back to article Teradata switches CEOs mid-flight while being eaten alive in the cloud, but it's not game over yet for data warehouser

When Oliver Ratzesberger was named as Teradata CEO and president in January last year, it seemed he was made for the job. Not only did he have a background in engineering and software, but thanks to seven years leading analytics at eBay, he was also well versed in the challenges of big data. By December, he was gone. Last week …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >Vodafone said the GCP system went live in April this year.

    Did it shite.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used Teradata 27 years ago...

    ... at a large retailer. IIRC their secret sauce was their patented hashing method for distributing a database with a "shared nothing" strategy across any number of boxes. Was cool tech at the time.

    I assume these patents are long gone, in which case I can't work out what they're selling that others can't do cheaper or better. Any ideas?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I used Teradata 27 years ago...

      Teradata's Optimizer is the basis of their competitive advantage over and above their pervasive shared nothing architecture. It has been developed over three decades to handle absolutely any kind of query with maximum efficiency given the hardware available, and also to support and prioritise large numbers of users running queries simultaneously. When I joined Teradata in the early 1990s I thought like you "this is cool but within five years someone else will be doing just as well". When I left Teradata more than twenty years later their competitive edge in this respect was still substantial and compelling.

  3. Steve Channell

    Y-Net/BY-Net was the secret source of Teradata, but not needed for a very long time

    When Teradata Launched over thirty years ago the limiting factor was IO bandwidth, which it addressed with a custom network fabric that ordered responses across the MPP achieving high throughput without overloading the 386 processors. Data was distributed using a proprietary hash that was little different to standard key hashing (case insensitive and tweaked for common text). Compared to Hadoop it was well ahead of time with TQL decomposed into a series of map/reduce distribution operations. Performance of "SELECT DISTINCT ..." was slower than "SELECT ... GROUP BY..." because even in a DBC/1012 grouping was quicker to perform on AMP than through the Y/BY-Net ASIC.

    Strategically Teradata missed the boat more than twenty years ago when Oracle (EXAData), Microsoft (DataAlegro/PDW/Synapse) and IBM (Netezza) upscaled their footprint - their choice was to milk the Niche status and stickiness of an established appliance vendor and provide (and fail to provide) an up-sale channel for TopEnd TP monitory to complement the intrenched NCR position on POS/ATM.

    Architecturally Teradata Operating System (TOS) (later re-hosted on NCR UNIX) is a Pascal p-machine, so porting to Java should not be a major problem, the challenge is how to go from a high-margin support/training model to an open-source provider without being cannibalised.. evidence from MapR is that they'll fail.

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