As Teradata Plans to Buy Aster, What’s Left?

Data warehousing giant Teradata (s tdc) today agreed to acquire Aster Data, a data analytics provider, proving it’s no longer enough to be able to store and access a lot of data quickly; one must also be able to analyze it quickly. This move toward the real-time analysis of data has helped propel other big data acquisitions, from EMC’s (s emc) purchase of Greenplum to IBM’s (s ibm) $1.7 billion buy of data warehousing giant Netezza.

Just last month, HP (s hpq) said it would buy Vertica, snapping up another analytics provider. This leaves Dell (s dell) out in the cold as a large computer seller without a data warehousing and analytics play. Through a partnership with Aster, it met that need for its customers, but my colleague Derrick was pushing hard for Dell to snap up Aster and own its own data warehousing and analytics play. By the way, you can see Greenplum, Netezza and Teradata executives speak this month in New York City at our Structure Big Data conference on March 23.

Teradata, which already holds an 11 percent stake in Aster, said this morning it would buy the remaining 79 89 percent of the company for $263 million. It would gain $21 million in cash, bringing the value of this chunk of the deal to $242 million. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011, and Teradata plans to support Aster Data’s customers and integrate its employees immediately upon completion of the acquisition.

The Aster acquisition follows on the heels of Teradata’s $525 million bid to buy Aprimo, another data analytics software company, and also eliminates a partial competitor for Teradata. Aster’s software was used by some companies to create their own data warehousing systems built on commodity hardware — systems that were much cheaper than those offered by Teradata. However, Aster had also grown its product line to encompass analytics, which is what Teradata seems to be most interested in.

So for Dell, and any other big data wannabes out there, the only proven options left to start fulfilling this niche are ParAccel, Infobright and Ingres’s VectorWise platform.

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