The recent rapid consolidation of the enterprise IT industry continued today as IBM agreed to acquire data warehousing appliance vendor Netezza for around $1.7 billion.
Netezza is sometimes credited with minting the market for data warehouse appliances, wherein hardware and software to support databases for analytics are preintegrated, although this is disputed.
Either way, it is an approach that many other suppliers have adopted, including Greenplum, which was acquired by EMC earlier this year, and Oracle, which announced a version of its Exadata appliance designed for analytics last year.
Interestingly, Netezza CEO Jim Baum wrote a response to the announcement of Exadata in which he argued that "the future of data warehousing isn’t about system-vendor consolidation”. He also chided Oracle for trying to “remake itself in IBM’s image”.
Some of Netezza’s products are built using IBM’s commodity servers. "Netezza strongly complements our business analytics capabilities and client base," said Steve Mills, head of IBM’s systems and software group, in a statement. "Together, we have the opportunity to quickly leverage the technology and accelerate the offering."
The acquisition further underlines IBM’s attachment to the business analytics market. The company’s own research says that analytics is a priority for 83% of chief information officers.