Oracle rolls out 'Big Data' appliance

The newest member of Oracle's appliances includes support for the open-source Hadoop and R frameworks

By , IDG News Service |  Software, big data, Hadoop

Oracle's R distribution is integrated with its 11g database, allowing R applications to tap data within those systems, Oracle said. A standard distribution of R will be used, but Oracle also plans to release some proprietary packages for it, Mendelsohn said.

Oracle also plans to offer all of the software products in stand-alone form as well as with the appliance, according to a statement.

Pricing and a release date for the Big Data Appliance weren't available Monday. It will compete with products such as Aster Data, Netezza and Greenplum.

Forrester analyst James Kobielus said it's not Oracle's first 'Big Data' appliance, if big data is defined as "the three Vs," he said: "volume (petabytes of stored analytic data), velocity (real-time data capture, transformation, loading, analysis, and query), and variety (handle diverse structured, semi-structured data)."

"Exadata is all of that, and Exadata is already optimized for mixed workloads of in-database analytics and massively parallel processing (MPP) with a rich library of advanced analytics algorithms and models," he said via email.

One important consideration is how many of Hadoop's many sub-projects will be part of Oracle's distribution, Kobielus said.

"MapReduce and Pig are core of Hadoop modeling and development, with Mahout libraries increasingly being adopted for machine learning," he said. "HDFS and HBase are at the core of Hadoop batch and real-time data storage and management, with some uptake of Cassandra for distributed real-time analytics and transactional computing. If Oracle's Hadoop appliance doesn't incorporate most of these, plus Zookeeper and Hadoop Common tools, then it cannot be regarded as a full enterprise-ready Hadoop platform."

Mendelsohn declined to enumerate every Hadoop component Oracle plans to include in the distribution.

However, "what the people in the Hadoop community expect is going to be there," he said. "We're not going to pull out something because it competes with Oracle. It will be a complete distribution."

It's likely that Oracle will end up acquiring specialized Hadoop vendors to beef up its array of tools, Kobielus said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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