April 10, 2011

Teradata integrates in solid-state storage

For once, I think Teradata’s annual hardware refresh is pretty interesting, because of the integration of flash storage into its high-end “active enterprise data warehouse” product line. The essence of the announcement is:

Teradata graciously permitted me to post a 6650/6680 announcement slide deck. (Contrary to what it says, it’s not actually “NDA Confidential.”)

* Teradata doesn’t use the term “appliance” for its high-end “active EDW” products, but never mind that; to me, they’re appliances.

The Teradata 6680 has a fixed 3:1 ratio of hard-disk and solid-state drives (SSDs). SSDs are always 300 gigabytes; hard drive capacity can be 300, 450, or 600 GB. Thus, the SSD part is somewhere between 1/4 and 1/7 of total data capacity.

The Teradata 6650 will let you include solid-state drives in the mix in a future release, late this year. But for the intervening months, it’s a hard-disk-only product.

Teradata’s adoption of solid-state storage is somewhat different from other vendors’ in at least two ways:

Pricing of the new Teradata systems is a bit vague. According to Teradata,

The Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse 6650 is offered at a price reduction from the current Teradata Enterprise Data Warehouse 5650.

But the details are no clearer than:

The Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse (EADW) 6680 starting price per Terabyte of data is basically the same as the Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse 6650 for the same performance level, and it can go up to 4x the performance levels of the 6650. The Teradata AEDW 6680 is designed to be more cost effective for high performance data warehouses.  In these scenarios, the price per unit of performance is lower than the Teradata AEDW 6650, and is lower than last year’s Teradata EDW 5650.

Confusion is heightened by Teradata’s balancing-taken-to-an-extreme choice to cripple some of the CPU capacity on 6650s with hard disks, then unlock it if solid-state drives are put in instead.

Naturally, the Teradata 6680 has different ratios among performance, data capacity, price, and operating cost than hard-disk-only alternatives. For example, as per Slide 30, a 6680 implementation can have >2X the performance of the 6650 on the same amount of data, yet enjoy “27% lower data center costs.”

Speaking of data center — i.e. power and  floor space — costs, Slide 28 tells us that they’re 20% better with a Teradata 6650 than a 5650. One reason is that Teradata has decided that it really trusts its write-ahead logs, so UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) are no longer needed. Slide 28 also tells us that the 6650 and 5650 are pretty equivalent in performance and data capacity.

Teradata has long made a big deal about its “investment protection,” which ensures that different year’s models of Teradata systems can work together at their respective full performance capacities. However, investment protection has been suspended for Teradata’s products with solid-state drives (the 6680, or the 6650 with the optional SSDs that will eventually become available). Teradata does say that future releases will start having investment protection again, at least back to these new systems.

Relevant background to all this includes:


3 Responses to “Teradata integrates in solid-state storage”

  1. Use cases for low-latency analytics | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on April 10th, 2011 11:00 pm

    […] the slide deck for the Teradata 6680/solid-state drive announcement, however, Teradata went in a slightly different direction. In its list of “hot data use case […]

  2. Jim Dietz on April 13th, 2011 3:00 am

    Observers seem to be “getting it” over here at the launch of the Active EDW 6680 platform that SSD means that more processing power is applied to a data space so you can “do more with your data”.

    Just a few clarifications of the post here:
    – The SSD to HDD drive ratio varies between 1:3 and 1:4. The data space ratio varies from 1:3 to 1:6. Lot’s of flexibility to meet user data
    temperature profiles
    – The 20% of SSD dedicated to temp space seems to be quite adequate and compares well to the way others are using SSD for temp cache.
    – Investment protection for all is maintained with the Active EDW 6650 platform that enables a system of 6 generations of platforms that achieves full performance of all generations. The Active EDW 6650 portion of the system can then be upgraded to mixed storage with SSD when performance demands warrant it.

    We’re now on the path to meeting the growing “need for speed” in data warehousing.

  3. La petite Revue de Presse du Décisionnel | www.LeGrandBI.com on May 1st, 2011 3:53 pm

    […] For once, I think Teradata’s annual hardware refresh is pretty interesting, because of the integration of flash storage into its high-end “active enterprise data warehouse” product line. Lire l’article […]

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