for Analytics Mini Appliance changes the dynamics for mid-sized organizations looking to take advantage of a high performance data warehouse appliance.   The Mini is a production-ready, rack mountable appliance that can handle up to 16 TB of user data (assuming 4x compression).  It has all the same benefits of it’s larger PureData for Analytics siblings with full function Netezza Platform Software (NPS ) 7.2.  It is built, tested and packaged at the factory and comes ready to install in an existing data center rack.  The Mini has the same ease of use with load and go simplicity for customers to get up and running in hours.

You might think that the “mini” version of anything is somehow limited in its features.  Not in this case.  The Mini Appliance provides enterprise grade, highly available, fully redundant components with integrated support including “call home” capability for automatic detection and reporting of any hardware issues.

The PureData System for Analytics N3001 product line now includes software entitlements for big data and business intelligence adding further value to the appliance within the information management ecosystem.  This means the appliance comes with extra software (at no extra cost!) that can be installed by the customer to provide business intelligence capabilities through the use of Cognos Business Intelligence software, data integration through the use of InfoSphere DataStage, Hadoop data services through InfoSphere BigInsights and real-time streaming analytics with InfoSphere Streams.  These starter kits for big data and business intelligence are also included with the Mini Appliance.  Yes, that’s right.  You get all the core value of the data warehouse appliance itself, plus the ability to integrate and load data as well as build reports and analytic applications, all in one solution.

There is so much value in these extra software entitlements, there will be more blogs written on just that topic alone, but in the meantime, read more on the PureData System for Analytics webpage or check out the solution brief describing these great software additions.

Fast value, out of the gate

Initial experience with the Mini Appliance has been great.  Here are just a few comments from partners who have used the appliance.

“Small to midsize customers who are invested or considering investing in software-based data warehouse solutions should really look at the PureData Mini Appliance. The appliance offers significant performance improvements over other software-based data warehouses, in a simple and self-contained environment, with a fraction of the operational maintenance costs.”

― Liam O’Heir, Vice President of Sales, New England Systems

 “We had the new PureData System for Analytics up and running, delivering results in 24 hours.  The appliance is simple and value is recognized quickly without the need to worry about indexing and/or tuning.”

― Michael Schuckman, Director, Big Data and Analytics, Micro Strategies


“Mid-market companies have similar big data needs as large enterprises.  The PureData Mini Appliance enables ‘big company capability’ with best-in-class performance in a mid-market package.”

– John Lucas, Director of Solutions Delivery, Avnet Services

Just in time for the holidays

If a data warehouse appliance with extended capabilities for big data and business intelligence is not on your holiday wish list yet, maybe it should be?  Big things really do come in small packages.

For more information, watch this video, read the data sheet or visit

About Wendy,

Wendy Lucas is a Program Director for IBM Data Warehouse Marketing. Wendy has over 20 years of experience in data warehousing and business intelligence solutions, including 12 years at IBM. She has helped clients in a variety of roles, including application development, management consulting, project management, technical sales management and marketing. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Capital University and you can follow her on Twitter at @wlucas001


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