Netezza Corporation unveiled its Netezza Performance Server (NPS) data warehouse for bioinformatics. Integrated with BLAST (SQL-BLAST) and incorporating defined genomic data types, the NPS system delivers increased functionality and performance for large, complex and constantly growing bioinformatics analyses at half the cost of existing data warehouse systems. For genetic researchers, this means faster time to discovery for uncovering defects in proteins, and finding new therapeutic proteins and life-saving cures.

For years, researchers and scientists have been thwarted by the inability of computers to process genomic data at the terabyte level including sequence analysis. The NPS system for bioinformatics is a biology-aware, tera-scale data warehouse that includes data types specific to bioinformatics applications and integrates sequence analysis using BLAST with a SQL relational database. Data processing can now be done in near real time at the source of the data. Full sets of data, rather than sample subsets, can be analyzed for a complete view of patterns and similarities. The NPS system manages fast data loads and optimizes ad hoc and complex queries for maximum performance, transforming the way researchers can use their data.

“The NPS system dramatically decreases the time and cost to produce gene profiles, sequence comparison results, and more quickly enables researchers to make important discoveries,” said Marshall Peterson, CTO, J. Craig Venter Science Foundation. “The NPS system delivers groundbreaking innovations and performance at the system architecture level, enabling genetic and other scientific researchers to analyze genomic data and combine it with other critical patient and clinical data. Managing a single copy of sequence data and associated structure data in a SQL database enables researchers to focus on important life sciences questions without having to worry about multiple copies of data in multiple formats that have to be kept in sync.”

Until now, bioinformatics analyses have been performed on an expensive patchwork of supercomputers and software designed for scientific computing – the emphasis has been on computing and not data processing and management. But these systems are not scalable, powerful or biology-specific enough to handle the exponentially growing amount of data being analyzed, especially given the emerging need to integrate patient records with individual genetic codes and clinical test data. Given the scalability limitations of current database solutions, sequence analysis must be run outside the database on separate supercomputers. This process is slow, cumbersome and unreliable. To speed the process, researchers often partition data, but this practice limits the researcher’s ability to perform the comprehensive “all against all” comparisons that are so critical to new discoveries. As proven in the Business Intelligence marketplace, the NPS system delivers 10 to 50 times the performance for large, complex and constantly evolving data analyses at half the cost of existing systems.

Netezza also announced today two new configurations and other innovations for the Netezza Performance Server (NPS) enterprise-class data appliance that double the speed and triple the data capacity for companies that need fast, on- demand analysis of terabytes of business-critical information. Details on this announcement can be found at

The NPS system combines servers, storage and database into a single powerful, enterprise-class appliance created from the outset to process queries faster -- and enable complex analysis that was not previously possible because of large and fast-growing data sizes. By combining, mature off-the- shelf components and a standards-based architecture that doesn’t require customers to restructure data, tools or applications, Netezza delivers a dramatically lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than today’s patchwork approach, making the NPS system an affordable solution for tera-scale genomic sequence analysis.

Through its Asymmetric Massively Parallel Processing (AMPP) architecture, the system combines the processing power of SMP with the scalability of MPP to deliver breakthrough price/performance. Netezza’s Intelligent Query Streaming design implements query functions in silicon and enables intelligent data streaming at the disk level, shattering traditional performance benchmarks by removing many of the technical roadblocks that paralyze today’s patchwork of general-purpose offerings. Built for quick deployment, simple administration and nearly infinite scaling, the NPS 8000 series is fully compatible with existing data warehouse infrastructures, applications, legacy systems and data.

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