English: On December 17, 2009 30 feet chunk of...
A 30 feet chunk of the cliff below the apartment building fell to Pacific Ocean. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jason asked a great question in the comment section here… he asked… does Teradata’s Intelligent Memory erode HANA’s value proposition?  Let me answer here in a more general way that is applicable to the general database space…

Every time a vendor puts more silicon between the CPU and the disk they will improve their performance (and increase their price). Does this erode HANA’s value proposition? Sure. Every advance by any vendor erodes every other vendor’s position.

To win business a new database product has to be faster than the competition. In my experience you have to be at least 30% faster to unseat the incumbent. If you are 50% faster you will win a lot of business. If you are 2x, 100%, faster you win nearly every time.

Therefore the questions are:

  • Did the Teradata announcement eliminate a set of competitors from reaching these thresholds when Teradata is the incumbent? Yup. It is very smart.
  • Does Intelligent Memory allow Teradata to reach these thresholds when they compete against another incumbent. Yup.
  • Did it eliminate HANA from reaching these thresholds when competing with Teradata? I do not think so… in fact I’m pretty sure it is not the case… HANA should still be way over the 2x threshold… but the reasons why will require a deeper dive… stay tuned.

In the picture attached a 30 foot chunk eroded… but Exadata still stands. Will it be condemned?

Note: Here is a commercial post on the SAP HANA blog site that describes at a high level why I think HANA retains a distinct architectural advantage.