REVIEWER: Mark Saponar, vice president of Information Systems for iBasis.

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1996, iBasis is one of the largest carriers of international voice traffic in the world and a leading provider of prepaid calling services and mobile data services for mobile operators, handling between 140 million and 150 million transactions per day. The company’s customers include many of the world’s largest carriers, fastest-growing consumer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers and leading mobile operators who outsource their international voice traffic to iBasis to reduce their cost of transport and service support while providing service quality indistinguishable from that of traditional phone networks.

PLATFORMS: Netezza Performance Server (NPS) 10400, 8250 and 8025-DEV data warehouse appliances.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We faced severe performance issues due to the complexity of the business intelligence (BI) reports we were running. In addition to these performance bottlenecks, we were experiencing an annual data volume growth of 30 to 40 percent and an annual run rate of 24 billion minutes of international traffic. As a result, we needed to have the capability to run even more complex analyses on greater volumes of data than would have been possible in our previous Oracle data warehouse environment.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The NPS data warehouse appliance has enabled us to run complex call detail record analyses on massive amounts of data very easily and quickly. In fact, some analyses that simply couldn’t be run on our previous system now take only seconds using the NPS appliance. The in-depth analysis we are now able to conduct has strengthened our ability to satisfy the increased demand for VoIP services by our telecommunications carrier and retail prepaid customers.

STRENGTHS: The performance increases we have seen after migrating to the NPS appliance have allowed for increased efficiency and productivity for our business users. We can monitor call data reports that aggregate an enormous amount of data in order to spot quality problems in real time. These reports, which previously took several hours to several days to run, can now be executed in mere seconds. This ability to identify and track anomalies in real time is essential to enabling better pricing and network management decisions. The NPS data warehouse appliance enables a massive compilation of analytics on data to determine the best route for traffic, the best quality, the best margins and the best profits of the company overall. If I can get a current view of my margin that’s up to the second, it can completely change our view of the network and which provider we’re using. Additionally, the appliance integrated very easily into our existing environment, and installation took only days to complete.

WEAKNESSES: The NPS data warehouse appliance supports basic ANSI SQL 99 very well. We would like it extended to more advanced features and procedures found in other databases to take advantage of the performance benefits offered by Netezza. The maintenance features are not as well developed as we would like.

SELECTION CRITERIA: During the selection process, we narrowed our decision down to two options. We performed detailed proof-of-concept testing on both systems, running reports that would be typical in day-to-day use. During the proof of concept, we found that queries ran in a matter of seconds on the NPS appliance compared to several hours on the other system. After seeing the performance gains first hand, it was a no-brainer to go with Netezza.

DELIVERABLES: Netezza has revolutionized our BI capabilities. We can use the NPS appliance for data mining on years of historical data as opposed to just days. Analysts can dramatically improve their productivity by running more complex queries than were previously possible. On a day-to-day basis, we use Netezza to accelerate data load cycles and optimize system performance to enhance both the customer experience and our company’s profitability.

VENDOR SUPPORT: One of the strongest benefits of working with Netezza is their support/help desk during implementation and production. Their excellent marketing efforts, both in keeping customers current on all future product developments and roadmaps as well as keeping ahead of market trends, provide us with the ability to better plan our development roadmap so that we stay ahead of our competition.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation for the NPS data warehouse appliance is easy to understand and follow.

Netezza Performance Server
Netezza Corporation
26 Forest Street
Marlborough, MA 01752
(508) 382-8200

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