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Oracle puts Big Data Appliance on the market

DAILYHOSTNEWS, January 12, 2012 – Oracle announced general availability of its Big Data Appliance on Tuesday.The integrated full rack of hardware and software is meant to work in concert with customers’ existing data warehousing solutions to store and analyze – for business intelligence purposes – new types of data that have become available only recently.

George Lumpkin, VP of product management at Oracle, said that while storage and analysis of data in databases to help with decision making are commonplace, a lot of valuable data has become available in recent years as a result of the proliferation of mobile devices, social networking and other technologies that have recently seen widespread adoption.

“We think of ‘big data’ as being the incorporation of new and … more diverse data sources into an organization’s information architecture,” Lumpkin said. “A lot of big data sources only recently came online. It has potentially significant business value, but it’s never been stored and analyzed.”

For online retailers, this data could be customers’ web behavior. It could be telemetry data for healthcare organizations. For telcos, it is location of their customers and network traffic.

“In the utilities industry you can have smart meters (that) generate a great deal of data that you need to store and analyze,” Lumpkin added.

Oracle’s Big Data Appliance is built out of hardware and software components that have been on the market previously.

The solution’s typical power load is about 8.5kW per rack but can go up to 12kW. Its maximum cooling requirement is about 41,000 BTU per hour, while typical cooling load is about 28,700 BTU per hour.

One rack includes 18 compute and storage nodes, with two six-core Intel Xeon 5675 processors, 48GB of memory, 12 3TB disks, two QDR 40Gbps ports, four 1Gb Ethernet ports and one ILOM Ethernet port per node.

Equipment within the rack is interconnected through InfiniBand. The rack includes two InfiniBand switches, one featuring 32 InfiniBand ports and eight 10GbE ports and the other providing 36 InfiniBand ports.

Software in the package includes Oracle’s Enterprise Linux 5.6, Hotspot Java Virtual Machine and NoSQL database, as well as Cloudera’s Distribution, including Apache Hadoop. Cloudera also supplies is management software called Cloudera Manager. The appliance also comes with the open-source distribution of R.

The one-rack package costs US$450,000, Lumpkin said. Up to eight racks can be strung together via InfiniBand without any external switches. Scaling beyond eight will require an additional InfiniBand switch.

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