Teradata reveals solid state storage plans

Datawarehouse and business analytics firm Teradata plans to unveil a data storage management system around the middle of next year that will speed up customers' ability to access large volumes of data at high speed from different types of storage media, including solid state.

Datawarehouse and business analytics firm Teradata plans to unveil a data storage management system around the middle of next year that will speed up customers' ability to access large volumes of data at high speed from different types of storage media, including solid state.

Stephen Brobst, Teradata's CTO, said at the firm's user conference in Istanbul that users would be able to keep their existing disc drives and add bigger drives that would lower the average cost per terabyte stored as their volumes grew.

Solid state system, which was working in the lab, is more expensive that magnetic storage. But the trick would be to work out which 20% of the data was used 80% of the time, and to put that into solid state storage to maximise efficiency. "We have a tool that will do that automatically." said Brobst.

Brobst said data volumes were growing very fast, but so was the need to analyse it quickly enough for the organisation to take advantage of events. Organisations had less and less time to respond to customers because the internet was speeding up everything, and competition meant there were usually plenty of other suppliers the customer could use.

This was driving the need for faster access, which meant moving to solid state storage systems. Until recently, these had been too expensive. The input/output (I/O) system was also a bottleneck, he said.

Consumerisation via the iPod and digital photography was driving down the cost of flash memory, Brobst said. He expected the price curve to approach that of spinning memory, but not to cross it, around the middle of next year.

He also expected Intel to incorporate the disc I/O system on the chip, which would crack the bottleneck problem, at around the same time.

"We will definitely announce the new storage management system at the end of May 2010, but we may not announce the solid state system because we are waiting on others for release dates," Brobst said.

The new storage management system will allow users transparent access to disc drives with different capacities. This was an essential step to incorporating the solid state storage seamlessly into the data warehouse, he said.

He said the announcement would "virtualise" Teradata's data warehouse and analytics system. "Think of it as an internal cloud system, because that is what it will look like to the user," he said.

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