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What does DBC mean in Teradata?

DBC is the superuser on Teradata database. But what does it mean? 

DataBase Control? No.
DataBase Console? Nope.
DataBase of California? No way! Are you missing the sunshine?
DataBase Connection? Wow, very close!

Here's the answer: Data Base Computer. Yes, they didn't call it Database (a single word) at that time, but Data Base. This is a tough question. Because you never listen carefully to the history professor.

Teradata introduced its first system named DBC/1012 in the early 1980s. You already know what DBC means. 1012 stands for 10 to the power of 12, which is 1 Terabyte. So we have the so-called "Teradata". OK, seems everything is connected!

You may wonder why someone would pick such a dull name like Data Base Computer. Well, as Teradata always claims itself as the first data warehousing appliance vendor, in fact that's true. Back to the old time, the DBC was directly attached to the IBM mainframe and it was only loaded and accessed originally from the IBM mainframe. The mainframe was called HOST, which supplies the raw data from which the database is created. Nowadays the host can be anything from mainframe to Windows server or UNIX system.

What did they use to make the connection? IFP, InterFace Processor. This is the hardware connection between the mainframe and the DBC/1012. It's used to manage the dialog between the DBC and the HOST. Its component consisted of session control, client interface, the Parser, the Dispatcher, and YNET (an intelligent interconnect that supported broadcast, sorting and so on) interface. BYNET (BanYan NETwork) replaced YNET in the Model 5100s. COP (COmmunication Processor) is the counterpart of IFP used to communicate with network attached HOSTs (DOS-PC/UNIX).

In the Model 5100 systems (NCR 5100 system), a new concept called VPROC was introduced. It replaced the physical processors like IFP, COP, and AMP (Access Module Processor). The VPROC is defined in two ways: logically and physically. Logically, the VPROC is considered a seperate instance of an AMP or PE (Parsing Engine) within the Symmetric Multiprocessor (SMP) node. Physically, a VPROC is an addressable collection of processes that can share resources.

In the beginning Teradata used its proprietary customized hardware and software. Now it adopts a much more open model, utilizing commodity based hardware and software stack, although there are still some secrets on BYNET and database management software.

References
1. http://teradata.uark.edu/index.html
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBC_1012
3. http://it.toolbox.com/wiki/index.php/BYNET

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