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Greenplum Eyes Data Warehouses

Startup Greenplum is tying open source software to Sun's "Thumper" server-storage hardware in an attempt to challenge Oracle in the data warehousing market.

The startup's flagship product is the Greenplum database, which it claims can process data much faster than traditional databases, thanks largely to a recent partnership with Sun. (See Sun, Greenplum Unveil App.)

Last year Greenplum signed a deal to resell its software, which is based on the open source PostgresSQL database, on Sun's X4500 appliance. The device, code-named "Thumper" packs up to 24 Tbytes of SATA disk storage in a rack-mounted system with two dual-core AMD Opteron "x64" processors (See Sun Thumps Storage-Server Hybrid, Joyent, and Sun Reveals Roadmap.)

This week the two firms announced their first customer for the package, which is sold as Sun's Data Warehouse Appliance. Philipines-based wireless service Smart Communications has deployed the appliance to trawl data on its 22 million subscribers and run checks on fraud and billing information. (See Smart Signs Greenplum.) Pricing for Sun's Data Warehouse Appliance starts at around $22,000 per Tbyte for a 20-Tbyte configuration

Greenplum CTO Luke Lonergan told Byte and Switch that the database can run rapid queries as a result of the Thumper architecture. "Each CPU core [is] right next to its own private storage," he says, adding that this enables the transfer of data around 50 times faster than a typical Oracle database.

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