Pythian migrates major logistics company from Netezza data warehouse to Google Cloud

Customer Success

Pythian migrates major logistics company from Netezza data warehouse to Google Cloud

A global end-to-end manufacturer of innovative optical, electronic, and mechanical products wanted to migrate its complex and robust data warehouse from on-premises Netezza to Google BigQuery—and needed to do it quickly. Pythian got the job done. 


The company’s data warehouse was being used to support complex queries to predict demand based on a range of factors, which were then used to align its manufacturing operations with that demand. They wanted to continue running these queries while migrating to a robust, yet cost-effective and flexible, alternative to Netezza. In addition, they wanted to enable potential new use cases for their data for future enhancements to their demand forecasting capabilities. One of the project’s major drivers was cost reduction: the client was tired of paying heavy licensing, hardware, and maintenance costs to run its on-premises Netezza data warehouse.  

Their new platform required scalability and flexibility of the cloud while keeping the same or similar high performance and cost structure to which they were accustomed. The client’s large, on-prem data warehouse featured multiple, complex data areas including financial data requiring extreme precision in terms of decimal places. Since the company uses MicroStrategy as a BI/reporting tool, the new solution also had to work seamlessly with that software.  

The company engaged Pythian for a phased approach to migrate from Netezza to BigQuery and provide compliance-related documentation throughout and at the conclusion of the development process. 

What we did

  • Divided the project into three phases
    • Initial proof-of-concept to explore whether Google BigQuery met the client’s needs
    • Production of the proof-of-concept to further evaluate and fine-tune the platform
    • Complete migration of the client’s data warehouse from Netezza to Google Cloud 
  • Developed and configured the environments to provide flexibility through CI/CD capabilities
  • Maintained the client’s preferred cost structure and performance standards while taking advantage of the flexibility and scalability of the cloud
  • Advised the client’s data users on querying the system in a way that would minimize cost while maintaining top performance
  • Provided advice and best practices on preset limits on Google Cloud and query construction and frequency to get the best value, without spending money on needless queries
  • Worked with the client’s IT team to evaluate and expertly optimize Google Cloud to reduce the number of records read per query, thus further improving performance and cost
  • Used Cloud Dataflow to redesign the many data transformations that had previously occurred in the client’s on-prem Netezza data warehouse, automating these transformations via a scheduler to ensure data flowed automatically from source to target
  • Built a state-of-the-art audit and data quality solution to gauge the platform’s performance in real time

Technologies used

  • Netezza
  • Oracle
  • Google Cloud Platform 
  • Google Cloud Composer
  • Apache Airflow
  • Cloud SQL 

Key Outcomes

The client is now able to run efficient and cost-effective queries in its new BigQuery data warehouse without sacrificing performance. 

Increased efficiency with a seamless migration to BigQuery data warehouse 

Reduced costs associated with reads from their data warehouse 

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No matter your business, no matter the challenge: Pythian’s solutions drive results. 

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