Oracle rolls out big data play with aggressive price, Cloudera

Oracle rolls out big data play with aggressive price, Cloudera

Summary: Oracle comes out with a big data appliance just north of $500,000, a good $250,000 below expectations. Cloudera goes along for the ride.

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Oracle said its big data appliance is now available and an aggressive price point means the software giant is serious.

The company's Oracle Big Data Appliance, which was outlined in October at OpenWorld, is an engineered system much like Exadata, but at a lower price point. How low? The big data appliance will run $450,000 with 12 percent hardware and software maintenance, which works out to be $54,000.

Analysts had been expecting the Oracle's big data system to fall in the $750,000 range. In October, Cowen analyst Peter Goldmacher estimated that the big data appliance will run about $750,000, significantly less than the $8 million a fully loaded Exadata box would run.

In an interview, George Lumpkin, vice president product data warehousing at Oracle, said the company wanted to be aggressive with pricing. "We recognize the market we're competing in and what competitors may be offering," said Lumpkin. "We had to be competitive."

Don't cry for Oracle though. Oracle's Lumpkin said its overall goal is to become a staple in enterprise data warehouses and then upsell other systems. Ultimately, Oracle's big data appliance could be a gateway drug to Exadata, Exalytics and Exalogic systems.

Oracle's big data machine is also a big win for Cloudera's distribution of Hadoop as well as Cloudera Manager and R, a programming language. The system also includes Oracle Linux and its NoSQL database as well as various connectors.

For the big data community, Oracle is essentially validating the industry---not to mention giving Cloudera a big lift. Look for partners like Cloudera to draft off of Oracle's marketing.

Cloudera CEO Mike Olson said it made sense for Cloudera to work with Oracle. "Oracle is everywhere in the environment and has a dominant presence," said Olson. "Oracle's field team is global, highly capable and very well connected to the enterprise. Oracle can reach enterprise buyers we couldn't."

Olson wouldn't project sales for Cloudera, but it's safe to say that the company will get a big revenue boost from the Oracle partnership.

Goldmacher on Tuesday provided an initial take on Oracle's pricing. His key points:

At $450,000, Oracle is going after the high end of today's Big Data deployments. These are NOT starter boxes for people to experiment with (test and dev).

We believe Oracle's Big Data Appliance is equivalent to roughly 100 commodity boxes, which is a reasonably sized Hadoop deployment today. Our industry sources indicate that there is also a sizable cluster of deployments today in the 20 to 50 range which are too small for Oracle to address.

Most of today's use cases (excluding the US government and companies like Zynga, Facebook and LinkedIn) max out at about 100 boxes, but we believe it won't be long before 100 commodity boxes will be laughably small.

As for the specs, the big data appliance will be a full rack of 18 Oracle Sun servers with the following specs:

  • 864 GB main memory;
  • 216 CPU cores;
  • 648 TB of raw disk storage;
  • 40 Gb/s InfiniBand connectivity between nodes and engineered systems;
  • 10 Gb/s Ethernet connectivity.

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  • 18 Commodity servers is better than 100 commodity server?

    >We believe Oracle???s Big Data Appliance is equivalent to roughly 100 commodity boxes

    Um, the servers in the Big Data Appliance are in fact commodity Xeon 5600 based servers. How is it that 18 of them are faster than 100 other commodity servers? Oracle's marketing is doing an ExtremeJob(tm) it seems.
    kevinclosson