Teradata is about to release another entry-level data warehouse appliance. Teradata Data Warehouse Appliance 2550 doubles the capacity of the 2500 platform that was released only a few months ago.
This move, coming from a vendor that has traditionally focused on large data warehousing requirements, underlines the market opportunity and the increasing level of competition in this field.
The data warehousing market is booming thanks to growing volumes of enterprise data and escalating demand for business intelligence solutions, which require data warehouses.
According to Datamonitor, about 57% of organisations already have at least one BI solution deployed, and a further one-third of enterprises plan to invest in BI over the coming two years. The increase in demand for BI solutions has a knock-on effect on demand for data warehouses, which have to satisfy a mix of large and small requirements.
Teradata operates at the larger end of the data warehouse spectrum. It is best suited to larger enterprises, which have the dual requirements of simplified management for vast information workloads, and time-critical reliable delivery of complex decision support. However, the recent release of new appliances in its Platform family will enable it to address a lower entry point or departmental needs, an area that has been targeted by a number of new data warehouse appliance vendors with a view to grabbing a slice of the higher end pie.
The competition is forcing all vendors to examine the specification of their products to improve price and performance. It is against this background that the Teradata Data Warehouse Appliance 2550 is being released.
It will double the capacity of Teradata Data Warehouse Appliance 2500 by offering 12,6 terabytes of customer data per cabinet (with 30% compression), as opposed to 6,1 terabytes (with 30% compression) that is offered by the 2500. The new appliance will also provide 32 GB of memory per node as opposed to the 8 GB provided by the 2500.
Other features include Intel Quad Core Xeon Processors at 2,33 GHz and four nodes per cabinet delivered in two node increments, which can be scaled up to 11 cabinets, and to approximately 140 terabytes of data. The new platform will have Teradata Database 12.0, and operate on SUSE Linux 10.
The entry-level platform is designed for decision-support workloads for fewer concurrent users who wish to run long and complex queries. It does not support Teradata Active System Management as it is not designed for active mixed workload environments. Neither does it support co-existence with other generations of the product.
According to Teradata, customers can start with a small configuration and add more nodes, but all nodes must be the same generation. It is part of Teradata's differentiation between the data warehouse appliance space and the active or enterprise data warehouse space. This is something that potential customers should be aware of and compare with appliances from other vendors.
Although the data warehouse appliance market has seen a number of new start-ups in the last few years, today there is a new and bigger threat to Teradata from none other than Microsoft.
In a recent move that is likely to lead to more changes in the vendor landscape, Microsoft acquired data warehouse appliance vendor Datallegro. In doing so, Microsoft signalled its intention to scale up its data warehousing capabilities, along with its strategic aims for BI.
Microsoft is a tough competitor even for an established vendor such as Teradata. Therefore, Teradata's release of an appliance with a higher specification to compete with Datallegro at the entry level of the market appears to be a good move.