Everything you wanted to know about Netezza networking but were afraid to ask (Part One)

This blog post is the first of three parts informing you about everything you always wanted to know Netezza networking but were afraid to ask.


PureData System for Analytics is a simple appliance for serious analytics. There is minimal tuning involved and it can be up and running in hours with minimal administration. Since it is so simple, you might be afraid to ask questions such as the following:

  • How would my applications connect to the appliance?
  • How am I going to manage the appliance?
  • What is the network bandwidth?

The answer to all of the above questions is that you can do it through a standard TCP/IP networking interface. Well, how do you network with PureData System for Analytics, then?


It’s simple because it’s an appliance. It has basically one IP address, or host name, that your applications use to connect. To manage the appliance, you can use the same IP address or host name for sure, but let’s be a bit more exact.

The PureData System for Analytics appliance has five external IP addresses and six ethernet drops by default.

The appliance consists of two hosts and several S-Blades or Snippet Processing Units (SPUs). One of the hosts is active and the other is passive. You always connect to the appliance through the active host. On the application level, you never connect through any other component. To connect to the active host you use something called a virtual IP or the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) host name. That IP or host name is for applications. It is a floating virtual IP address which is always on an active host.

You should always make sure there is a host name assigned to the virtual IP in your name server so that applications can connect through a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) instead of an IP address.

Management IPs

To manage the appliance, you can connect directly by using the IP addresses assigned to both hosts, which are called the host IPs. These IPs are assigned to virtual network device bond2 by default, which is created from two physical network devices for redundancy. That would be a normal situation.

You have other options as well. With an integrated management module (IMM) that has an IP address, you can connect and get console access through the network instead of needing to be physically near the appliance.

In summary

There are two physical network devices on both hosts, which creates a virtual network device bond2 by default and one physical network device on IMM on both hosts. That makes six ethernet drops.

There are five IP addresses: One IP address for applications, one IP for both of the two hosts and one IP address for IMM on both of the hosts. Here’s a little more detail:

  • One VIP and ODBC host name: You should define the host name in your name server for VIP. That way, applications are able to use a floating IP through the ODBC host name to connect to the appliance. This IP is assigned to active hosts automatically.
  • Two Host IPs: These are by default assigned to virtual device network bond2 on both hosts. If you want to connect to host 2, you use the IP address assigned to device bond2 on host 2.
  • Two IMM IPs: Both hosts have an integrated management module, you can use them to get direct console access through the network.

The rest of the networking

I will cover more advanced networking topics in part two and three of this blog post series. If you have PureData System for Analytics networking related questions in mind you did not dare to ask earlier, please do it below by commenting on this post. You can also follow me on Twitter @TVaattanen to discuss more about Netezza

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