The Big Data in Teradata

At the recent Teradata’s annual Partners user conference, the company outlined its expanding role as a provider distributed information architecture technology. My colleague Tony Cosentino assessed Teradata’s business analytics and big data strategy, but there is more under the covers in regards to the company’s expanding role for big data and enterprise architectures. Over the last several decades Teradata has been known for providing enterprise data warehouse appliances, such as its unveiling of its new Teradata 2700 data warehouse appliance, which uses the latest multicore Intel processors. Now, as organizations continue to invest in distributed approaches in which they store and utilize data on a range of appliances and through Hadoop-based big data technology, Teradata has begun to provide integration with Hadoop, including a direct connector to it and commercialized versions of it in partnership with Cloudera and Hortonworks.  Earlier this year, for instance, Teradata formed a partnership with Hortonworks that provides a commercialized edition of the open source Hadoop that now is further integrated.

Teradata is expanding its big data portfolio in two significant areas to which IT organizations should pay close attention. The first area of expansion is its evolving line of analytic and data appliances. This expansion accelerated over the last couple of years thanks to Teradata’s acquisition of Aster Data, which provided Teradata an anchor point for accessing data across the enterprise, as I recently assessed. Aster Data provides a unified approach to accessing Hadoop data from analytics or business intelligence tools through SQL-H and via the Apache HCatalog metadata catalog using patented SQL-to-MapReduce technology. The first fruits of this technology integration, the Teradata Aster Big Analytics Appliancewas announced this month. It provides high levels of processing power for a range of analytic applications that need access to unstructured data using Hortonworks which is embedded and integrated in the appliance. This technology integration is unique in its potential value for organizations that utilize big data across the enterprise, which is why we recently awarded it our 2012 Technology Innovation Award for Big Data.

The second area of expansion is Teradata’s portfolio of data management software, which advances the support for a unified data environment that helps manage the enterprise architecture for big data and support the information management needs of an organization. Teradata’s new set of data management tools, Teradata Unity, supports a range of synchronization, data loading, monitoring and data-moving operations. These tools are critical to ensuring access and integration of data across the enterprise and meeting the performance and scalability needs of analytic architectures. I personally like the simplicity of Teradata Viewpoint, which provides an integrated management console to look at the performance and scalability levels of the company’s data appliances. These new management tools address one of the largest impediments to taking advantage of big data according to our big data research, which is the staffing and training required to support implementations. Teradata also has advanced in the science of time-series analytics with Teradata Temporal, which helps capture changes over time.  These tools will help with the administration of data environments.

Teradata also has a vibrant ecosystem of analytic and business intelligence technology that interoperates with its portfolio of data technologies. Dozens of partners were at

the conference exhibiting their integration with and access to Teradata. Some technology vendor announcements that demonstrate integration to Teradata are worth mentioning. Alteryx announced an update to its version 8 to further support Teradata and Aster in the highest performance manner. QlikView announced its forthcoming access to Teradata with QlikView Version 11 advancements. SAS’ integration and work with Teradata continues to bring advanced analytics to Teradata environments. The company highlighted individuals taking advantage of the technologies, who it calls Analytic Heroes.

The key point for IT organizations is Teradata’s focus on big data, for which Teradata has embedded, integrated and expanded the value of Hadoop within its architecture and globally supports it in a 24×7 operation. I continued to see its overall success, as we noted in our recent 2012 Leadership Awards, where we highlighted contributions by organizations using Teradata, including HMS, Nationwide, RBC and the United States Department of Agriculture. Teradata’s role as part of enterprise architecture has become more open than ever, and in many ways more open than that of Oracle, which pushes its Exadata and Exalytics integrated vertical appliances and the Oracle-only approach for IT that my colleague recently assessed. While many other vendors are announcing new big data technology, Teradata has been providing this support and appliances successfully for decades. Our research shows that retaining and analyzing more data is the top benefit organizations gain from big data. To that end, Teradata is offering new hardware and software approaches. Organizations looking at big data technology approaches should take note that the company’s approach is open and can integrate with existing enterprise architectures and investments to meet the business and IT needs today and into the future.


Mark Smith

CEO & Chief Research Officer

IBM Makes Big Deal of Big Data

At its annual IBM Information on Demand 2012  (IOD) and Business Analytics Forum, IBM unleashed a broad range of news concerning big data and analytics. It showcased its recently announced IBM PureData System appliance, which provides an engineering system for analytics and transactions and is part of what IBM calls IBM PureSystems. Appliances are one of the most desired technologies planned for big data according to our benchmark research. With this announcement, IBM highlights its branding and provides more market presence as a way to compete with vendors such as Oracle and Teradata who have already announced appliance offerings.

The PureData System for Analytics expands on the IBM Netezza appliance and provides embedded processing capabilities for more than 200 analytic functions. It’s not clear, however, how the IBM business analytics products take advantage of the appliance and provide a “better together” approach. Connecting big data and business analytics is critical; according to our big data research, what-if analysis, predictive analytics and visualization are top priorities for which IBM has products. IBM offers these, but should provide more guidance on how its application software can integrate with both the appliance and the latest releases of its database technologies.

Speaking of databases, IBM provided details on its latest IBM DB2 10 release and talked about how it has advanced for temporal data management, compression and optimization. It also provided a case study on how Coca-Cola switched from Oracle to IBM to save more than a million dollars. In addition, IBM revealed more detail on its IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator, which increases the volume and velocity of queries the database can handle and eliminates query tuning. Aetna was on stage talking about the significant gain it found in processing. Building on top of the database processing is the recent release of IBM InfoSphere Information Server 9.1, which includes optimized integration with Hadoop, InfoSphere Streams and big data job sequencing. It also provides InfoSphere Data Click to simplify retrieval of data for business use. With expanded metadata management support and support for policies and rules for data governance, this release is an important step forward for meeting a broad range of information management needs. IBM also furthered its IBM InfoSphere BigInsights product to help analyze very large volumes of information and presented its InfoSphere Data Explorer, which has evolved from its acquisition of Vivisimo, which I recently assessed.

In the business analytics realm IBM demonstrated how simple IBM Cognos Insight Personal Edition is. It can be downloaded in more than 20 languages from IBM’s Analytics Zone site, and is free for personal use. It supports a range of dynamic import and automatic analytic setup from Excel and other files. Its visualization coach can recommend what type of chart to use to best present a particular set of data. Its simplicity to set up and use help earn IBM Cognos Insight our 2012 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for Business Intelligence.

IBM also announced a forthcoming service called Analytic Answers within the IBM SmartCloud. It will allow organization to send data to an online service and get intelligent results. This should help organizations apply technology to data and share the results, without requiring in-house skill sets in advanced analytics.

On the outer edges of placing intelligence into business systems, IBM highlighted the progress Watson was making in banking at Citigroup and in healthcare at WellPoint. IBM executive Steve Mills also mentioned that in 2013 it would be used in customer service and contact centers. You can learn more about IBM Watson and Cognitive Systems on our site; we recently awarded this technology the 2012 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for Overall Operational Innovation.

IBM has been delivering big data products for some time. Now, with an elevated focus on the PureData System and its portfolio of business analytics, I expect to hear more from the company on how its hardware and software will work better together, and maybe even see an appliance that has more of its analytics software built into the technology. With a larger presence and using the big data umbrella for its products, IBM is poised to ensure it is considered by any customer interested in the range of big data technologies it might be examining.


Mark Smith

CEO & Chief Research Officer