January 18, 2007

Guide to my recent research on computing appliances

My recent flurry of research into computing appliances was spurred by a column I just submitted to Network World. In that column there’s a URL – pointing to this post – promising a guide to more details on that research. Thus, here’s a set of links to my posts of the past few months on computing appliances, both here and on DBMS2.

Half or more of the computing appliance vendors I’ve looked into follow very similar hardware strategies: They use mainly standard parts; they include uncommon but off-the-shelf networking (and sometimes encryption) accelerators; and they of course optimize the mix of those parts and general hardware architecture as well. (EDIT: I actually gave names to three strategies — even if they were just “Type 0”, “Type 1”, and “Type 2” — in this overview of data warehouse appliance vendors. And in another post I considered arguments about whether one would want a data warehouse appliance at all.) Examples I’ve posted about recently include – and I quote the forthcoming column – “DATallegro and Teradata (data warehousing), Cast Iron Systems (data integration), Barracuda Networks (security/antispam), Blue Coat Systems (networking), and Juniper (security and networking).” (ANOTHER EDIT: But I think DATAllegro’s strategy has changed.)

By way of contrast, there’s also a group whose stance is more along “hardware/schmardware” lines. Sendio and Proofpoint (in most cases) don’t really do anything special at all in their boxes; what’s more, Proofpoint actually has significant software-only deployments over VMware’s virtualization layer. Kognitio and Greenplum think their software-only data warehouse offerings are appliance-equivalents too; indeed, Greenplum’s software is sold mainly bundled with Sun hardware (to the extent it’s sold at all), and Kognitio is hinting at an appliance-like offering for competitive reasons as well. Check Point Software plays both sides of the field; it offers its own kind of “virtual appliance,” but also gets many of its sales through appliance vendors. Its most interesting such partner, if not its biggest, is Crossbeam Systems, which in my opinion may very well represent the future of appliance technology.


3 Responses to “Guide to my recent research on computing appliances”

  1. DBMS2 — DataBase Management System Services»Blog Archive » Data warehouse appliance hardware strategies on January 27th, 2007 3:38 am

    […] Recently, I’ve done extensive research into the hardware strategies of computing appliance vendors, across multiple functional areas. Data warehousing, firewall/unified threat management, antispam, data integration – you name it, I talked to them. Of course, each vendor has a unique twist. But some architectural groupings definitely emerged. […]

  2. The Monash Report»Blog Archive » Appliances — my conclusions! (For now, at least) on January 29th, 2007 10:23 am

    […] Network World today posted my column predicting a rosy future for computing appliances. A lot of the supporting research has been posted in this blog recently; here’s what was a preliminary summary and survey of appliance vendor strategies. […]

  3. Infology.Ru » Blog Archive » Стратегии аппаратного обеспечения комплексов для хранилищ данных on August 21st, 2008 2:14 pm

    […] я выполнил подробное исследование стратегий в области аппаратного обеспечения вычислит…, в нескольких функциональных областях. Хранилища […]

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