This problem can be overcome with Greenplum's Chorus, which was introduced earlier this month. Chorus brings the 'private cloud' concept to data warehousing, providing self-service provisioning (minimising IT departments' involvement in everyday operations), data services (to allow discovery of available data), and social-network style collaboration.
"Business intelligence should be about collaboration... everyone in the enterprise has something to contribute," said Otto.
Greenplum's strategy has been to apply commodity hardware to data warehouses, rather than applying a "1980s model" of selling complete and closed systems, he said.
Customers typically run Greenplum software on equipment from vendors such as HP, Dell, EMC, Cisco, Sun and Hitachi. Greenplum's ANZ regional director Dean King said this approach means the company's value proposition increases as hardware performance improves. The expected explosion of data volumes - some sites are talking about eightfold increases in the next 12 months - means you need commodity storage if you're going to be able to afford to keep up, he said.
The use of commodity hardware also allows linear price/performance growth as the business demands increase.
So who is using Greenplum's software? See page 2.
The largest implementation involves 6.5PB of data, and that is expected to increase to 20PB within 12 months.
Compared with other suppliers, Greenplum allows organisations to store more data for less money, and with faster implementation, Otto claimed. He cited a customer in the telco industry that was able to implement a 1PB system in around two weeks that allowed an exploration of the causes of subscriber churn.
"You now can base decisions of data, not gut feel," he said. "That's huge for the marketing people."
One Australian customer wanted to take data from around 100 source systems and store it in a warehouse that would allow any sort of analysis, King said. The big name data warehouse vendors simply couldn't provide that, he explained.