Advanced Technology in a Compact Appliance 

by Brett Martin
Data Warehouse Appliance_high res_paintLeveraging advanced new technologies, Teradata continues to progress its 2000 series appliances by delivering a compact, yet powerful, data warehouse. The Teradata® Data Warehouse Appliance 2800 is more environmentally friendly, data center compatible and technologically advanced than its predecessor. Betsy Huntingdon, product marketing manager for Teradata hardware platforms, talked to Teradata Magazine about the benefits, enhancements and capabilities of the new offering and how it compares to the 6000 series.

In what ways has the 2000 series evolved over the last few years?

Huntingdon: When it was introduced six years ago, the 2000 series was viewed as an entry-level data warehousing platform for decision support systems, fast scans and CPU-intensive workloads. Or it was used as a complementary platform to the 6000 series for test and development, ELT offload and disaster recovery.

As the database and node technology progressed and the Teradata Integrated Workload Management capabilities vastly improved with SLES 11, the 2000 series has grown into an extremely capable IDW [integrated data warehouse]. Many customers are currently using it as a production data warehouse to run their business.

Why is this line of appliances unique?

Huntingdon: The full-featured Teradata Database is designed for data warehousing for any size business and offers high performance, scalability and reliability. The database features the industry’s best optimizer as well as temporal and columnar capabilities. Plus, it was built to be a massively parallel, shared-nothing solution from the beginning.

Teradata uses robust hardware from industry-leading vendors, including the latest Intel® processors, modular storage and BYNET® V5 on an InfiniBand interconnect, for the most reliable and available platforms. Teradata Workload Management supports high concurrency and mixed workloads.

What’s new in the 2000 series?

Huntingdon: The latest member in the series is the Teradata Data Warehouse Appliance 2800—a very powerful, enterprise-class IDW that is a significant improvement over the 2750 model in terms of technology, footprint and performance. The 2800 model uses the latest Intel processors for faster performance, while a combination of thinner nodes and denser storage enables twice as many nodes and storage arrays in a single base rack.

These improvements allow Teradata to pack more than twice the compute power and data capacity in the same footprint as the previous model. Plus, a second production 2800 system or up to two Teradata Data Mart Appliance 680s can be installed in the cabinet. Customers also have the option to install Teradata Managed Servers and BAR [backup, archive and restore] storage hardware. 

You mentioned technology improvements. Can you give us the highlights?

Huntingdon: The innovative double-density AssuredSAN® Ultra48™ storage platform from Dot Hill provides more than two times the drive slots in a cabinet, which allows more I/O and customer data capacity. The 2800 model will be the first to offer global hot spare drives to facilitate greater uptime, and the appliance also has the latest 1U Intel Grantley Node with the Intel Xeon® dual 14-core Haswell CPU to enhance performance. Haswell, with updated vector instructions, when combined with Teradata Database 15.10, will offer more efficient processing of computations in memory and query pipelining. Also, new DDR4 memory allows approximately 10% to 15% faster access to data in memory. All of this will lead to increased query throughput.

The 2800 model has a new software compression algorithm that enables higher data capacity. It also has two configuration options: a higher performance configuration with RAID 1 data protection, and a higher capacity option with larger drives and RAID 6 data protection.

What is the role of the Data Warehouse Appliance 2800 in the Teradata Unified Data Architecture™?

Huntingdon: The appliance serves as an IDW enabling a single view of the business and cross-functional analysis of shared, consistent and centralized data. Data doesn’t have to be shipped around and copied to multiple systems. Instead, it can be loaded just once into the IDW and then used from various access points. This centralization cuts costs, both in hardware and in time to support and maintain the system, giving the IDW the lowest cost of ownership on a price per query, price per use and price per application basis.

Where does the new appliance fit into the Teradata Platform Family?

Huntingdon: It fills a need for a basic, yet powerful, enterprise-class IDW for organizations that do not require a lot of applications or features. For companies that want more capabilities, the 6000 series offers nearly unlimited users, apps and types of workloads, including active data warehousing. It also offers hybrid storage, which is necessary for some organizations to meet their performance SLAs.

Can you give us a comparison between the two series in terms of users and workloads?

Huntingdon: The 6000 series supports the very highest number of users and applications, while the 2000 series, since it runs the same database, is also capable of supporting a high quantity of users, just at a lower concurrency. The Teradata Active System Management [TASM] on the 6000 series supports full active data warehousing, plus the combination of operational and strategic workloads at the same time.

The 2000 series is configured in a CPU-rich manner with a smaller number of disk drives per node. This enables fast scan rates since there is less data for the CPU to grind through. The ideal workload is standard reporting. In addition, CPU heavy or computationally intensive workloads such as iterative analytics, aggregations and data mining are also a good fit.

The 6000 series is the most balanced and optimally configured platform from Teradata in terms of CPU to I/O for tackling any type of workload, which can be CPU or I/O heavy. It is an extremely powerful platform that can handle any type of workload and accommodate any number of users or applications. Its workload sweet spot is a lot of tactical, real-time queries with stringent performance requirements combined with traditional strategic decision support work. Users for the 6000 series have a tremendous need for a high volume of analytics, scalability, high performance, a lot of users and applications, and high concurrency. Their workloads are mixed and complex, with thousands of users across multiple functions and departments.

For investment protection, the coresidence feature in the 2000 series means that while two generations of those platforms can run together, the second or newer generation will run at the same speed as the original platform, which is usually slower. The 6000 series has coexistence, which means it runs at full speed with up to three generations of nodes. Both solutions offer specific advantages to businesses, depending on their needs.

Brett Martin is the editor-in-chief for Teradata Magazine. 

Read this Q&A and more in the Q2 2015 issue of Teradata Magazine.

 

 

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