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Teradata unveils SSD Blurr appliance

Feels need for speed

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Teradata has previewed a concept appliance based on Solid State Disks (SSDs) and codenamed Blurr to partners.

Unveiled at the company's Partners User Group Conference in Washington, DC, the first device - called Teradata Extreme Performance Appliance - is going onto a customer site in two weeks time.

Before you ask, yes, it is fast. SSDs have always had the potential to be fast but other bottlenecks such as drivers and RAID got in the way. Teradata has worked around these and is getting 55,000 IOPS (Input/Outputs per Second) per SSD, which multiplies up to four million IOPS per rack. And Teradata says these are real, measured IOPS not theoretical ones.

Of course, it was never going to be cheap. People very rarely use the word "cheap" and "Teradata" in the same sentence. It can be done, but you have to say something like: "Blurr is four times less cheap than the comparable rotating disk appliance from Teradata." But then it is an astonishing eight times less slow.

To save you from the mental gymnastics, this means that Blurr has twice the price performance of the rotating disk machine. This helps emphasize a very important point about SSDs in databases. They are not the panacea for all ills. Don't invest in them if you are happy with the speed you get. But if you feel the need, the need for speed, SSDs have reached that cusp point where they can be significantly more cost effective than rotating media.

Teradata has also been boasting about Blurr's performance benefits and green credentials.

The appliance will scale from seven to 200Tb of user data and use multi-core Intel processors available running 64-bit Linux SLES 10.

Teradata claimed Blurr is also 50 per cent more energy efficient than data warehouses of the same data capacity with traditional hard drives. Also that it requires seven per cent of the floor space of an equivalent performance data warehouse.

The company said the combination of flash memory speed and Teradata Database means Blurr is suited to a variety of real-time analytical roles in e-commerce, manufacturing and logistics, travel and transportation and telecoms.

Teradata, meanwhile, also used the conference to announce Teradata Express for VMWare Player for those who really want to try out Teradata. As long as your hardware can run the free VMWare player, you can be running a version of Teradata. ®

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