Infosys’ blog on industry solutions, trends, business process transformation and global implementation in Oracle.

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Oracle's Big Data Entry - Big Data Appliance

We recently heard and have been talking a lot about Exalytics "The speed of thought analytics" machine which has in-Memory features and is tuned for extreme performance. The question arises is this machine the mother of all solutions in analytics space, or there's more coming?

Firstly Exalytics is an analytical machine with in-Memory (TimeTen Database) capabilities, advanced visualizations, Columnar compression and hardware tuned for extreme performance. Depending on your appetite towards analytics, you can scale this machine to your needs and if still not satisfied Oracle gives you even better option to join it with your Exadata machine for even better peformance on the Oracle Database side of it with Exadata being tuned for RDBMS performance. Yes certainly it will be seperate license cost (separate SKU's) that you will have to shelve out.

Recently Oracle announced their entry into the Big Data World with Oracle Big Data Appliance which includes
1. An open source distribution of Apache Hadoop
2. Oracle NoSQL Database
3. Oracle Data Integrator Application Adapter for Hadoop
4. Oracle Loader for Hadoop
5. An open source distribution of R - for Big Data analysis

There's need for some bit of explaining about when and how those 3 machines will be used, as there overlaps in terms of capabilities like Cache management, in-memory database:
1. Oracle's design of those 3 appliances (4 actually if I include Exalogic too) is with idea of division of labour, distrubute analytical workload across appliance machines. The performance gains on analytics are possible only when caching is effective, & only if the data is in Exalytics DRAM the true performance gains can be realized
2. The hardware lock-in with Sun servers that Oracle's pushing for could be another decision factor for customers
3. The right use-cases of leveraging those 3 (or 4) boxes needs to be seen
4. One additional point to explore and ponder over would be how other vendor based tools would interface or fit with Exalytics - if that's a possibility

What is it competing against - SAP HANA (already in market for over a year: provides flexibility to choose their hardware), and IBM buying our Netezza in September 2010 building their integrated software-hardware appliances optimized for specific workloads (Smarter Systems initiative of IBM).

Interest space to watch how Oracle prices those appliances right, build right use-cases and agressive marketing strategy to penetrate with their in-memory TimeTen database. Keeping all doubts aside, end consumers are in for treat and sharpen their analytical capabilities with features which were never thought of possible before.

Will post more as we see the growth and progress of Exalytics and Oracle's Big Data Machine. Do share your experiences, challenges that you see in Big Data space.

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