Tag Archives: Accenture

Blended Data Warehouse SW/HW Solutions Phased Into the Cloud

Relational Database Solutions “In a Box”

Several of the relational database software vendors, such as IBM, Oracle, and Teradata have developed proprietary data warehouse software to be tightly coupled with server hardware to maximize performance.  These solutions have been developed and refined as “on-prem” solutions for many years.

We’ve seen the rise of “Database (DW)  as a Service” from companies like Amazon, who sell Redshift services.

Amazon Redshift is a fast, fully managed data warehouse that makes it simple and cost-effective to analyze all your data using standard SQL and your existing Business Intelligence (BI) tools.  It allows you to run complex analytic queries against petabytes of structured data, using sophisticated query optimization, columnar storage on high-performance local disks, and massively parallel query execution. Most results come back in seconds.

RDB Complex Software/Hardware Maintenance

In recent times, the traditional relational database software vendors shifted gears to become service providers offering maximum performance from a solution hosted by them, the vendor, in the Cloud.    On the positive side, the added complexity of configuring and tuning a blended software/hardware data warehouse has been shifted from the client’s team resources such as Database Administrators (DBAs), Network Administrators,  Unix/Windows Server Admins,… to the database software service provider.  The complexity of tuning for scalability, and other maintenance challenges shifts to the software vendor’s expertise, if that’s the abstraction you select.  There is some ambiguity in the delineation of responsibilities with the RDBMS vendor’s cloud offerings.

Total Cost of Ownership

Quantifying the total cost of ownership of a solution may be a bit tricky, especially if you’re trying to quantify the RDBMS hybrid software/hardware “on-prem” solution versus the same or similar capabilities brought to the client via “Database (DW) as a Service”.

“On-Prem”, RDB Client Hosted Solution

Several factors need to be considered when selecting ANY software and/or Hardware to be hosted at the client site.

  • Infrastructure “when in Rome”
    • Organizations have a quantifiable cost related to hosting physical or virtual servers in the client’s data center and may be boiled down to a number that may include things like HVAC, or new rack space.
    • Resources used to maintain/monitor DC usage, there may be an abstracted/blended figure.
  • Database Administrators maintain and monitor RDB solutions.
    • Activities may range from RDB patches/upgrades to resizing/scaling the DB storage “containers”.
    • Application Database Admins/Developers may be required to maintain the data warehouse architecture, such as new requirements, e.g. creating aggregate tables for BI analysis.
  • Network Administrators
    • Firewalls, VPN
    • Port Scanning
  • Windows/Unix Server Administrators
    • Antivirus
    • OS Patches

Trying to correlate these costs in some type of “Apples to Apples” comparison to the “Data Warehouse as a Service” may require accountants and technical folks to do extensive financial modeling to make the comparison.   Vendors, such as Oracle, offer fully managed services to the opposite end of the spectrum, the “Bare Metal”, essentially the “Infra as a Service.”  The Oracle Exadata solution can be a significant investment depending on the investment in redundancy and scalability leveraging Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC). 

Support and Staffing Models for DW Cloud Vendors

In order for the traditional RDB software vendors to accommodate a “Data Warehouse as a Service” model, they may need to significantly increase staff for a variety of technical disciplines, as outlined above with the Client “On-Prem” model.  A significant ramp-up of staff and the organizational challenges of developing and implementing a support model based on a variety of factors may have relational database vendors ask: Should they leverage a top tier consulting agency such as Accenture, or Deloitte to define, implement, and refine a managed service?  It’s certainly a tall order to go from a software vendor to offering large scale services.  With corporate footprints globally and positive track records implementing managed services of all types, it’s an attractive proposition for both the RDB vendor and the consulting agency who wins the bid.  Looking at the DW Service billing models don’t seem sensical on some level.  Any consulting agency who implements a DW managed service would be responsible to ensure ROI both for the RDS vendor and their clients.  It may be opaque to the end client leveraging the Data Warehouse as a Service, but certainly, the quality of service provided should be nothing less than if implemented by the RDB vendor itself.  If the end game for the RDB vendor is for the consulting agency to implement, and mature the service then at some point bring the service in-house, it could help to keep costs down while maturing the managed service.

Oracle Exadata

Here are URLs for reference to understand the capabilities that are realized through Oracle’s managed services.










IBM Mainframe
IBM Mainframe

Note: The opinions shared here are my own.

Contractors, Healthcare, and Organized Labor

As I approach a gap in society, I take pause, and say, is that an opportunity, and why does that exist?  If people seize that opportunity who will it benefit, and who will it detract? In this case, I see a number of Information Technology contract positions as right to hire, or just 3 to 6 month or more contract roles, sometimes hourly, sometimes, rarely daily. So I ask myself, as I look at my 1930 AFL-CIO cane, I collect canes as a hobby, why isn’t there a very good health care / organized labor system for the IT industry. You too may have also been excluded as an independent contractor in IT, or your own field. In IT, you either work for a company as a full time employee with benefits, or work for a small to mid sized consultancy firm with no or some mediocre medical benefits. If you work for a large consultancy firm, and are able to transition to a firm, fantastic. You also have the ability to collect good benefits in a large consultancy firm. However, if you are an independent contractor in the United States of America, you may financial barriers securing premium health care insurance, such as a PPO with a small co-pay and without a referral. I am on my 18th month of COBRA and my current small company plan, if I got sick, I would be in serious financial trouble. This ‘Pains’ me to say, but why don’t we have good collective bargaining for Information Technology Independent Consultants? That is a rhetorical question. It would directly compete with large consultancy companies, their ability to deliver good benefits, and transition someone to an organization. If I took a count of how many people were on COBRA, or without healthcare, may be contractors, and would be more than willing to use collective bargaining to strong arm health insurance companies for a great health care plan through organized labor, I suspect we could do more than the United States Government has not been able to do for the American public.

Sign up to express your interest in contractor labor benefits.

Update: Since I originally posted this message, with a small budget, I’ve been able to reach thousands of people to read this post.  If you don’t sign up here, I urge you to try to do the same thing, and reach out to form local labor unions of your own.  Other fields are, and have done this for a long time.  Isn’t it time you’re field of labor collectively worked together in the hopes not just to network for jobs, but for [health] benefits?