Seeing the IT World in Color – Big Blues, Red Hats and Bright Azures


Stop the Presses!!!

The subject of this week’s blog was quite straightforward when I first sat down to write. I was going to document how to “Migrate Data from IBM Netezza to Microsoft Azure” and recap our recent webinar of the same title. I was all ready to add some more technical details and even asked my colleague, Thiago Bruch, to re-record the demonstration to highlight some of the elements we couldn’t get to in the session. Easy, right? Then IBM announced late Sunday afternoon that it was going to acquire RedHat for $34bn and my blog plan screeched to a halt. I just can’t write about moving IBM Netezza (now called IBM Integrated Analytics System) data to Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse without first covering the monumental news.

Another Week, Another Mega Merger

Incidentally, this isn’t the first high tech mega-merger of the year either. A little over three weeks ago, I wrote that Cloudera and Hortonworks agreed to merge and what that means to your Hadoop data infrastructure. We’ve also seen Microsoft acquire GitHib, Oracle acquire and Salesforce acquire Mulesoft. It’s been a very busy year indeed, that shows no sign of slowing. In fact, Deloitte’s US mergers and acquisitions report for 2018 predicts the rapid pace to continue.

Big Blue Buys a Red Hat

The big question on everyone’s mind is why did IBM buy Red Hat? It’s not like the two are strangers. IBM and Red Hat have had a partnership in place for 20 years, spanning everything from reselling and supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to collaboratively working on open source projects. IBM CEO Ginny Rometty said the Red Hat deal is about preparing IBM for the second chapter of the cloud. According to Rometty, the second chapter of cloud is about “hybrid-cloud”.

Rommetty states “All clients today already have cloud. The early cloud projects have mostly been about productivity and some client facing apps.” She continued “But this is an inflection point, which is about all their processes and their data, they need this robust hybrid environment. The average client has 1,000 applications and the average client already have 5 — in some cases as many as 16 — clouds. They’ve got to move this. They either have to rewrite, refactor to secure the data, these all inhibitors (that we can address.)”

Red Hat will join IBM’s Hybrid Cloud group as a distinct independent entity and IBM officials said they expect Red Hat to significantly bolster IBM’s hybrid cloud business. Once the deal is closed, IBM said the two companies will remain committed to open source software licensing, including initiatives such as Patent Promise, GPL Cooperation Commitment and the Open Invention Network.

IBM and Red Hat also plan to continue to build and enhance existing Red Hat partnerships, including those with major cloud providers Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba and others that compete directly with IBM Cloud. However, it’s too early to say to what degree those cloud service providers will be open to continuing to work with Red Hat as unit of IBM. Interestingly, Microsoft recently disclosed that the most popular operating system on Azure is Linux! It also stated that Azure offers at least eight Linux distributions from its relationships with RedHat, Canonical and SUSE. Consequently, it may be hard to break up with RedHat, even if Microsoft wanted to.

“Architectures in Motion” Revisited

Yet again, we’ve arrived back to where we started. We can no longer be confident that the technology platform we choose today will remain the technology platform we use tomorrow. Especially when tech vendors consolidate, and startups create new innovations. Just as I mentioned a few weeks ago “we can’t predict what is going to happen in the (IBM) ecosystem, but we can implement technology to mitigate adverse outcomes. One thing is certain. Change is a constant.” Central to the argument of mitigating the effects of change is establishing a data portability strategy that ensures your data is accessible for advanced analytics no matter where it resides.

And Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program – “Migrating Netezza Data to Azure.”

To illustrate the point, we recently ran a webinar with Microsoft that described how many leading organizations are looking for modern alternatives to their traditional enterprise data warehouse systems in order to adopt new styles of business intelligence (BI). In particular, many are looking to move data from IBM Netezza to the Microsoft Data Platform and specifically to Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Check out our webinar discussing how to improve data accessibility in a changing environment (below.)

For those of you that might find the webinar recording, the demonstration has been excerpted below. In this demonstration, Thiago Bruch, Attunity’s Senior Solutions Engineer, demonstrates how easy it is to ingest Netezza data into Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse using Attunity Replicate. He explains how ingest is the initial phase of data migration, that he then follows with change data capture (CDC). The CDC phase ensures that ongoing changes to the source Netezza database are automatically propagated to the Azure SQL Data Warehouse.


This week we’ve seen another mega-merger that has the potential to totally shift the high-tech landscape and as a result impact the data we use for business analytics. However, we can take proactive steps to mitigate the risks and minimize our exposure. One such step is to ensure we have a strategy to safeguard data accessibility, thereby ensuring we have the data we need whenever the business demands it.


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