Teradata Eyes Rivals in Data Warehouse Space with New Appliance

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2008-10-13

Teradata Eyes Rivals in Data Warehouse Space with New Appliance

The data warehousing market has been very busy of late, between the marketing push around the HP Oracle Database Machine and Microsoft's acquisition of DATAllegro. In the middle of all this sits Teradata, a longtime leader in data warehousing.

At its Teradata Partners User Group Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this week, Teradata is touting a new appliance, a new version of its database and plans to use solid state disk drives in data warehousing environments. All this, company officials contend, will help Teradata keeps its position in the high-end data warehousing market secure as rivals make pushes of their own.

"With all the digitization of the world, there are extremely large data volumes out there I think go unserved largely by the general data warehouse market technology vendors," said Scott Gnau, chief development officer at Teradata, in an interview with eWEEK. "This new addition to our family [the Teradata Extreme Data Appliance 1550] will allow us to fit into a really great spot for our customers."

The new appliance supports 50 petabytes of data at a price-point of $16,500 per terabyte. According to Teradata, the Extreme Data Appliance is a purpose-built analytical platform positioned for a small group of users who have specialized analytics typically within a department. It enables those users to perform analysis on massive volumes of data, such as Web site clickstream, RFID product movement and cell phone network usage.

The announcement comes less than a month after Oracle began pushing its HP Oracle Database Machine appliance at its OpenWorld conference. In interviews with eWEEK, Oracle officials took aim specifically at Teradata and Netezza, contending Oracle would best competitors by offering a combination of storage and speed at a cheaper price.

"If Teradata sat back and did nothing, it would eventually erode their business and cause them major issues," said Gartner analyst Donald Feinberg. "However, the 2550, 5550, 550 and 1550 are all advances that allow Teradata to compete better than ever before. They continue to make major strides forward and are now going further with the Extreme Data Appliance."

Reinforcing Teradatas Position

Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus called Teradata's new appliance scalable and cost-effective and said it could reinforce Teradata's position in the very high end of the data warehouse market.

Teradata also pulled the covers off version 13.0 of the Teradata Database, which has 75 new features. The biggest of the enhancements is the storage virtualization technology, which manages storage data retrieval and places the most frequently used data on the fastest storage. "Cold data," meaning data that is rarely used, is placed on the slowest storage without user or administrator intervention.

"This is really the beginning of what we think is going to be a big piece of our technology for years to come," Gnau said.

The database will be generally available in 2009. Keeping an eye towards the future, the company also showcased a prototype of technology using solid state disk drives that officials hope will be ready for enterprises by 2011.

In the meantime, Teradata remains focused on innovating to keep its rivals at bay.

"We're hopelessly paranoid about our competitors," Gnau said. "Oracle frankly is great technology for OLTP [online transaction processing] types of applications and for being a database engine behind an ERP application...that's what it was built for. It's kind of like you can put a screw in the wall with a hammer or a screw driver-which is going to be more sustainable? Which is going to be elegant? Which one is going to just work better?" 

Rocket Fuel