Stretch Your System
Mitigate risk and meet dynamic business needs with Teradata Active Data Warehouse Private Cloud.
Imagine that a hospital executive suspects his Web portal access to the corporate analytics environment has been hacked. Because patient clinical and financial information is frequently regulated, reports of the hacking would cause the hospital’s compliance managers to comb through years of patient records in the data warehouse to perform an exhaustive investigation of a possible data breach.
Events such as these are difficult to anticipate. In fact, many unforeseen developments (i.e., mergers and acquisitions, regulatory requirements, shifting consumer sentiments, etc.) initiate unplanned analyses that usually fall outside the scope of traditional capacity planning efforts. Such situations are made to order for cloud computing solutions that can quickly provision additional hardware and software resources with minimal procurement negotiations. However, when it comes to storing and analyzing sensitive data, such as patient health information, not all cloud solutions are created equal.
Public vs. Private Clouds
Cloud solutions are useful when additional computing power is needed. And cloud capabilities are relatively easy to procure because customers can sign up with a credit card—via an online portal—and start using services within minutes. This is the public cloud delivery model of Amazon and Google, among others.
Public clouds, however, can have a “not-so-silver lining,” with documented concerns over security, privacy, availability, data loss and latency issues. Organizations wishing to mitigate risks associated with storing and analyzing sensitive data in public clouds are increasingly turning to private clouds.
A private cloud incorporates IT resources behind a company’s firewall and offers business users a dedicated environment on a self-service, standardized and pay-as-you-go basis. This makes the most sense when sensitive or regulated corporate data involves topics such as payroll, credit card, financial or patient health data.
Public cloud solutions generally satisfy user expectations for applications like sales force automation or marketing campaign management. However, data warehousing requirements such as high availability, mixed workload management, near real-time data loads and complex query execution are not easily managed or deployed using public cloud computing models. By contrast, private clouds for data warehousing offer the higher performance, better security and predictable service levels expected by today’s business users.
Next-Generation Private Cloud
Nearly all cloud computing experts agree that a private cloud should have characteristics of shared computing, self-service, metered use and automated resource provisioning. Teradata Active Data Warehouse (ADW) Private Cloud is a next-generation solution that leverages and extends existing cloud capabilities of the Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse through:
“Virtualization” is a broad term that means physical resources are hidden, or “abstracted,” from applications and, therefore, business users. The Teradata solution uses techniques to virtualize resources of each server node through virtual processes—sometimes called “parallel workers”—that perform parsing and query optimization, and also execute database operations. In addition, the solution abstracts physical storage so these parallel workers gain the optimum storage for their needs. As a result, virtualization techniques make ideal use of Teradata compute resources of each node and attached disk arrays. Users need not worry how they are using node resources or keep track of where data is stored on physical media.
Server consolidation is also an important aspect of virtualization efforts. A TDWI report, “Consolidating Data Warehousing onto a Private Cloud,” suggests that consolidating data servers (i.e., data mart consolidation), gains efficiencies, reduces software licenses and standardizes to save precious IT dollars. In addition, consolidating data marts into a single private cloud helps drive better business decisions because reliable data is integrated from across the company.
In cloud computing, scalability is often defined as the ability to easily add storage capacity for growing data volumes or add computing resources (i.e., servers, CPUs, etc.). While the Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse can scale up to 92 petabytes and 4,096 nodes, scalability should not be confined solely to storage space and compute power. In fact, the Teradata solution scales across multiple dimensions such as query concurrency (large numbers of total queries running at the same time), complexity (increase in data loads and complex analytical queries), query data volume and more. (See figure.)
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In cloud computing, elasticity allows businesses to expand quickly without requiring large investments in technology. Based on a pay-per-use pricing model, Teradata ADW Private Cloud allows enterprises to instantly access additional data warehouse resources. With an “Elastic Performance on Demand” capability, a customer purchases a baseline level of system performance from Teradata and also has access to additional resources behind the scenes to meet unplanned demand.
Elastic Performance on Demand makes sense for companies that encounter unexpected seasonal work, experience capital constraints for surge capacity needs or simply require the capability to meet spontaneous business requests. With extra data warehousing processing power available instantly—and no additional contract negotiations or lengthy procurement cycles—organizations don’t have to wait weeks or months for hardware upgrades.
Innovative companies analyze and test new hypotheses to see whether hunches can be proved quickly. Teradata ADW Private Cloud supports this by allowing data warehouse users to provision and manage data warehouse resources on a self-service basis. This is accomplished by creating data laboratories, also known as analytic sandboxes, inside the production data warehouse for special-purpose applications, testing or proofs-of-concept. Through use of a Teradata Viewpoint portlet, business users can create a database workspace in less than five minutes. Finally, as an added benefit for IT managers, controls are available to manage data labs, ensuring these temporary environments follow pre-established data governance and security policies.
The Teradata Active Data Warehouse platform utilizes three key technologies— Teradata Virtual Storage, Teradata Columnar and Active Workload Management— to ensure consistent performance in the Teradata ADW Private Cloud environment.
Teradata Virtual Storage is innovative software that takes advantage of flash memory solid-state drive (SSD) technology for frequently accessed data, while also utilizing large-capacity hard disk drives (HDD) for “colder” or less frequently used data. Advanced algorithms automatically measure and place data on the appropriate storage medium, depending on the data’s usage pattern or “temperature.” This intelligent placement enables faster and slower storage media to be mixed in the data warehouse environment for maximum system performance, while simultaneously optimizing cost.
Another database design choice, Teradata Columnar, optimizes query performance in Teradata ADW Private Cloud. This breakthrough technology delivers more data warehouse performance and higher compression rates by integrating columnar- and row-based storage in Teradata Database 14. A hybrid row/column approach can help speed up performance for certain classes of queries by eliminating time-constraining input/output (I/O), thus delivering a better experience for business users.
In a typical data warehouse environment, multiple users are likely competing for system resources. However, juggling various operational and analytical queries, much less intra-day data loads, is not an easy task. That’s why Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouses use Teradata Active System Management for setting up and monitoring a balanced workload environment. Advanced workload management techniques make it much easier to set service levels and meet end-user expectations for private cloud performance.
Private Cloud Reaches New Heights
Cloud computing is attractive because it offers flexibility in procuring additional IT resources at a moment’s notice, which is especially helpful in today’s rapidly changing business environment. And while there are tangible benefits of the public cloud delivery model, there are also issues of predictable performance, security, privacy, availability and data loss. That’s why companies are increasingly viewing private cloud as a better option for quickly developing and deploying IT solutions that drive business results.
The Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse platform provides a private cloud environment through virtualized resources, scalability, elasticity, self-service business intelligence (BI) and consistent performance. Teradata is the first data warehouse vendor to supply all five of these capabilities.
Some business and IT executives are just dipping their toes into the deep pools of cloud computing, while others are taking a running leap. Either way, Teradata ADW Private Cloud provides a powerful, flexible and high-performance cloud-based data warehousing environment to accommodate dynamic business needs.