Netezza Buys Tizor

By Adrian Lane

While both Rich and I predicted this would happen, I admit I am still slightly surprised: Netezza has acquired Tizor for $3.1M in cash. Netezza press release here, and While I do not see a press release issued from either vendor xconomy has the story here. Surprising in the sense that I would not have expected a data warehousing vendor to acquire a database monitoring & auditing company. My guess is it’s the auto-discovery features that most interest them. But like many companies that provide data management and analysis, Netezza may be finding that their customers are asking for security and even compliance facilities around the data they manage. In that case, this move could really pay off.

I am certain that they were hoping for more, but $3M in cash is a pretty good return for their investors given the current market conditions and competitiveness in the DAM market. While it is my personal opinion, I have never considered the Tizor technology a class leading product. It took them a very long time to adapt the network monitoring appliance into a competitive product that met market demand. Their audit offering was not endorsed by companies I know who have evaluated the technology. They had some smart people over there, but like many of the DAM competitors, they have struggled to understand the customer buying center and have lacked the laser focus vision of some of the vendors like Guardium have demonstrated . But they have made consistent upgrades to the product and the auto-discovery option last year was a very smart move. All in all, Netezza is getting value, and the Tizor investors about $3M more than they would have gotten a few months from now.

I have to admit that my timing of these events has been wrong … I thought that this transaction would have happened at/by the end of last year, and I am waiting for more still. But the DAM vendors who are not profitable have a huge problem that move to quickly and you kill your value. Move too slowly and you are out of business. Sometimes the due diligence process takes a while.

Check back later as I will update the post as I hear more, of if Rich weighs in on this subject.

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By Friday Summary: Feb 27

Tizor’s auto-discovery was more press release than reality.  There was no way to truly discover data at rest, the best they could do was determine where sensitive data might be stored in a database by attempting to recognize the tables/columns holding such data from the network sniffing.

File shares, where the majority of this data is still stored were much harder (near impossible) to discover such data on, in any effective way in real-world scenarios.  Because of all the markup and formatting in things like Word and Excel files, credit card numbers stored "in the clear" do not always manifest themselves as recognizable plain-text strings when the file traverses the network.

I would personally certainly hope that Netezza did NOT buy Tizor for the discovery facility.

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