Oracle delivering value to the Startup while embracing the Enterprise

At the recent NoSQL Now! conference in San Jose, Andy Mendelsohn, SVP Database Server Technology at Oracle delivered a double punch announcement of both the world’s first Engineered System for NoSQL and a move to the open source business model of per server annual support subscription.

These two options highlight the drive by Oracle to provide value to the developers of both the high end Enterprise and Startup customers alike. Surprisingly, both of these announcements reveal low Total Cost of Ownership solutions for both ends of the business spectrum. Startups who are just getting started with their business and controlling costs using open source packages, renting their infrastructure in the cloud and Enterprise companies who are controlling expenses while building out substantial Big Data clusters to leverage well understood reserves of corporate data.

The value delivered by offering an open source subscription support model is well understood. It is the same business model used with Oracle’s MySQL, 10Gen’s MongoDB and DataStax’s Cassandra among others. The Oracle NoSQL Database Community Edition is an open source, fully functional, horizontally scalable key-value store database lacking only in the integrations with higher end solutions such as Oracle Event Processing, Oracle Coherence, Oracle Enterprise Manager. Those higher end solution integrations are available in the Enterprise Edition. While open community developer forums like StackOverflow and the Oracle NoSQL Database forums can be used to get great answers to technical questions, the annual subscription support is well suited for production environments and can be purchased online at the Oracle Store. The subscription support offers the same commercial grade response as that found with the Oracle relational database and comes at a cost of only $2000 per server, beating the average industry per server price of other commercial NoSQL support offerings.

The value delivered by the Oracle Big Data Appliance is less opaque. Often people have been noted as asserting that Engineered Systems are necessarily expensive. However, as a manufacturer of high end servers, Oracle achieves certain economies of scale that make its Big Data Appliance (BDA) offering highly competitive compared with Do-it-Yourself clusters. Here is a great analysis of the Total Cost of Ownership when building out one of these solutions, highlighting the BDA’s cost competitiveness.

So what does a NoSQL Engineered System look like? NoSQL is an expandable database server that allows always-on online expansion with the growth of demand for its managed data in a horizontal manner. Similarly, the Big Data Appliance Engineered System is an expandable hardware infrastructure that can grow with the demand for your business.

The BDA comes in expandable units of 6 server nodes where each server is composed of 2 x Eight-Core Intel ® Xeon ® E5-2660 Processors (2.2 GHz) with 64GB on board RAM expandable to 512GB. On the storage side, each server offers 12 x 3TB 7,200 RPM High Capacity SAS Disks, providing a total of 72 disks in a single Rack. When it comes to NoSQL Database architecture, the bountiful disk design is ideal to provide a wide partition space for maximum write throughput, leveraging parallelization of writes with highly available read replicas. In some respects, the secret sauce is that these servers are held together with an Infiniband backbone offering a sustained 40Gb/sec bandwidth. At those speeds, the “eventual” in eventually consistent might as well be called instantaneous, allowing the deployment of memory replicated operations with extreme high reliability and consistency. A system can be expanded by adding more nodes in 6 node increments without the need to add additional network switches, just plug in more servers, connect then to the network backbone and then the hardware becomes available for database expansion.

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It is worth noting that Big Data often involves many technologies in the delivery of a solution. So, while it is possible to configure a fully dedicated NoSQL Database BDA, it is also possible to configure the Rack in 3 server allocations to the NoSQL Database and allocate remaining hardware to Hadoop ( BDA is pre-packaged with Cloudera’s distribution fully licensed thru Oracle ) and other software solutions such as Oracle R for advanced analytics. A complete description of the BDA can be found in the product data sheet.

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