Teradata Unveils Entry- To Enterprise-Level Data Warehouse Appliances

With the proper software, the 550 SMP aimed at departmental use makes it possible to divide the workload among processors.

Antone Gonsalves

April 21, 2008

3 Min Read
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Database vendor Teradata on Monday launched a family of data warehouse appliances that cover the market from entry-level to enterprise-class systems.

The product line starts with the Teradata 550 SMP aimed at departmental use. SMP stands for symmetric multiprocessing, a computer architecture where two or more identical processors are connected to a single shared main memory. With the proper software, the configuration makes it possible to divide the workload among processors. Pricing starts at $67,000 per terabyte.

The remaining two models include the Teradata 2500, an entry-level system priced at $125,000 per terabyte; and the enterprise-level 5500, which starts at $200,000 per terabyte.

The Teradata 12 database engine powers the three products, which are data repositories for reporting and analytics. The systems are designed as a business intelligence platform for an organization, or as an analytical system for special-purpose applications, such as fraud detection and prevention, customer segmentation, human resources, and forecasting.

The 550 SMP scales up to 6 TB and is targeted at organizations looking to run a single application or to support test and development workloads. The system, which Teradata claims can be installed "within hours," runs on the Novell Suse Linux 64-bit operating system or Windows. The Teradata 12 database costs an additional $40,000 or more, depending on requirements.

The 2500 model is powered by dual-core Intel processors, and includes storage, Novell Suse Linux, and the Teradata database and utilities. All the technology is pre-installed in a single "ready to run" cabinet, Teradata said. The system can be used to complement an enterprise-level data warehouse to meet specific analytical needs.

For example, a company could implement customer relationship management software as a standalone system on the Teradata 2500, and then migrate it into the enterprise data warehouse, including extract transform and load software, the data model and the application code, Randy Lea, VP of products and services for Teradata, said in a statement. ETL software is used to extract data from outside data sources, transform it into a single format and then load it into the data warehouse.

"The company can then leverage the integrated sales, inventory and customer data of the EDW, providing significantly enhanced business value and a true 360-degree view of the customer," Lea said in a statement.

Finally, the Teradata 5550 is built for enterprise environments of continuous and batch loads, operational queries, and simple reporting and complex analytics for thousands of users. The new system in combination with the Teradata database provides up to twice the performance of the company's previous enterprise-level platform, Lea said.

The market for data-warehouse appliances has been growing rapidly as data volumes increase at a rampant rate within most enterprises. Estimates range from 20% per year on the conservative side to 50% per year among the largest organizations. As a result, analyst firms believe that many organizations will be pushing the limits of traditional databases within a few years.

Teradata is an example of a database vendor that's introducing its own range of data warehouse appliances to meet its own customers' needs, rather than have them look elsewhere for technology. Teradata's launch of a full line of appliances caught the attention of Netezza, an early market-share leader with 125-plus customers.

"Netezza views this as validation of the current data warehouse appliance market success, and more importantly, a concession that the present and the future of the data warehouse market lies in the expanding role of appliances," Jim Baum, president and chief operating officer for Netezza, said in an e-mailed statement.

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