In 2002 Teradata launched the Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse, becoming a key player in the data warehouse and business intelligence scene, a role that Teradata has maintained until now. Teradata mixes rigorous business and technical discipline with well-thought-out innovation in order to enable organizations to expand their analytical platforms and evolve their data initiatives. In this report TEC Senior BI analyst Jorge Garcia looks at the Teradata Data Warehouse in detail, including functionality, distinguishing characteristics, and Teradata's role in the competitive data warehouse space.
As data grows “bigger,” gets increasingly complex, and runs faster, it still needs to be analyzed efficiently. Some companies have taken radical approaches to addressing the challenge of evolving their data analysis platforms specifically to match their existing data warehouse and new big data initiatives. With 30 years’ experience in the data warehousing space, Teradata takes an interesting approach, mixing rigorous business and technical discipline with well-thought-out innovation in order to enable organizations to expand their analytical platforms and evolve their data initiatives with products for supporting and combining the sometimes distant worlds of data warehousing and big data.
Teradata’s experience in data warehousing has allowed the company to design and create a diverse set of solutions offered via hardware-software appliances or as software-based solutions.
The Teradata Database is the core engine for all of Teradata’s warehouse solutions, and it includes all the main features for handling information for analytical purposes. The Teradata Database offering is composed of:
Of particular interest is that under its umbrella Teradata provides new, potential, and existing users with testing and development environments where they can evaluate the performance of the database for specific use cases, evaluate a new purchase, or put in place prototypes for later deployment within a Teradata production environment.
The Teradata Database: Power, Intelligence, and Adaptability
One of the main concerns, if not the biggest, when choosing a database in the context of data warehousing has to do with power and performance. Traditionally, this power and performance refers to the database engine’s ability to process large amounts of information for analysis purposes. But this is not all; especially in recent years, the information that companies need to handle and use keeps growing, changing, and getting more complex every day.
Those managing data warehouse infrastructures are dealing with increasing demands for shorter processing times, more space for data, and increasing complexity applied to analysis. Due to their transactional nature, relational databases are increasingly being put to the test and pushed to the limit to be able to deliver on these demanding requirements.
In this sense, Teradata has taken a holistic and expansive approach, incorporating new technologies in all of its products and offerings, especially within the Teradata Database, enabling users to make use of new technology in a transparent way. Users don’t necessarily need to know or care about storage or data interpretation and movement, and the Teradata Database takes the lead in performing intelligently without burdening the user with the details of data warehousing.
Some of the general features of the Teradata Database include:
The ability to maintain up to 2,000 nodes, and a capacity that goes up to 234 PB. Support for both symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and massively parallel processing (MPP)
A “cloud ready” architecture
A number of capabilities for enabling and delivering full query parallelism and balanced performance
The Teradata Database server is natively designed to be deployed under Linux but with client support for Windows, Mac OS, IBM z/OS MVS, and UNIX/Linux Platforms. Fully ANSI SQL compatible and native development can be done in PL/1, C, or COBOL, and Teradata allows native solution development.
To ensure connection, the Teradata Database relies on a wide number of connectors to disperse data sources, and additionally offers common open database connectivity (ODBC), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), and object linking and embedding database (OLE-DB) drivers as well as a special series of plug-ins for third-party development tools (such as Eclipse and Java Message Service (JMS)).
Despite the fact that Teradata’s Database works mainly as part of its own data warehouse appliances, it has the ability to integrate with IBM’s or compatible mainframes and currently has an architecture that supports deployment in the cloud.
Of course, it comes as no surprise that the database adds a wide number of tools and utilities for administration and heavy data management. Some are key to modernizing traditional data warehouse deployments and provide managing agility, such as Teradata’s load and export utilities (FastLoad, MultiLoad and Data Mover, and TPump, Teradata’s continuous load application). Also available are a complete set of portlets for workload management within the Teradata Active System package and a range of tools within the Teradata Analyst Pack for statistics and visual analysis.
Another of Teradata’s new modernizer tools is the Teradata Warehouse Miner, the R add-on for Teradata, and the Teradata Analytic Data Set (ADS) Generator, which gives the database the ability to incorporate advanced analytics natively within the context of the Teradata Database running on any of Teradata’s workload-specific platform family members.