Oracle's Big Data Appliance Gets Bigger

Oracle has introduced the latest version of its Oracle Big Data Appliance, part of the company’s family of engineered systems. Oracle Big Data Appliance X4-2 includes the entire Cloudera Enterprise technology stack, as well as 33% more storage capacity for a total of 864TB per rack.

Hardware updates

With the X4-2, Oracle has moved to faster CPUs, the current generation of Intel Xeon CPUs, said George Lumpkin, vice president for data warehousing technologies at Oracle. In addition, a full rack now makes 864TB of raw storage available, and with this release, the appliance has moved to 4TB drives from 3TB.

Oracle is aware that many enterprises that are just starting their big data journeys and will want to start with something more moderately sized, said Lumpkin. The Big Data Appliance Starter Rack is a one-third configuration, and can be increased in one-third increments to ultimately reach a full rack. The X4-2 Starter Rack contains six Oracle Sun servers within a full-sized rack with redundant Infiniband switches and power distribution units. A pack of six additional servers can expand the configuration to 12 nodes and then to a full rack of 18 nodes.

Expanded support for CDH

The Oracle Big Data Appliance is optimized for both batch and real-time processing – with the Cloudera Distribution for Apache Hadoop, the Oracle NoSQL Database, Cloudera Impala and Cloudera Search to address a range of computing needs. In addition, Lumpkn noted, the Big Data Appliance extends beyond the software that Oracle pre-installs and supports. “We recognize that customers may install other open source components onto their Big Data Appliance. We allow that and we expect that. We expect this to be a broader general purpose appliance for running big data workloads.”

Big Data Security

Addressing the need for enterprise grade security in big data deployments, Oracle is a co-founder of the Apache Sentry project, a new open source module to deliver fine-grained authorization to data stored in Apache Hadoop. With the Oracle Big Data Appliance, Oracle is providing a complete Hadoop security solution including Apache Sentry and LDAP-based authorization, pre-configured Kerberos authentication, and centralized auditing with Oracle Audit Vault and DatabaseFirewall.

“Enterprises that are investing in big data technologies care about security, and so this is an area that we have been investing in,” said Lumpkin. The goal with the new security features is to make the appliance fit into their enterprise security standards “in a natural way.”

Comprehensive approach to enterprise data

According to Oracle, with the latest release of Oracle Big Data Appliance, as well as the recent updates of Oracle NoSQLDatabase and Oracle Big Data Connectors, the company is integrating these big data technologies with data warehouses. When Oracle Big Data Appliance is used in conjunction with Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalytics, Oracle provides a complete architecture to store, manage and analyze all forms of structured and unstructured data while also minimizing data movement. “This announcement is about the features we have added to the Big Data Appliance but when customers are looking at building solutions they want to know that this integrates with their other Oracle databases and other systems in their enterprise,” observed Lumpkin.

More information is available about the Oracle Big Data Appliance.