Sun, Sybase team for data warehouse blueprint

Helping to lower the cost and reduce the risk associated with enterprise data warehousing, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Sybase Inc. on Wednesday jointly issued their Enterprise Data Warehouse Reference Architecture (EDWRA).

Essentially a blueprint for a pre-tested data warehouse built from Sun hardware and software, and Sybase's database software tools, EDWRA guidelines apply to data warehouses ranging in capacity from 100GB to 50TB, according to Ravi Pendekanti, solutions marketing director for Sun, in Palo Alto, Calif. Data warehousing gives companies the freedom to examine network scenarios and test certain quires on a set of data copied from the stored data within the network.

The fact that EDWRA models have already been built by Sun and Sybase gives the reference architecture an advantage over mere cross-vendor product certifications, said Guy Creese, a research director with Boston, Mass.-based Aberdeen Group Inc.

"The reference design means that Sun and Sybase have actually sat down and run this thing. In that sense it should give customers a bigger warm and fuzzy feeling than just taking certified products off the shelf," Creese said. "Often times the individual products are certified. But you never always know whether this product was tested with that product."

A blend of technology from both Sun and Sybase encompassing data compression and file indexing gives EDWRA added appeal to storage administrators, said Pendekanti. With a compression ratio of 0.46, storing 48.2TB of data in an EDWRA data warehouse requires only 22TB of disk storage, he said. Unlike other forms of compression, such as MP3, no bits of data are lost in EDWRA compression, Pendekanti said.

Keeping data warehouse projects off the shoulders of the network infrastructure is another reason for enterprises to consider EDWRA, Creese said.

"If you had the money and were willing to take the risk, you could certainly do this kind of analysis with the data that's in the operational systems, it's just that you are competing for resources with the systems that are running your business," Creese said.

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