Teradata CEO aims to regain 'customer focus' with embrace of cloud and open source

Teradata's new CEO, Victor Lund, has promised to address customer demand for cloud deployment options and open source analytics tools, with the company "shying away" from adopting new services in the past.

The announcements made at the vendor's annual EMEA conference today were to that end, with a more flexible data base licensing model to support cloud deployments, as well as an all-SSD version of its IntelliFlex appliance and an entry level engineered system suitable for Hadoop deployments.

Lund was appointed by Teradata's board in May last year as a replacement for Mike Koehler, and has sought to accelerate the development of cloud-based services.

"We had forgotten that we had to change and move where our customers wanted us to move," Lund told attendees at Teradata Universe in Nice today. "Customers want to buy and deploy Teradata in ways that were we were just simply not making available to them."

He added: "We were shying away from new technologies like open source and cloud. We weren't being as aggressive as we should be in moving forward to drive our offering to the point where the customer wanted."

However, he said that the vendor has moved at "lightning speed" over the last year to address some of the concerns.

For example, Teradata announced changes to its database licensing model, enabling licences to be moved across a range of data centre environments, including on-premise, public cloud and managed cloud.

The licensing model takes into consideration the number of CPU cores available, as well as how much data is being fed into the CPU. Using these metrics, Teradata can offer consistent billing when databases are moved from on-premise to the cloud, for example.

Jim Curtis, senior analyst for data platforms and analytics at 451 Research said the licensing changes are "a win-win for Teradata as well as for aggressive companies that thrive and compete on business agility."

The company also announced subscriptions licences, offering lower up-front costs as part of a move to an OpEx payment model.

These subscription licences are set across four tiers. A free Developer tier is for non-production environments, using public cloud, or VMware to run on non-Teradata hardware. The Base tier is aimed at entry-level enterprise warehouse uses cases, on-premise and in the cloud, as well as an Advanced version, which includes Integrated Workload Management and Intelligent Memory features. Lastly, the top Enterprise tier offers a range of additional features including Teradata Active System Management.

IntelliFlex 2.0 and IntelliBase

Other announcements on the opening day include an all-memory versions of the Teradata IntelliFlex data warehouse appliance, relying entirely on solid state drives (SSDs). This allows customers to reduce their data centre footprint and run analytics at much greater speeds.

IntelliFlex was initially launched last year. The new system, which uses dual 18-core Intel Xeon processes, can provide up to a 7.5x increase in processing power over previous versions, as well as improvements in data analytics processing, and lower energy costs.

In addition, Teradata unveiled its entry level data warehouse, promising a "commodity hardware price". The engineered system enables compute nodes to be reconfigured to meet different analytics needs. For example, hardware running Hadoop can be repurposed to run Teradata Database. The system will be available in Q2 2017.

Tony Baer, principal analyst at Ovum, said that Teradata is offering "the best of both worlds" as customers use Hadoop alongside traditional data warehouse technologies.

"On the same platform, Teradata is giving customers the choice of balancing disparate requirements between cost, service level requirements, and the ability to take advantage of the different types of analytics," he said.

Both products are available on-premise and will be hosted on Teradata's managed cloud in future.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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