Teradata – New Technology RDBMS

Teradata is a popular Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) suitable for large data warehousing applications. It is capable of handling large volumes of data and is highly scalable

It is mainly suitable for building large scale data warehousing applications. Teradata achieves this by the concept of parallelism. It is developed by the company called Teradata.

Teradata Features :


  • Unlimited Parallelism − Teradata database system is based on Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) Architecture. MPP architecture divides the workload evenly across the entire system. Teradata system splits the task among its processes and runs them in parallel to ensure that the task is completed quickly.
  • Shared Nothing Architecture − Teradata’s architecture is called as Shared Nothing Architecture. Teradata Nodes, its Access Module Processors (AMPs) and the disks associated with AMPs work independently. They are not shared with others.
  • Linear Scalability − Teradata systems are highly scalable. They can scale up to 2048 Nodes. For example, you can double the capacity of the system by doubling the number of AMPs.
  • Connectivity − Teradata can connect to Channel-attached systems such as Mainframe or Network-attached systems.
  • Mature Optimizer − Teradata optimizer is one of the matured optimizer in the market. It has been designed to be parallel since its beginning. It has been refined for each release.
  • SQL − Teradata supports industry standard SQL to interact with the data stored in tables. In addition to this, it provides its own extension.
  • Robust Utilities − Teradata provides robust utilities to import/export data from/to Teradata system such as FastLoad, MultiLoad, FastExport and TPT.
  • Automatic Distribution − Teradata automatically distributes the data evenly to the disks without any manual intervention

    Components of Teradata

    The key components of Teradata are as follows −

    • Node − It is the basic unit in Teradata System. Each individual server in a Teradata system is referred as a Node. A node consists of its own operating system, CPU, memory, own copy of Teradata RDBMS software and disk space. A cabinet consists of one or more Nodes.
    • Parsing Engine − Parsing Engine is responsible for receiving queries from the client and preparing an efficient execution plan. The responsibilities of parsing engine are −
      • Receive the SQL query from the client
      • Parse the SQL query check for syntax errors
      • Check if the user has required privilege against the objects used in the SQL query
      • Check if the objects used in the SQL actually exists
      • Prepare the execution plan to execute the SQL query and pass it to BYNET
      • Receives the results from the AMPs and send to the client
    • Message Passing Layer − Message Passing Layer called as BYNET, is the networking layer in Teradata system. It allows the communication between PE and AMP and also between the nodes. It receives the execution plan from Parsing Engine and sends to AMP. Similarly, it receives the results from the AMPs and sends to Parsing Engine.
    • Access Module Processor (AMP) − AMPs, called as Virtual Processors (vprocs) are the one that actually stores and retrieves the data. AMPs receive the data and execution plan from Parsing Engine, performs any data type conversion, aggregation, filter, sorting and stores the data in the disks associated with them. Records from the tables are evenly distributed among the AMPs in the system. Each AMP is associated with a set of disks on which data is stored. Only that AMP can read/write data from the disks.

    Storage Architecture

    When the client runs queries to insert records, Parsing engine sends the records to BYNET. BYNET retrieves the records and sends the row to the target AMP. AMP stores these records on its disks. Following diagram shows the storage architecture of Teradata.

    Storage Architecture

    Retrieval Architecture

    When the client runs queries to retrieve records, the Parsing engine sends a request to BYNET. BYNET sends the retrieval request to appropriate AMPs. Then AMPs search their disks in parallel and identify the required records and sends to BYNET. BYNET then sends the records to Parsing Engine which in turn will send to the client. Following is the retrieval architecture of Teradata.

    Retrieval Architecture

Primary Key

Primary key is used to uniquely identify a row in a table. No duplicate values are allowed in a primary key column and they cannot accept NULL values. It is a mandatory field in a table.

Foreign Key

Foreign keys are used to build a relationship between the tables. A foreign key in a child table is defined as the primary key in the parent table. A table can have more than one foreign key. It can accept duplicate values and also null values. Foreign keys are optional in a table.

Table Types

Types Teradata supports different types of tables.

  • Permanent Table − This is the default table and it contains data inserted by the user and stores the data permanently.
  • Volatile Table − The data inserted into a volatile table is retained only during the user session. The table and data is dropped at the end of the session. These tables are mainly used to hold the intermediate data during data transformation.
  • Global Temporary Table − The definition of Global Temporary table are persistent but the data in the table is deleted at the end of user session.
  • Derived Table − Derived table holds the intermediate results in a query. Their lifetime is within the query in which they are created, used and dropped.

Set Versus Multiset

Teradata classifies the tables as SET or MULTISET tables based on how the duplicate records are handled. A table defined as SET table doesn’t store the duplicate records, whereas the MULTISET table can store duplicate records.


About ashokabhat

I am a C,C ,JAVA,Adobe Flex,.NET Programmer Currently working as a Software Developer
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