Compare HANA vs Hortonworks vs Netezza

Jim Sun


Among tons of data analysis tools and platforms, SAP HANA, Hortonworks Hadoop and IBM Netezza are three of the super stars in the market. Any organizations who would like to implement or migrate their management system should consider and compare these three tools in their decision-making process. In this post, we will discuss the pros and cons among these 3 main-stream tools and also the best practice scenarios of each one according to our previous experience.


The 3 competitors seem to be in different fields:

  • IBM Netezza: designed specifically for huge volumes of data, on PB level;
  • SAP HANA: a great place to store high-value, often used data
  • Hadoop & Hortonworks: a great place to persist information for archival and retrieval - especially unstructured information, such as web logs or customer comments.

IBM Netezza is lack of support to OLTP, whereas Hortonworks and SAP HANA support both OLAP and OLTP. Also, both Hadoop and IBM Netezza use an No-SQL database model, but SAP HANA is SQL, so in this perspective, Netezza will have more competition with Hadoop than that with SAP HANA.


SAP and IBM partnered on 10/15/2014 to provide SAP HANA on IBM Cloud, and the Netezza team is working in the NoSQL field and trying to make big data more about real applications, which means that Netezza, combined with SAP, could be a main competitor with Hortonworks and Hadoop. Also someone is saying that SAP HANA and in-memory databases will occupy the market for " Hadoop will dominate ">500TB" market, as a DWA purpose-built for the high-volume data market, Netezza will have more and more competition with Hortonworks.

Hadoop is pretty good at consuming data (and the more nodes the better) and good at bulk processing jobs. Although it is not any better than SAP HANA in this respect, the $/GB is much lower than that of HANA, and if the data isn't that valuable and isn't accessed often, storing it in SAP HANA will be cost-prohibitive. But when it comes to aggregating, even in the best case scenario, Hadoop is 7x less efficient on the same hardware than HANA. And if your data is hot, and is accessed and aggregated often in different ways, HANA is definitely the better choice. And when it comes to real high data volumes on an integrated appliance with functions such as predictive analysis and flexible ad-hoc query availability, Netezza is a good choice.


As a conclusion, both IBM Netezza and SAP HANA are focused on analytical queries, which is not Hortonworks's primary purpose, although it will be. But in the high-volume big data field, the competition between Netezza and Hortonworks is definitely going on.