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Teradata the Wise

One sign of wisdom is that you become less dogmatic about things. Years of experience show you (often the hard way) that there is no one right way to think or act or be. People, cultures, tastes, and beliefs come in all shapes and sizes. And so do data warehouses.

It’s good to see Teradata acknowledge this after years of preaching the enterprise data warehouse uber alles. President and CEO Mike Koehler said in his keynote in this week at Teradata Partners conference, “We like data marts.” And he could have added “operational data stores,” “appliances,” “the cloud” and so on. Rather than pitching a single platform and architectural approach, Teradata now offers an “ecosystem” of products (i.e. its appliances), enabling customers to pick and choose the offerings that best meet their needs and budget. Kudos!

Empowering Analysts

Teradata Agile Analytics for the Cloud. I was particularly captivated by the newly announced Teradata Agile Analytics for the Cloud, which enables individual business analysts to automatically carve out temporary sandboxes within a central data warehouse. Business analysts can upload data to the sandbox and run queries against their data and data in the warehouse they have permission to access. This empowers business analysts to explore data without tempting them to create renegade data marts under their desks.

Like any good software vendor, Teradata is following the lead of some of its more advanced customers, such as eBay, which have been doing this for years. Oliver Ratzeberger, eBay’s senior director of architecture and operations, discussed his use of these types of sandboxes at last year’s TDWI Executive Summit and again this week at Teradata Partners. eBay has now moved beyond what Teradata announced (which is not yet officially available) and can now dynamically reallocate resources to departmental data marts (not just personal data marts) based on usage. eBay calls these virtual data marts. Hopefully, Teradata will add this functionality in the near future, and then we’ll truly know it likes data marts!

I think Teradata’s marketing team took some liberties with the product name by adding the word “cloud” to it. Although perhaps technically correct, the name is confusing to the general data warehousing community. I’d rather see them call it something more straightforward, like Teradata’s Personal Sandbox Service.

Posted by Wayne Eckerson on October 22, 2009


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