Waiting since May 2004

Ladys and Gentlemen: the news is finally OUT!

We’ve been hearing rumours for months, but it didn’t come and it didn’t come,and we wondered and wondered if it would ever get here. 

Well, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems for 2006 has finally hit the street.  Some of us have been waiting for this new release since the last one was released in May 2004.  The reason we’ve been waiting is because our beloved Teradata fell from grace in May 2004.  And for over two years now we’ve waited to see if the gains that Oracle and IBM had made on Teradata in the Gartner study in 2004 were really true.  Had Teradata lost it’s ahead-of-the-pack leadership position in Data Warehousing?

With the arrival of cheap appliances, the industry analysts predicted the demise of Teradata, to the industry sooth-sayers and prophets death stood at Teradata’s door.  The cheap and mighty appliances would surely take Teradata down. 

Concerned for "our" Teradata’s reputation and future we waited,  In May of 2005 we waited for the Magic Quadrant …BUT it never came, and we worried.  Then December 2005 – nothing. Then May 2006 – still nothing.  What could it be?  Where was it?

In July 2006 we heard rumours that it would be here soon, but we did not dare to hope…

Well September 2006 is the official data on it but I received two copy of the report on the same day (October 25, 2006)..

AND THE PROGNOSIS IS GRAND!  WONDERFUL, MAGNIFICIENT,  for THERE, RIGHT THERE!, in the upper right corned of the uppermost right quadrant — THE company that has the MOST DW Vision and the GREATEST ability to execute, to deliver to the DW Market

Non-other than   TERADATA!  Right where it should be.

Yeah Baby, Yeah! 

  1. mip Reply

    Steve – you are right. There are indeed times/events that make you go “hmmm?” and mine came when working at “one of the big five” consulting firms. One year, one report, by a company that shall remain nameless, scored us moderate to poor. The next year, we subscribed to the research subscription and guess what, we suddenly scored much better. I’ve always used or viewed these types of reports as simply food for thought. You’re bang on, the minute you outsource your thinking to someone else you are dead in the water.

  2. Stephen Reply

    MIP – I think there is always value in these vehicles. But you can not outsource your thinking to Gartner, Forrester or others. You should read these analyst reports being skeptical as there is often an undeclared conflict at the Analysts.
    For example, I have been told (rumour only) that Microsoft held the Gartner Magic Quadrant up so that they could get included. And on top of that they scored very well.
    Not to say anything about whether the evaluation is wrong, but it makes you go humm.
    Ellen – you are very right and if you think about Netezza, you aren’t even that old and are just getting started. As with all technology, it evolves both in slow steps and big leaps, we need the Innovator/Disruptors like Netezza (in this case) to help propel us to the next wave just as IBM and Oracle are still trying to catch Teradata.
    My thoughts aren’t about an Appliance taking out Teradata, but when they are getting close or outpacing the Oracle, DB2 or SQL Server you will see a very rapid change in the landscape.
    We all know there is much room for many players, but as with evolution some die off…

  3. Jim Reply

    Thanks, Graham. You even defined OLTP and OLAP. Now what is MQ? OK, I looked back at the original post to the beginning and it is the Magic Quadrant. I must have a look.

  4. Ellen Rubin Reply

    Graham –
    Thanks for giving us credit for helping to put pressure on Teradata’s pricing! I think you’ll find that Netezza’s price/performance leadership continues to put tremendous pressure on all the major players. The true story with the MQ is that Gartner included us in the quadrant in 2004 as the first new entrant in three years. Now, just two years later, we see them identify data warehouse appliances as visionary. I think this shows appliances are giving the major players a run for their money! Case in point – a session about the DW DBMS in the recent Gartner Symposium underscores this – the title of the MQ slide in that presentation was “Leaders Being Threatened by New Appliances.” And, to MIP’s point, even beyond what the analysts have to say, our growing customer community continues to validate our appliance approach. On to the next MQ!

  5. Graham Boundy Reply

    tough crowd…
    For the actual analysis I would direct you to the study. For copyright infringement purposes I can’t post it here. Gartner site may have it on their site. MY first Google search for it landed at Sybase who has been nice enough to publish the results at:
    To MIP’s comment I would agree, I’m often at odds with analysts and I can take exception to some of what Gartner has said in their analysis. But overall I agree with their positioning of the vendors. But I’m biased, or did that not come out?
    Jim, sorry the Teradata Kool-Aid kicked in. Some analysis for Jim:
    The major factor that caused Teradata to slip in 2004 was pricing. Teradata was deemed to be expensive and reluctant to negotiate on price. In some respects we should look at the arrival of Netezza and the aggressive pricing of Oracle and DB/2 as a contributing factor to Teradata’s rise into clear first place again. As a result of the aggressive pricing by other vendors Teradata is now more price sensitive.
    The real distinguishing factor for Teradata is they have always been out in the stratosphere in their ability to handle the most data volume. In 1998 the magic line was about 1 terabyte (TB). By 2003/4 it was about 10TB. Now a-days the line is around 50TB. Teradata is the only vendor that is consistently above the line in data volume handling capabilities. Real customers, with very large data volumes, using ONE database for Enterprise wide reporting and analysis.
    Other vendors are the driving force in pushing the line up by continually improving their product and or as a result of Moore’s Law (computing power doubles every 18 months). But Teradata in the mean time is pushing some where in the 300 TB range – nobody actually knows who their biggest customer is, and their biggest customers like to keep it that way.
    The religious wars start in the DW world between the Data Mart and the Data Warehouse camps. See Kimball or Inmon for details. People who buy into the Data Mart centric philosophy are less likely to look at Teradata because they are content to maintain multiple copies of their reporting data in small subsets and struggle with middleware or replications across platforms when cross database/platform joins are required.
    However, if you ascribe to the one version of the truth school which believes that reporting needs are better met by building a single database for all enterprise wide reporting, then you will one day run into performance problems due to data volumes.
    Teradata has spent its 25 years history dealing with these problems and is therefore in the best position of all the vendors to deal with large volumes of data.
    Netezza claims to be able to handle large volumes but lacks the maturity in the market place to score high on the “Ability to Execute” axis.
    Oracle and IBM’s biggest draw back are they are hamstrung by their OLTP background which makes there database ill suited to OLAP, except through replication, partitioning and data disbursement.
    Teradata is the only vendor to really ascribe to the single version of the truth philosophy, is now competitive on price, has performance characteristics to scale to larger and larger data volumes, and specializes in the delivery of analytics and reporting based on these large data volumes.
    As for the future… Well then there’s active data warehousing. Over time people will want there OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processors – i.e. data warehouses) and their OLTP (Online Transaction Processing – i.e. Point-of-Sale, Order Entry, etc.) systems to share the same data. In fact the Holy Grail of Relational Database Management systems is integrated – single version of the truth data. It’s taken the industry since the early 1980s to get to where we are and I suspect it will take some time until we realize this next stage — that is the re-merging of OLTP and OLAP databases into the cohesive single version of the truth. The challenge for Teradata in this world is that ORACLE and IBM are firmly entrenched in the OLTP world. They continue to grow in the DW/OLAP world for small enterprises. It will be interesting to see if Teradata can come down market and play in the OLTP space as the two platforms merge.

  6. mip Reply

    Where was TeraData in 2004? And if Gartner had it wrong in 2004 what’s to say they are right in 2006?
    I never liked all these analyst reports from companies like Gartner – in the end, they always seem academic and not rooted in the real world. Your opinion for example would matter more since you are out there day in and day out using this tech.
    Just my two cents.

  7. Jim Reply

    So what does that mean? Do they rate it by sales, opinion, or what? Rather than a cheer leading, how about some analysis? Why do you think they got such a good rating?

  8. Stephen Reply

    Did you see any big surprises in the quadrant?
    Where did the other two big guys fit?
    Are the gaps between the other competitors growing or shrinking?
    How about Netezza and the appliances or last good old Microsoft?
    It is great to see them still there, but there has been some major changes in the marketplace since 2004.

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