Teradata Acquisition of Aster Data Systems Bolsters Big Data Capabilities

Teradata planned $263 million acquisition of Aster Data Systems brings big data analytical capabilities in-house.

With the challenge of managing and analyzing big data growing ever-larger, Teradata is acquiring Aster Data Systems, a move analysts say is a good one.

"Acquiring Aster Data won't give Teradata additional market share to battle Oracle, IBM and Microsoft, as well as EMC and HP, but it does provide the company with additional technological capabilities for dealing with large and complex data sets," opined Matt Aslett, an analyst with The 451 Group. "In particular, Aster Data brings expertise in the MapReduce programming model and the SQL-MapReduce implementation enables developers to write MapReduce functions as procedural functions that can then be expressed in SQL."

Teradata defines big data being a voluminous mix of structured and unstructured data involving complex inter-relationships that do not lend themselves to analysis with today's traditional techniques, making capturing, storing, managing and analyzing it extremely difficult. The deal is part of the company's strategy to target enterprises with big data analytics capabilities, and follows the company's decision not only to buy into Aster Data - it purchased an 11 percent stake in the company in September - but also buy database analytics vendor Kickfire and bring its team aboard last August.

The only question is what will happen to Aster Data's product line in the immediate future, said Gartner analyst Mark Beyer, adding that it appears secure with an improved research and development funding model due to Teradata's resources.

"Teradata gains external files capability and MapReduce functionality which enables what Gartner has called the logical or distributed data warehouse," said Mark Beyer, an analyst at Gartner. "Gartner believes the logical or distributed data warehouse will become the new leading edge architecture."

Scott Gnau, chief development officer at Teradata, the company is not yet ready to announce its product roadmap, but Teradata is working "cooperatively with (IBM) BigInsights to bring MapReduce and Hadoop to customers."

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.