Aster Data Purchase Shows Teradata's Vision Is Deeper Than 'Big Data'


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The planned acquisition of Aster Data will give Teradata a distributed data warehouse that supports unstructured content and more aspects of extreme data than competitors do now.

News Analysis


On 3 March 2011, Teradata announced a definitive agreement to acquire Aster Data for $263 million. Teradata expects to close the deal in 2Q11. Teradata acquired an initial 11% stake in Aster Data in September 2010.


This deal marks the fifth major acquisition in the data warehouse database management system (DBMS) market in less than a year. Acquisitions and R&D will determine what functions will become the focus of competition in this market (see "The State of Data Warehousing in 2011" ). Acquiring Aster Data will add many new capabilities to Teradata's product line (such as MapReduce, unstructured data, time series and pattern-matching analysis, in-DBMS analytics, and graph data analytics), which will create a significant competitive challenge for other data warehouse DBMS vendors. Most other vendors supported unstructured content in their DBMSs before Teradata did as well as offering connectors to "big data" systems (such as Apache`s Hadoop). By contrast, Teradata's earlier investment in, and now acquisition of, Aster Data furthers a wider strategy that addresses not just "big data" volumes but also other extreme aspects of modern information management — that is, the persistent interaction of extreme volume, variety of data formats, data velocity and the complexity of individual data types within formats.

With this acquisition, Teradata will gain:

  • Strong capabilities for managing extreme data challenges in the information management market

  • SQL-MapReduce, a patent-pending SQL language extension — a platform and tools for using MapReduce

  • In addition to SQL-MapReduce, other functions that will be added to the Teradata product line.

Aster Data's technology will gain:

  • The financial backing and stability of a large vendor

  • The technical expertise of Teradata in hardware systems (leading to an Aster Data appliance)

  • Software expertise and technology to assist in the development of functions for managing mixed workloads, stronger SQL optimization and more

We believe that Teradata will keep Aster Data`s nCluster DBMS as a separate product to support extreme data management and analytics. In addition, Teradata will likely internally connect to nCluster to support data external to the Teradata warehouse, thus achieving the integration of structured and unstructured, diverse data necessary to support the modern data warehouse (see "Data Warehousing Trends for the CIO, 2011-2012" ).


Aster Data customers and prospects:

  • You don't need to do anything. We believe the product will not change, risk will decrease, and funding for R&D will increase.

Teradata customers:

  • If you need to support diverse data or face extreme data challenges, ask Teradata after the deal closes for its plans for Aster Data and the integrated product line.

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