Teradata Review

With the current machine we are able to eliminate the use of OLAP cubes and allow customer queries to run directly on the Teradata machine.


What is most valuable?

The two types of partitioning have been very significant for us - row and columnar partitioning.

How has it helped my organization?

With the current machine we are able to eliminate the use of OLAP cubes and allow customer queries to run directly on the Teradata machine.

We have now started running more profit generating activities on the Teradata machine, as opposed to just running reports, as in the past.

What needs improvement?

Data synchronization to the DR site.

My company’s management has to decide whether to invest in this area. This is more an internal issue at the company and definitely not a problem with the Teradata product. If we end up migrating to another platform, this will be the reason.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Teradata is the most stable platform that I’ve worked with in my 20-year career.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Teradata’s scalability is excellent.

How is customer service and technical support?

Teradata’s technical support is excellent. The support people are highly professional, and nice, to boot.

Which solutions did we use previously?

My previous background was with Oracle. I changed jobs and was asked to handle the Teradata team. It was a chance to learn something new and interesting.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is quite straightforward, but previous experience with other databases tends to make it more difficult, because it takes a while until you get used to thinking in Teradata terms, rather than Oracle/SQL Server/PostgreSQL terms.

It’s a different animal. However, once you start thinking like a Teradata DBA, things are much easier.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing can seem high, but when all factors are taken into account, the total costs are comparable to other databases as:

  • Few DBA’s are required
  • Unplanned downtime is very rare.

By avoiding the Enterprise solutions, you can actually end up with a cheaper, yet much more powerful machine. We moved from an Enterprise platform, to non-Enterprise and ended up with a machine that was 20X more powerful. We got an amazing performance boost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Every few years we examine the option of migrating to other platforms such as HPE Vertica, Oracle Exadata, or SQream.

In the past, it turned out that other solutions, in order to provide the full range of abilities that the Teradata platform provides plus the migration costs, would end up costing more than Teradata does.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure that you have a good Teradata DBA to help implement the solution. A great Oracle DBA is not sufficient, because it takes a while to internalize that they are two different things.

Make sure that you have a good backup/recovery/DR plan, and that it is covered by the infrastructure you are purchasing. Otherwise, you might find yourself with a system that performs great, but has no good DR solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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