”Sunsetting products” is a term somewhat unique to the tech world. It’s a phrase that conjures up feelings of tranquillity, but the activity it describes is a major headache for most tech teams. It refers to intentionally phasing out or terminating a product, and most importantly, it means that products will no longer be supported and won’t receive any new security updates.
The tech world is littered with examples of sunsetting good projects by enterprise companies, and Netezza is the latest example. It was clear that when IBM acquired Softlayer in 2013, it saw its future in the cloud. It didn’t see a future for custom on-premise appliances like Netezza, which it had acquired three years previously. So it was in 2018 that IBM announced the end of support for PureData System for Analytics, IBM’s name for Netezza.
IBM’s suggested migration path is to move to IBM Integrated Analytics System, which is underpinned by IBM Db2. IIAS offers some compatibility, for instance it can read Netezza SQL through a compatibility mode, but there is no guarantee that code will work as intended and the compatibility mode is only a stop-gap solution. Customers will need to change their code sooner or later.
In carrying out the migration, companies must go through a rigorous planning and testing process to ensure that business critical code works as intended. If IBM cannot guarantee 100 per cent compatibility, then you must ensure you test every function and every query after migration.
That’s why the end of life for Netezza is an opportunity to take a step back and re-evaluate your solution, and see what other options there are in the marketplace. Like Exasol for instance.
Exasol is a great choice as a replacement for Netezza because it’s open, flexible and fast. If you love the appliance model, we can offer that, but if you’d prefer a hosted solution on our private cloud or a public cloud solution, Exasol has the flexibility to offer these options too. Unlike Netezza, Exasol runs on commodity hardware – you can even run our community edition on your laptop.
If you need to test and rewrite your database code-base, you can avoid future database lock-in by using Exasol’s open standards ensuring future flexibility.
Ultimately, although the process of migration is a lot of work, the Netezza appliance is old technology. Modern data warehouse solutions like Exasol are much faster, more scalable, require less maintenance, and don’t require specialist hardware. At the end of the process, you will be better prepared for the future.