Predictably, I wasn’t pre-briefed on the details of Oracle’s Big Data Appliance announcement today, and an inquiry to partner Cloudera doesn’t happen to have been immediately answered.* But anyhow, it’s clear from coverage by Larry Dignan and Derrick Harris that Oracle’s Big Data Appliance includes:
- Some version of Cloudera Manager (I’m guessing more or less the best one).*
- Some version of Apache Hadoop (I’m guessing the same distribution that Cloudera prefers to use).*
- Some kind of support.
In other words, it’s a lot like getting Cloudera Enterprise,* plus some hardware, plus some other stuff.
*Edit: About 2 minutes after I posted this, I got email from Cloudera CEO Mike Olson. Yes, the Oracle Big Data Appliance bundles Cloudera Enterprise.
That raises an anyway recurring question: What exactly is Cloudera Manager? When asked, I’ve always tended to mumble something like: Um, it’s management stuff. There’s an overview on the Cloudera Manager product page, but it doesn’t really say much, even if you click on the Data Sheet link. (Edit: That page was later deprecated and replaced by this one.) More helpful, I think, is a December post on Cloudera’s busy blog. Technically, the post is about the new features in the Cloudera Manager 3.7 point release, but more generally it helps to explain what Cloudera Manager does, in areas such as (and these bullet points are all direct quotes):
- Automated Hadoop Deployment
- Centralized Management
- Configuration Management
- Service Monitoring
- Log Search
- Events and Alerts
- Configuration versioning and Audit trails
- Activity Monitoring
- Operational Reports
Taken together, those two Cloudera links do a pretty good job of explaining Cloudera Manager, and illustrating why a Hadoop user would want to have either Cloudera Manager or a similar competitive offering.
Edit: The day after I originally made this post, Cloudera put up another post directly explaining what Cloudera Manager is about.