• April 22, 2008

Teradata's Growing the Family

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Teradata's Growing the Family
From entry- to enterprise-level, Teradata's solution just got more affordable.

Data warehousing and business intelligence provider Teradata unveiled yesterday its new family of analytical platforms that provide solutions for companies with varying levels of data warehousing needs. Without sacrificing the core of the Teradata 12.0 platform, the company has created multiple platforms at much more affordable prices, a move that will hopefully debunk current market perceptions of Teradata as too costly.

According to the company press release, the new family of analytical platforms includes:

  • Teradata 550 SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) : At $67,000 (U.S. list price) per terabyte, it's a departmental data warehouse that's simple to set up and can use the Novell SUSE Linux 64-bit operating system or Windows;
  • Teradata 2500: Priced at $125,000(U.S. list price) per terabyte, this is an entry-level data warehouse for companies that are just starting out or for those with other analytical platform requirements in their enterprises. The platform has dual-core Intel processors, industry standard enterprise-class storage, open Novell SUSE Linux 64-bit operating system, and the Teradata 12 database and utilities. All are pre-installed in a single "ready to run" cabinet with energy-efficient green technologies; and
  • Teradata 5550: An active data warehouse-class platform, it starts at $200,000 (U.S. list price) per terabyte depending on the performance and availability needs of the customer. The Teradata 5550 and Teradata 12 provide up to two times the system performance over their respective predecessors.

What's perhaps most exciting about this announcement, says Edward White, director of product marketing at Teradata, is that for $40,000, customers can license the Teradata 12.0 database to run on any of their own Intel-based platforms, without the Teradata appliance. This family of platforms provides entry-level price points all the way from the departmental data warehouse all the way through to the enterprise data warehouse, says White. "[Teradata is] the only vendor to have a platform family based on a company's workload requirements," whereas other vendors base pricing on data size.

In the past, lower priced solutions often resulted in limited functionality, says Richard Winter, president of technology consulting firm Winter Corporation. "Systems that were $100,000 or less" he says, "...are inexpensive and blindingly fast, but they deliver it blindingly fast for limited queries." He adds that Teradata, on the other hand, has had more than 20 years of research and development focused on handling very complex queries. The new, lower-priced platforms, may not have the comprehensive workflow management that exists on the enterprise-class platform, Winter says, but will be very powerful for customers using it on a more local projects in "data marts," or subsets of data in the data warehouse.

White says that according to surveys, end users have the "integrated data vision," but continue to invest in analytical point systems. Therefore, this announcement gives Teradata the opportunity to expand into the adjacent areas of the enterprise. The new platforms serve to complement the enterprise data warehouse platform so that Teradata itself can grow faster and reach more customers. From prepackaged starter kits to an increased focus on removing the complexity from installation and implementation, the company aims to help companies start small out on the Teradata platform and then migrate over time into an integrated data solution, White says.
Though Winter believes Teradata is currently offering most "mature" and "robust" solution for handling massive amount of enterprise data, it is not the biggest player, nor does it hold the largest market share. Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft are big contenders in the enterprise data warehousing space, as well as many emerging vendors like Netezza. Still, Winter defends that Teradata is the only one who can deliver scalability in multiple dimensions--complexity of queries, number of users, data volume -- without missing a beat.

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