As a child in 1980 with the last name of Armstrong, you were bound to be teased with the nickname “Stretch.” (Google it.) Now many years later, it is a fortunate coincidence to have that nickname “legacy” as Teradata delivers on a long-desired capability of greater elasticity of the database environment with the hybrid cloud offerings and our Teradata Everywhere licensing models.
Scalability and elasticity
It is first important to note that for elasticity to be realized, there must be the scalable foundation already in place. It makes no sense to expand platform resources if the software cannot fully take advantage of that expansion.
While Teradata has been the leader in scalability for decades, that scale did come with some strings attached. Due to a variety of hardware and software design features, the ability to grow or shrink the Teradata environment required downtime to make sure the data was redistributed and the parallelism took full advantage of all resources. It was also true that Teradata was normally deployed as a physical system in a customer’s data center.
But with the advent of cloud environments, both public and private, people are looking for a different type of scale and elasticity, which is much more on demand without outages. They also need to scale with much more granularity and frequency. People expect that all environments should be able to be quickly, and seamlessly, configured to fit the need of the day. More importantly, they also want to only pay for what was used for those purposes.
Any one of these desires presents challenges and, when taken together, they look daunting. Clearly there is not one solution, but there needs to be a spectrum of options that provide an elastic continuum.
Elasticity comes in many flavors
The hybrid cloud environment recognizes that companies will invest in many different types of deployment, from having on-premises physical systems to managed cloud offerings and to publicly available cloud providers. Being able to provide elasticity across all these options must include not only the hardware aspects but the software ones as well. Understanding each environment brings different challenges — and opportunities. Teradata has now four distinct types of elasticity to offer. These options are shown below:
Dynamic Workload Prioritization
While not elasticity in the classic sense, one of the goals of elasticity is to manage resources to meet demand. Here, there is a defined system, and rather than adjusting the amount of resources, the resources are directed for the most critical workloads. The underlying goal is to meet service level agreements and ensure that a prioritized workload gets completed. With Dynamic Workload Prioritization, systems can be configured to ensure that the right resources are applied to the right workloads, dynamically at the right time, according to business needs.