I was thinking more about the announcement yesterday that Microsoft is acquiring DATAllegro. How will this move by Microsoft affect the Data Warehouse space? In Gartner’s 2007 Magic Quadrant http://mediaproducts.gartner.com/reprints/microsoft/article19/article19.html, Microsoft was positioned behind Teradata, Oracle, and IBM. Granted all four of these companies were in the magic quadrant but it was clear that Microsoft was behind. DATAllegro on the other hand was considered a visionary and was considered as having a lesser ability to execute.
It is interesting that this acquisition comes at the end of the development cycle of Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Towards the end of a development cycle, the product management folks within Microsoft start looking at what will be in the next version of the product. It looks like they decided that MPP was an important piece to have and DATAllegro has the technology they want. Unless there was a lot of work that was going on behind the scenes over the last year, it is highly unlikely that any of the DATAllegro technology will find its way into SQL Server 2008. More likely, Microsoft will introduce something in a service pack to SQL Server 2008 or with the next version of SQL Server.
According to Gartner "Not only has DATAllegro added value to the Ingres DBMS through many enhancements to the functionality (now supplied as part of the Ingres OSS DBMS), but its has also added a software layer over the top of Ingres, creating the MPP architecture to parallelize queries across the processors and to manage the workload of the appliance." The fact that DATAllegro has figured out how to add MPP functionality with a layer on top of the data warehouse likely means that Microsoft will take this technology and wrap the DATAllegro MPP software layer on top of SQL Server. It is highly unlikely that Microsoft would want to start shipping Ingres.
In a June 2008 DMReview interview http://www.datallegro.com/pdf/articles/stuart_frost_interview_rackemup.pdf, Stuart Frost, DATAllegro’s CEO talks about how they are aggressively targeting Teradata customers right now. Frost says "We’re targeting Teradata customers today because we think they’re being overcharged for the capabilities they’re getting." When Microsoft enters a market, they tend to push prices down. So, how will this impact Teradata? My guess is that any effect on Teradata is still some time away. It will take a year or two for Microsoft to deliver a product using the DATAllegro technology and SQL Server. Then it will take some time for Microsoft to get market traction. This gives Teradata a lot of time to respond. What the Microsoft/DATAllegro move means to companies like Netezza, Greenplum, and Kognitio is more interesting because these other companies now have to compete with the deep pockets and marketing muscle of Microsoft.