Teradata rejects public cloud

Company says there is currently no economic or technical viability for data warehousing public cloud

Tags: Cloud computingData warehouseTeradata Corporation (www.teradata.com)
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Teradata rejects public cloud At present, Teradata does not believe that data warehousing in a public cloud environment is technically or financially viable says Gnau.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  April 11, 2011

Teradata's chief development officer, Scott Gnau has revealed that the company has no immediate plans to invest in a public cloud for data warehousing solutions, due to a lack of security, erratic bandwidth and a lack of economic benefit and value to the company.

Gnau says that Teradata has been offering a form of private cloud data warehousing since 1995 and that private cloud data warehousing systems are what the company's clients are looking for.

"If you think about the definition of cloud architecture, it is shared, it is elastic, it is scalable, it is all those things. This is actually how Teradata has been implemented since 1995, on hardware that we have specially packaged. It is not proprietary software, but it is hardware that we package together for the best performance and we can deploy it as a private cloud solution and that, in fact, has been around since we launched the V2 version in 1995," he said.

The public cloud is not of any economic benefit to the company at this time said Gnau and if implemented would undermine the efficiency and reliability of Teradata software.

"If you think of the value proposition for public cloud, the public cloud is you take a bunch of servers with a bunch of applications that are running at 10%, and you put them all together in one big server that runs at 80% and you get rid of all that extra hardware and what happens is the public cloud provider makes a little bit of profit and the customer saves some money and everything is good. If you look at [our] data warehousing high performance computing, our servers always run at 90% to 100%, so combining them together and delivering them through the cloud, there would be no economic advantage, there would be nowhere for the cloud provider to make money," he said.

Teradata says that there is currently an economic barrier to the full adoption of high performance computing in the cloud because the value proposition is not there for companies. Another major issue against the implementation of the public cloud for Teradata is the unreliability of I/O bandwidth for high performance computing.

"The single limiting factor to performance is I/O. [Data warehousing] is very different to web traffic or other types of general purpose computing and if we are doing that in a massively parallel environment, and you are only as fast as the slowest parallel link, it becomes a really big problem and in public cloud technology it is impossible to guarantee I/O bandwidth. So applications would run a whole lot slower. In a massively parallel situation, it could run very unpredictably," said Gnau.

He added that for Teradata to be interested in public cloud, several factors must be fulfilled.

"There is an economic equation to be solved that has not been solved and there is a technology equation to be solved on guaranteeing the I/O and then there is also the privacy and security issues that are out there. I think it will be a while until those things get resolved," said Gnau.

The company has deployed a private cloud internally and Gnau says that when the company finds economic viability, or the ability to deliver that I/O performance, the company will be ready and waiting to deploy a public data warehousing cloud.

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