Don’t Be Distracted By The Noise – Stick to the Facts When Comparing Analytic Appliances

By Wendy Lucas,

Vendor comparisons of analytic appliances will rage on, long after the life span of this blog.  However, I would suggest you shouldn’t be distracted by comparisons that aren’t rooted in fact or aren’t core to the value a data warehouse should provide.  Don’t be distracted by the noise!  Stick to things that matter:  how is the DW servicing end users, how fast is the time to value, is it easy to use and maintain and what about it’s total cost of ownership?

In a recent paper, Teradata has challenged the IBM PureData System for Analytics on a number of points.  Let’s review just a few of them.


Teradata claims the PureData System for Analytics has a limit of “63 concurrent transactions per system” and that Teradata can handle “up to millions of concurrent queries and transactions on a single system.”  What they don’t mention is that the Teradata 1XXX and 2XXX series systems have two throttles that are turned on by default, limiting the system to 52 concurrent requests, system wide.  What might be a better question … is concurrency as important as throughput and meeting service levels?  If your system doesn’t respond to queries as fast, queries build up and you have more running concurrently, hence the importance for concurrency in a Teradata system. 


Teradata will discuss key tasks that DBAs need to perform on a regular basis, including, “making tuning a priority.”   If DBAs are focused on tuning, they are likely reacting to problem queries after the fact.  Do you really want your end users experiencing poor performance while DBAs work their magic?   Most PureData System for Analytics customers bought their first system because of the performance, low total cost of ownership, and ease of use. They bought their next larger system, or a second, third, fourth, and so on because other organizations or groups in the business became envious of how fast the PureData System for Analytics was able to provide actionable insight into the parts of the business using it, without tuning.

Total Cost of Ownership

What we don’t hear about in Teradata material is total cost of ownership.   Let’s take a look.  In a recent report, the International Technology Group (ITG) determined the three year cost of ownership of Teradata’s 2750 as 150% more expensive than IBM’s PureData System for Analytics N200x.   This was based on surveys of actual customer experience comparing total cost of acquisition and cost of resources to maintain the system.  For the ITG study, the 17 Teradata organizations average 1.7 full time employees to oversee the Teradata data base, as compared to less than 0.5 full time employees to tend to IBM’s PureData System for Analytics, on average. 

Stay focused on what matters.  Don’t be distracted!  For more details, check out the paper authored by Dwaine Snow from IBM, “Why customers are migrating from Teradata to IBM PureData System for Analytics”  or follow similar topics on his blog at

And for more information and exciting product announcements, join us at Enzee Universe and the Data Warehousing track at the IBM Insight conference in Vegas!

About Wendy Lucas

Wendy Lucas is a Program Director for IBM Data Warehouse Marketing. Wendy has over 20 years of experience in data warehousing and business intelligence solutions, including 12 years at IBM. She has helped clients in a variety of roles, including application development, management consulting, project management, technical sales management and marketing. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Capital University and you can follow her on Twitter at @wlucas001


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