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Strategies & Market Trends : Speculating in Takeover Targets
CTG 8.500+2.7%Jan 20 3:53 PM EST

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To: richardred who wrote (2430)10/14/2010 9:59:24 AM
From: richardred   of 6147
EMC Takes a Big-Data Swipe at Oracle, H.P. and I.B.M.
Big data is like the testosterone of business computing right now. It has put technology’s largest players on an aggression bender.

The latest tech giant to flex its big-data muscle is EMC. On Wednesday, the storage specialist introduced the EMC Greenplum Data Computing Appliance. EMC acquired Greenplum in July, giving it some of the top data warehousing software in the market. The company has taken that code and wrapped it in a metal bundle, adding servers, storage units and networking to make a so-called appliance, which is data-center speak for a system that’s meant to perform a single function well.

The product stands out as EMC’s first real foray into selling customers a complete system rather than just storage bits and bobs. (Look under the covers, though, and you’ll find that Dell actually makes the server part of the appliance.)

Data warehousing systems vacuum up information from huge databases and then let companies poke and prod at that information in the hopes of gleaning insights about their business. Typically, these computing products munch away on inventory, sales, shipping, employee and customer data.

EMC’s move follows I.B.M.’s acquisition last month of the data warehouse appliance maker Netezza for $1.7 billion. Oracle too spent most of its recent customer conference talking about its data warehousing appliances made out of hardware it acquired in the purchase of Sun Microsystems.

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft have built out their data warehousing arsenals in recent years as well through a combination of in-house work and acquisitions. And Teradata remains the independent market leader.

These companies are all racing to make bigger, faster systems that can keep up with the flood of data being produced by people and all types of things with digital heartbeats.

“Before it was just humans entering data, but now the machines are generating their own information,” said Scott Yara, a co-founder of Greenplum and now a vice president at EMC. “There are wireless networks, switches, routers and sensors. The machines are generating 10 times more data than the humans.”

Greenplum specialized in making software capable of running across many computers linked together. This technique allows customers to analyze huge data sets in a reasonable amount of time.

The bigger the data sets, the better for the technology companies because they’re selling more gear and getting closer to their customers by handling prized information.

“I think data will become so synonymous to computing,” Mr. Y said.
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