EMC and Teradata indulge in unseemly row

A terribly unseemly row has broken out in the no-holds-barred world of data warehousing, as Teradata trades blows with rival EMC.

EMC kicked off the very public barney by claiming in Dutch mag DatabaseMagazine that Teradata products were not up to scratch, and paled in comparison to the might of its own Greenplum database management system (DBMS).

EMC pulled no punches in its potshots at Teradata, which it claimed “provides half as good performance at double the price” of Kickin’ Pat’s Greenplum DBMS.  While it might once have been easy enough to go around slating competitors in a range of languages, a quick hit of the Google Translate button was all that was needed for Teradata’s Martin Wilcox to get wind of the allegations.

In fact, the inaccuracies of the Google translator were not the only parts of the story that made Wilcox “laugh out loud”. We’re waiting on confirmation of any ROFLing or LMAOs.

Wilcox talks about EMC’s “extravagant claims” in his company blog, and subsequently laid into the firm, picking at many of the claims made by the named-and-shamed “EMC / Greenplum’s VP Central and Eastern Europe, Uwe Weimar”.

The interview was allegedly abound with factual accuracies and outlandish comments, with Wilcox variously railing at the exaggerated number of Greenplum employees and the hyping of “shared nothing massively parallel processing “ architectures.   Wilcox says that Teradata pioneered these all the way back in 1979.

But the most vitriolic comments were aimed at Greenplum’s inability to function using the archaic TPC-H data warehousing benchmark unless some queries were modified.

Wilcox hit back, saying that the benchmark was “light years away from the reality of real-world data warehouse implementations even seven years ago”, but Greenplum still coughs and splutters when put through its paces.

“The TPC-H specification now looks like an historical curiosity; an artefact of earlier, more carefree times, when the industry was young, requirements were simpler – and I still had my own hair,” says Wilcox.

We admit it may be puerile entertainment but we love a good schoolyard spat, and it appears that high ranking staff at both EMC and Teradata do as well.

Wilcox finished off responding to EMC’s “fighting talk” by wheeling out some of its own figures, stating that its products easily trump Greenplum when going head to head.

“If Greenplum really is twice as fast, at half the cost, why do thirteen-out-of-fourteen customers who have evaluated both solutions chose Teradata?”

Ooooohhh. Fighting words!