At Teradata's European Universe conference in Hamburg, Germany, two topics were of particular interest – making Teradata easier to own and the focus on "cloud-as-you-like-it." Teradata is well-recognized as a leading vendor in enterprises that are serious about their data; it fully intends to retain that position by offering more flexible deployment options.
All cloud? Hybrid cloud? Heck, between clouds? Teradata does that
Teradata made several announcements at the event; in my view, the biggest was about making Teradata available on Amazon Web Services. No, this isn't Teradata "lite," but full-featured Teradata, just like the latest version you can buy to put in your data centers. This is a big deal, because typically – at least in my mind – Teradata and public cloud haven't belonged in the same sentence, yet here we are. This is Teradata making itself fully available in the cloud, on cloud's terms, with a cloud pricing structure. Match AWS with the existing Teradata Managed Cloud offering and it starts to look like the options for using Teradata are pretty flexible. There's more to the story. Oliver Ratzesberger, president of Teradata Labs, talked about flexibility, portability, and running multiple deployments in multiple environments – which sounds a lot like hybrid cloud on steroids.
The concept is relatively simple. You may have Teradata on-premises running your data warehouse, but perhaps you wish to test a new idea, which you spin up in AWS. If this proves successful, you could move it on-premises, or to the managed cloud. It is not just about portability though; flexibility is key and Mr. Ratzesberger talked about the ability to "burst" capacity out to the cloud (be it private or public) to handle, for example, end-of-month financials. This is precisely the type of response I'd expect from Teradata; many of its customers tend toward a conservative approach in their adoption of cloud, and I've long held the view that a hybrid approach is necessary to help customers navigate the choppy waters of slowly transitioning from on-premises to cloud.
Teradata also announced 3Q16 availability of IntelliFlex. This product is part of the plan to make Teradata easier to own. Its "next-generation massively parallel process (MPP) architecture" means the platform is not just about performance, although that's clearly important, but making things like upgrades of storage or compute easier to do. Physical separation of compute and data got a nod as well, as InfiniBand expands its capacity to shift data (from 56Gbit to 100Gbit). This opens new possibilities for management and orchestration of data, in and around Teradata assets.
Teradata has, perhaps, not had the easiest ride as the information management market has developed. It has, however, clearly listened to its customers and core markets and is positioning to offer those enterprises the capabilities and flexibility they need, wrapped in a package that has "enterprise-friendly" written all over it.
Tom M. Pringle, Head of Applications Research