Oracle announced its Big Data Appliance. Specs may be found in the Oracle Big Data Appliance press release. Beyond that:
- The most important software on the Oracle Big Data Appliance is a full set of Cloudera Enterprise code. Oracle will do Tier 1 Cloudera/Hadoop support, while Cloudera handles Tiers 2 and 3.
- The key spec ratios are 1 core/4 GB RAM/3 TB raw disk. That’s reasonably in line with Cloudera figures I published in June, 2010.
- This is really Oracle’s multi-structured big data appliance. Oracle’s relational big data appliance is Exadata, which has been out for years and has comparable capacity to Oracle’s new “Big Data Appliance.” (Chris Preimesberger made a similar point.)
- The Oracle Big Data Appliance list price is $450,000 for 18 12-core servers, plus $54,000/year maintenance.
- That’s around $25,000 per server (and associated storage).
- That’s also around $2,000/core.
- That’s also around $500/TB of spinning disk, before compression.
- None of those per-unit figures sounds ridiculous …
- … but because of Oracle’s appliance configuration there’s indeed a hefty minimum initial purchase.
Peter Goldmacher argues that, because of size and price point, the Oracle Big Data appliance is targeted for high-end deployments rather than starter/test/development set-ups. To first approximation, that makes sense, in that:
- The Oracle Big Data Appliance is in the petabyte range for data capacity, and …
- … the number of petabyte-scale Hadoop deployments is in the low tens, and …
- … many of those aren’t at Oracle shops anyway.
Surely the Oracle Big Data Appliance isn’t designed for the 4-8 node play-with-Hadoop crowd.
On the the other hand, if you’re at a big, committed Oracle shop, and you want to do your first serious Hadoop deployment, why not go with the Oracle Big Data Appliance? You probably could save money with an alternative approach — but if your employers are committed to Oracle, saving money is surely not their greatest concern. Overpay by a bit; make your management happy with the Oracle logo; get Hadoop on your resume; prosper. That seems like a winning plan all the way around.