Telecom plans huge data warehouse

Telecom is commissioning what is almost certainly the largest data warehouse in New Zealand and which may grow to be one of the largest in the world. It has purchased a large Origin 2000 Unix machine from Silicon Graphics to replace the Teradata machine which has been used to extract marketing data since 1991.

Telecom is commissioning what is almost certainly the largest data warehouse in New Zealand and which may grow to be one of the largest in the world.

It has purchased a large Origin 2000 Unix machine from Silicon Graphics to replace the Teradata machine which has been used to extract marketing data since 1991.

It’s a joint development between Telecom, Silicon Graphics and Oracle, which will prime the contract as an extension of the existing $50 million deal with Telecom.

The project is known as Market Data Support Systems (MDSS).

John Trotter, programme manager decision support at Telecom, is chary about giving out too much information. “It’s a very competitive area. We want to enhance and develop our database marketing capability, and this is part of doing that.”

He says the data warehouse will be fed by a number of internal and external systems. These include the ICMS billing system, and external data from Statistics New Zealand.

Telecom has a number of bespoke sytems, too, as well as its other core systems such as national faults and customer sales and service.

Trotter won’t confirm how many concurrent users will use MDSS but the configuration suggests the number won’t be great.

The Origin 2000 will be configured with 12 CPUs, 2Gb of memory and 800Gb of disk. It will run Oracle version 7.3 as the database. Trotter says this leverages off the Oracle deal signed last year, using tools and applications created from that, though he’s not prepared to say what other tools will be used.

He says phase one of the project is to have a data warehouse in production — running on an existing SGI XL Challenge machine — by the end of March. The data will be migrated to the Origin, which is expected to be in production by August.

“We expect the project to be completed by October,” Trotter says.

The Teradata machine will be de-commissioned.

According to SGI managing director Greg Sitters, the architecture is designed so that it can be added to through a multiple disk chassis. That could eventually mean a database of multiple terabytes.

It’s SGI’s third Origin sale in New Zealand — the others were to Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup campaign, and to Land Transport — and certainly its biggest. The Origin series boxes were announced late last October.

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