Teradata launches new database, Aster appliance

Teradata rolls out new database with columnar support along with an Aster Data appliance.

Teradata on Wednesday launched the latest version of its analytics database and an appliance for its Aster Data unit.

The Teradata Database 14 is designed to speed up the analytics process. Scott Gnau, president of Teradata Labs, said the database adds better compression, virtual partitioning and other features to improve intelligence gathering.

Teradata is in a hotly contested market as Oracle's Exadata line and IBM's Netezza are targeting the data warehousing market.

Among the key features in Database 14, the largest is the ability to analyze columnar and row-based tables. Relational database typically store data in rows. A columnar database stores data in columns. Teradata's Database 14 operates both processes separately, but can mix and match storage based on applications.

According to Gnau, this hybrid row-column approach to data will be critical for the telecom, financial services and retail verticals where a quick response is needed.

If successful, Teradata could popularize column databases, which have been shunned despite cost benefits because it's difficult to load data. Teradata's hybrid approach with Database 14 could make columnar databases more popular.

Other key features of Teradata's Database 14 include:

  • Virtual partitions to allocate system resources to groups and business units in a company. The database prioritizes workloads automatically based on workloads.
  • A hybrid storage model that allocates data based on whether it is frequently used. This automatic process migrates and compresses data between various drives.
  • Temporal or time aware improvements so customers can track changes and history of data points.

Separately, Teradata launched an appliance for its Aster Data software. The Teradata Aster MapReduce Platform is the company's big data analytics play. The appliance includes Aster Database 5.O and connectors to transfer data between Aster and Teradata systems.

The Aster Data Appliance is the first big launch following Teradata's acquisition of Aster.

Gnau said that customers have been asking for an Aster-based appliance. "We've done a lot of work inside of the software to optimize it in an appliance," he said.