Teradata announces cloud platform, competitive appliance economics

Teradata puts its Unified Data Architecture and apps in the cloud, then makes its appliances more appealing too.
Written by Andrew Brust, Contributor

Teradata is a name most often associated with on-premise data warehouse appliances... and not inexpensive ones. But today the company is making various announcements that may counter that typecast.  

Among the announcements: Teradata is launching its first cloud offering, and is introducing a new appliance that significantly changes the economics of on-prem data warehousing.

At your service

Let's start with the cloud offering, which will have several pillars, and will be introduced in phases. The first cloud offering, available now, is Teradata's "Data Warehouse as a Service," a cloud-hosted subscription-based version of the flagship Teradata Database.  

Following on the heels of the Data Warehouse offering, Teradata will launch its "Discovery as a Service" and "Data Management as a Service" components in the first quarter of calendar 2014. These two components are cloud-based versions of the Teradata Aster Database and Apache Hadoop, respectively, thus allowing Teradata to offer its full Unified Data Architecture (UDA) in the cloud.

The Data Management as a Service component will be based on the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) distribution of Hadoop.

All three components are to be offered on a subscription basis, and Teradata will allow hybrid implementations too, such that each of the three UDA components can run on-prem or in the cloud, in a mix-and-match fashion. Teradata says these cloud implementations of their products, though hosted by the company, nonetheless run on true appliance hardware, rather than the commodity server virtual machines that are the typical cloud fare. The services nonetheless allows for elastic provisioning — effectively, Teradata over-provisions assets for each customer, giving them room to grow.

Teradata's 2011 and 2012 acquisitions of Aprimo and eCircle mean that Teradata's on-premise product portfolio goes beyond its databases, and so too will its cloud offerings. Customer Interaction Manager in the cloud and Master Data Management (MDM) in the cloud represent the application side of Teradata's cloud initiative, and will be available in Q1 2014, along with the Aster and Hadoop pieces.

Meanwhile, back at the data center

Teradata's announcements aren't all about the cloud though; the company has two on-premises appliance announcements as well. First is the new Data Appliance 1700, which through a combination of compression and other optimizations provides for storage economics of $2000 per terabyte.  

This compares with the $6000-$7000 per terabyte economics that Teradata's other appliances have afforded and thus, the company feels, makes their appliance platforms price competitive with Hadoop. Your mileage may vary, of course. The 1700 appliance is available now.

Teradata is also announcing its new Extreme Data Appliance 2750 which, through the use of new Teradata in-memory features I've covered previously, offers between 3x and 700x improvements, depending on workload, according to the company. The 2750 appliance will be available in November.

And there just a couple further tidbits. For one, Teradata is releasing starter kits for specific industry verticals, avoiding the need to start data warehouse implementations from scratch.  

And there's a pre-announcement too: the next release of the Teradata Database platform will add native support for JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)-formatted data, augmenting the semi-structured data support already added for XML and Web logs.

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