Oracle's Big Data Appliance: what it means

Hadoop and R are the new industry standards

Today, Oracle announced their Big Data Appliance. It couldn’t be a plainer validation of what’s important in big data right now, or where the battle for technology dominance lies.

Oracle’s appliance includes some homegrown technology, most specifically a NoSQL database of their own design, and some open source technologies: Hadoop and R. Let’s take a look at what these three decisions might mean.

Oracle NoSQL Database: Oracle’s core reputation is as a database vendor, and as owners of the Berkeley DB technology, they have a core NoSQL platform to build upon (Berkeley was NoSQL for years before we even had that term). Oracle have no reason to partner with or incorporate other NoSQL tech such as Cassandra or MongoDB, and now pose a significant business threat to those technologies—perhaps Cassandra more than MongoDB, due to its enterprise credentials.

Hadoop: competitive commercial big data solutions such as Greenplum and Aster Data got ahead in the market through incorporating their own MapReduce technologies. Oracle hasn’t bothered to do this, and has instead standardized on Hadoop and a system of connectors to its main Oracle product. (Both Greenplum and Aster also have Hadoop connectors.) If it needed any further validation, this confirms Hadoop’s arrival as the Linux of big data. It’s a standard.

R: big data isn’t much use until you can make sense of it, and the inclusion of R in Oracle’s big data appliance bears this out. It also sets up R as a new industry standard for analytics: something that will raise serious concern among vendors of established statistical and analytical solutions SAS and SPSS.

Whether you use Oracle or not, today’s announcement moves the big data world forward. We have de facto agreement on Hadoop and R as core infrastructure, and we have healthy competition at the database and NoSQL layer.

Talk about this at Strata 2012: As the call for participation for Strata 2012 (Feb 28-Mar 1, Santa Clara, CA) nears its close, Oracle’s announcement couldn’t be more timely. We are opening up new content tracks focusing on the Hadoop ecosystem and on R. Submit your proposal by the end of this week.

tags: , , ,

Get the O’Reilly Data Newsletter

Get weekly insight from industry insiders—plus exclusive content, offers, and more on the topic of data.