"The More It Changes. . ." Teradata to Acquire Aster Data

Director of Product Marketing

Last week brought the analytics industry yet another acquisition, this time Teradata buying Aster Data.  As I read the coverage, several questions came immediately to mind that one might ponder if assessing the impact of the acquisition.  It probably wasn’t customers, cash or revenue, as Aster didn’t appear to have much of either, leaving technology as the primary value.  But what and why?

Looking at Aster’s positioning and strengths, a couple of things pop out.  Aster had staked claims in Big Data so we have to presume that was the key factor.  Where Teradata appears to have struggled to move MapReduce beyond Teradata Labs, Aster had chosen it as a primary platform component, though we didn’t see a lot of success beyond the big web properties.  But we do think this endorses IBM Netezza’s strategy, with some key differences.

IBM Netezza also offers MapReduce, but we do so alongside a rich in-database analytics[pdf whitepaper] framework we call iClass. In Netezza iClass, MapReduce shares the spotlight alongside a variety of other development paradigms for advanced analytics, including advanced statistics, linear algebra and spatial libraries from Netezza, tools for R, C, C++, Java, Python development, and third-party libraries from partners including SAS, Fuzzy Logix.  With iClass, users can apply the right tool for each part of the analytics task, on data at rest, and avoid being locked into a single development paradigm.

The evolution of Teradata with Aster will be interesting one to watch.  While Aster no doubt fills a hole in Teradata’s offerings, Aster may just be a bit more of a square peg than initially seen, but more on that in a subsequent blog.

IBM Netezza offers a clear solution for advanced analytics on big data that is in use today at dozens of companies in a variety of markets.  Moreover, our partnerships within the rest of IBM are taking shape nicely, and will deliver to our users an ever-increasing ecosystem of complementary products from the world’s largest family of IT software and hardware solutions.  We intend to remain a true analytic appliance, complete with all the benefits of simplicity, time-to-value and cost of ownership benefits that accrue to users of IBM Netezza.

For more on IBM Netezza’s in-database analytics, download our in-database analytics whitepaper [pdf].