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What is the best RDBMS (Teradata, Oracle or DB2) for data warehousing based on performance and size?

  • Joe Oates, Sid Adelman, Chuck Kelley, Clay Rehm, Scott Howard
  • August 22 2003, 1:00am EDT


What is the best RDBMS (Teradata, Oracle or DB2) for data warehousing based on performance and size? We are looking at a storage size of between 3-10TB.


Sid Adelman’s Answer: Even though you think you will have (only) 3-10 terabytes, you may be surprised to see your data warehouse grow even bigger as users ask for additional internal and external data, more historical data and greater levels of granularity. With databases in the terabyte ranges you will want to be sure that your performance is acceptable for query response time, the number of concurrent users and the load time. It’s very expensive (time, money and your reputation) to make a switch as the volumes grow. At least two of the vendors you mention have the ability to run benchmarks with your anticipated volumes and sizes. Do not run a benchmark with a smaller sample of data and query volumes and assume linear performance. Take the time to make sure you have the right platform to support your size.

Scott Howard’s Answer: They all claim to be best. You need to entertain all of those vendors, having first clearly defining your criteria, and choose "best" for yourself. You want actual references of their past success and don’t forget to verify those references. There have been a number of times that I’ve seen one of these vendors claim "good" references only to have my clients research them and discover that they either do not relate to or support the reference claim, or are just plain dissatisfied. In even one case, they reference had abandoned the vendor’s product. Verify those references and ensure that they accurately support the vendor’s claim.

Chuck Kelley’s Answer: Best is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that, depending on the type of data you are storing, all three of the databases you have listed may suffice.

Joe Oates’ Answer: While each of the above is a good database, it depends on what your requirements are and how much your organization is willing to spend. I have worked with all of the above databases, but the database that I have most been impressed with, based on performance and sizing, is Sybase IQ. It just broke the record for price-performance and storage efficiency on the TPC-H benchmark. You can go to the following URLs for more information. and

Clay Rehm’s Answer: They all work and the answer will depend on your hardware, network and how the data will be loaded and queried. You must do an evaluation of these three on your own and come up with your own recommendation.

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