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Message Posted: Tue, 17 Apr 2002 @ 02:30:12 GMT

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Subj:   Re: Teradata vs IBM UDB
From:   Sam Mosley

I totally agree about asking for customer references, and when you ask for customer references, ask for references at a size that is at least twice what you expect to build. Your warehouse will grow quickly if it is successful. Assume twice as many users as you think you will have concurrently querying, or more. That too will grow faster than expected if you are successful. Be sure that the customer contact you are given are doing the same type of work you uplan to do. For example, if it involves a combination of near real time updates and decision support, or BI queries, don't accept a contact that does only warehouse querying. If you plan to attach a call center to do realtime CRM ask for that type of contact. If you can, find a contact that does a significant amount of adhoc querying. Any database can be setup to handle queries which are known in advance, but when you release users to ask anything they want you get a whole different picture. Then once you have customer contacts insist on talking to them with no vendors present. Ask what amount of disk space they have versus the raw data (no indexes, no work areas for ETL, just the raw data, without disaster recovery space, etc.) Ask how much maintenance effort it takes to setup and maintain indexes, statistics, performance tuning. Ask how many DBA's and system support staff work with the database and it's operating system. Ask what effort is required to increase/descrease the size of a database once it has been defined. Ask if you have to maintain space at the table level, or at the database level. Ask how much time it takes to do reorganizations to compress the database due to update activity, and how often. Find out what is involved in increasing the size of the system configuration if (no when) you grow. Ask about reliability, and backup/restore activity. Don't be bashful. Don't get sold on features alone. It's what it can do for you when things are really humming that counts. Find out what front end tools are being used, how the choice was made, and why. And, I'm sure someone will tell you lots more to ask. Don't be bashful, it's your companies money that is being spent and the solution should meet your needs. If you have access to Gartner reports check them out. They provide good information.

That's a start, but you probably knew most of it anyway, I'm just confirming that you should ask lots of questions and be tough on the vendors. Remember, if you win so do they, but it isn't necessarily the same the other way around.

Sam Mosley

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