Telstra has retired an Oracle database in favour of a custom data management application that is "more scalable".
Telstra's operational support manager Bob Richter said the company's data management requirements had increased dramatically with the shift from voice to data networks.
"Operations support analyses data from all our networks including those for private IP and dial-up," said Richter.
"We need to meet client requests for the analysis of data and the business must decide the best way to do this."
Previously being housed in an Oracle database, Telstra's network data is now being managed by a SAS data set which was implemented by Data Warehousing Services Australia (DWSA).
DWSA's founder and technical director, Geoff Peach, said a relational database was not appropriate for Telstra's requirements.
"As the amount of data began to grow, Oracle was not sustainable," Peach said. "Now with the SAS data set in place the amount of data has grown to over 18TB."
Peach described the SAS data set as an application that could query multiple platforms and is "infinitely scalable".
"The database has a flat file architecture and we wrote the metadata manager," he said.
"With this type of data management application, Telstra can use old disks stored on any platform including Windows, Linux, Unix, and the mainframe. We have built tools around low-cost storage where query times are not so important."
Richter said Telstra had other systems in place including DB2 for the PSTN but needed a "next-generation" system.
"Our data management requirements are unpredictable so we need be able to extract data in a flexible manner," he said.
"Oracle was doing a similar job with less data but was no longer required."
Telstra collects data from 180 systems across varying platforms and now has one of the largest databases in Australia which is growing at about 1.5TB a month.
"Our preferred method of operating is to use the best tool available for the job," Peach said.
"This method abstracts the storage method while still providing APIs for all the major databases.
“We are now looking at faster ways to manage the information and if Telstra demands faster information we must be able to provide it to the level of 'real-time enterprise'."
Richter said Telstra was happy with the service provided by DWSA, and although reluctant to reveal the company's investments in this area said: "We are able to achieve more with the resources we have."