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VLDB Teradata DBSee

Teradata Best Practices

Teradata has been leading the data warehouse industry almost since launch in the 1980s. That position in the top right of Gartner’s fabled Magic Quadrant didn’t come easy, no sir!

Even though Teradata is the undoubted market leader in its field, knowing how to get the best out of Teradata is both important and far from easy. There’s no point investing in best-of-breed and using it inefficiently, is there?

Teradata best practices have become quite well established over the decades throughout which Teradata has been in use.

However, not everyone is party to such best practice knowledge. Even those that think they’re on top of best practice can let standards slip over the years. It’s far from easy to police a busy Teradata system.

As a result of implementing VLDB’s best practice suggestions, a long-term Teradata client shaved a full 24 hours off the weekend ETL processing elapse time.

What is DBSee?

The team at VLDB have been acquiring and modifying Teradata best practice beliefs since the dawn of time — well 1989 onwards at least. We have literally ‘been there, seen that & done that’.

DBSee represents the Teradata best practice beliefs that can be checked for programmatically. DBSee consists of a set of SQL scripts developed by VLDB that run against the Teradata data dictionary. Each script looks for a separate Teradata best practice violation.

The output from each DBSee rule is presented visually in Tableau, either as a static PDF or as an interactive Tableau Reader dataset.


What Does DBSee Check?

DBSee rules cover the following areas:

  • permanent space
  • data distribution
  • indexes
  • partitions
  • statistics
  • compression
  • table properties

In all cases, DBSee rules look for opportunities to improve how Teradata is used to align with best practices.


DBSee Table Statistics DBSee Fallback Tables

DBSee Benefits

The key DBSee deliverable is a set of easy-to-understand Tableau visualisations that shine a light firmly on Teradata best practice violations.

There are two possible outcomes from DBSee:

  • no best practice violations detected
  • evidence-based best practice violations detected

We have yet to find a Teradata system that doesn’t fail nearly all of the DBSee best practice checks.

The great news is that all best practice violations can be fixed relatively easily. The first step is to uncover them with DBSee.

Fixing best practice violations typically delivers some or all of the following benefits:

  • reduced CPU demand
  • reduced IO demand
  • increase in free space
  • reduced query elapse times
  • improved best practice knowledge
  • smaller ETL batch window

When taken together, best practice improvements can often extend the life of your Teradata system.


Running DBSee

There are a number of ways in which DBSee can be run against a Teradata system:

  • remotely by VLDB
  • on-site by VLDB
  • on-site by your Teradata DBA

DBSee does not access any data held in Teradata outside of the data dictionary (DBC). DBSee does not require any privileges apart from select access to DBC.

No matter how DBSee scripts are executed, a CSV output file per rule is created. The DBSee scripts take between a few seconds to a few minutes each to execute, even against a busy system. Each CSV file is then imported into Tableau for visualisation.


Contact VLDB today to find out more about our Teradata DBSee service.