Dan Graham, Teradata enterprise platform general manager
Ask the Experts
Up to the Challenge
The Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse 6700 serves as the ‘anchor store’ in a shopping mall of data.
The Teradata® Active Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) 6700 is optimized for the most demanding strategic and operational workloads. This latest version of the Active EDW delivers new business benefits through enhanced capabilities and features. Teradata Magazine spoke with Dan Graham, Teradata enterprise platform general manager, about what makes this platform unique.
The industry buzz is about big data analytics. How does the new Active EDW platform help solve this challenge?
Graham: Teradata was in the big data business long before there was even a buzzword for it. Teradata was the first to offer a one-terabyte database in the early 1990s, then the first to offer a petabyte database a decade later. The Active EDW is one way we solve big data analytics needs.
The arrival of Apache™ Hadoop® supercharged the hype about massive volumes of data, which put Teradata’s strengths in the spotlight. Consequently, we expanded our vision to include the Teradata Unified Data Architecture™ to address big data analytics.
How does this product release integrate with the Unified Data Architecture™?
Graham: We are delivering the Unified Data Architecture™, which places the Active EDW as the cornerstone in a larger architecture of specialized databases and analytic capabilities. You can think of the Active EDW as the anchor store in a large shopping mall. Customers visit the mall because the anchor store has almost everything they need, but they also visit smaller specialty stores. The Active EDW is the anchor store, and our appliances and Teradata Aster products are the specialty boutique stores filling other needs.
Where does Hadoop fit into this picture?
Graham: The Unified Data Architecture™ strategy embraces Hadoop since it provides a path to capture and refine rapidly growing and diverse data sources. Teradata and Hortonworks are integrating Hadoop into the Unified Data Architecture™ through our SQL-H™ catalog. This brings together the Active EDW, enterprise class data warehouse appliances, the Teradata Aster discovery platform and Hadoop into a single ecosystem. Business users can shop for any kind of data and analytics in the “data mall.”
What is different about the Teradata Active EDW 6700 from previous models?
Graham: The biggest change is the switch to fabric computing in support of the Unified Data Architecture™. Teradata BYNET® Version 5 is at the forefront of a new trend called fabric-based computing. It’s backed by advanced software connectors that pull together the ecosystem architecture. Now businesses can easily access information from any data store and move the data quickly across the fabric.
“Performance improvements of 40% to 80% make reports, dashboards and analysis run faster with more accuracy.”
— Dan Graham, Teradata enterprise platform general manager
In addition, this model leverages the new eight-core Intel Xeon Processor and node to deliver 30 percent to 40 percent more performance than prior generations. This allows faster business report delivery, dashboards, OLAP analysis—everything the business does with analytics speeds up. In addition, it offers much larger memories that are linked to Teradata Virtual Storage, which is the driving force behind hybrid storage. Hybrid storage means hard disks coupled with solid-state flash memory storage. We also continue to offer coexistence between system generations and capacity on demand. Neither of these benefits is offered
by our competitors.
What’s the ‘secret sauce’ that enables Teradata Virtual Storage?
Graham: The magic is that whatever data is most popular with business users automatically gets placed in the lightning-fast solid-state storage. This is different from other products that require a DBA to be an expert in hot/cold data trend analysis and policies for moving data based on usage. A DBA cannot keep up with the dynamic changes in the business every hour, every week and every season.
Teradata Virtual Storage is 100 percent automated. Even our most skeptical customers have told us: “I didn’t think it would work so well, but it did and you saved me a ton of work.”
How does this new platform benefit businesses?
Graham: Performance improvements of 40 percent to 80 percent make reports, dashboards and analysis run faster with more accuracy. This lets analysts run several iterations of a report before the regular Monday 11 a.m. meeting so you get more accurate insights. Marketing folks can run buyer preference analysis many times per day instead of weekly, increasing the purchase rates of consumers. Executive dashboards can be delivered on a smartphone, reliably hitting one second response times so executives can catch their plane flights while sending out messages to staff on action items.
Plus, this new platform meets the escalating enterprise performance needs that the flood of big data analytics creates. The Active EDW is the element of the Unified Data Architecture™ that must operationalize all of these new insights and discoveries for the whole enterprise. This may require thousands of business users on hundreds of applications wanting their answers in near real-time. That is quite a challenge—but the Active EDW 6700 is up to it.
Can you provide an example of how hybrid storage
delivers unique value to
Graham: One company that was running weekend reports saw the runtime drop from 14.5 hours to just six hours–a 2.5 times improvement. Another organization that was converting to hybrid storage planned an entire weekend to load and test the data. It finished early on Saturday.
The increased performance with the solid-state drives allows organizations to reach more consumers with relevant offers in a shorter timeframe. Retailers can find information about their supply chain in minutes instead of hours to replenish inventory. Banks can run reports four times faster to prevent bank fraud—they’re able to move from detecting fraud to preventing it. This type of performance used to be an option. Now it’s mandatory for businesses to compete.
Teradata has focused on making its platforms more environmentally friendly. How does the Teradata Active EDW 6700 help organizations be greener?
Graham: This model offers a 67 percent savings on data center space and uses about one-third the energy as our previous version. It also requires less air conditioning for cooling. Those energy savings help offset the cost of the hardware. Plus, because of the Active EDW’s capability for coexistence with previous systems, you don’t have to get rid of your existing solutions. You can grow your data warehouse using new technology without throwing out the old, which reduces electronic waste. The end result is a green data warehouse that delivers extreme performance.
Brett Martin is the senior editor for Teradata Magazine.