Monday, March 26, 2012

Oracle Shares Details of the Oracle Big Data Appliance, which includes a Distribution of Hadoop from Cloudera

Oracle shared more details about the Oracle Big Data Appliance at Oracle Day in Redwood Shores on March 22. The Oracle Big Data Appliance, which was announced last October 2011 at the Oracle OpenWorld Conference, is now shipping and is very aggressively priced. The software, which includes both Hadoop and Oracle NoSQL database, comes pre-installed on Sun server–based hardware. Oracle claims that by delivering hardware and software which are bundled and engineered to work together, it is considerably simplifying IT. 


The Oracle Big Data Appliance incorporates a new version of Oracle NoSQL database, a Cloudera-sourced Hadoop distribution, and an open-source R statistical software distribution. In addition, it supports Big Data Connectors  a new set of Oracle tools  which allow businesses to transfer data from Hadoop into Oracle Database 11g. It has been designed to work with Oracle Exadata appliance, the Exalytics business-intelligence applications appliance, and Oracle Database 11g. 


The Big Data Appliance comes in configurations ranging from 2 processor cores to 24 processor cores, up to 864 gigabytes memory, 648 terrabytes disk storage, and 40GB/sec InfinBand connectivity. This bundled Hadoop offering is not unique in the market; if anything, it serves as a validation of the bundled approach. Other vendors such as NetApp and Dell also offer bundled Hadoop based on Cloudera. EMC Greenplum has a similar bundled offering based on Map-R. 


A bundled database appliance (whether it's targeting big data or just regular RDBMS) provides customers with a single, easy-to-deploy-and-manage system, simplifying deployment, maintenance and support, and saving time. Buying and quickly deploying a big data appliance system is lot easier than separately procuring server and storage hardware and installing and configuring software, then going through the tedious process of integrating all these with currently existing infrastructure.


Still, Oracle is the first among the large enterprise computing vendors. We believe IBM and HP will soon follow suit, since a complete, out-of-the-box packaging of software, server, storage, and network that's configured together does save IT departments valuable time by eliminating installation, configuration, and tuning. 


When Oracle announced in 2011 that it planned to do a Hadoop distribution, few expected it would go with Cloudera. This decision is in fact a very smart step.By choosing Cloudera, Oracle saves time and resources, allowing the company to focus on optimizing and tuning the whole bundle.


The detailed technical description of the Oracle Big Data Appliance is a part of Oracle's overall message of hardware and software engineering working together. The other products for which additional details were released at the Oracle Day included Oracle Exadata, where Oracle flagship RDBMS is bundled with Sun hardware and is being touted by Oracle as "the world's fastest database machine," the Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud. 


With this level of focus on engineered systems, Oracle is ahead of its competitors, namely HP and SAP, in branding itself as a one-stop shop for all IT needs, covering both hardware and software, including software for big data, relational data, and tools, including analytics, applications, and transaction processing.


Yash Talreja, VP Engineering, The Technology Gurus
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