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  • October 24, 2013

Fast Data - Big Data's achilles heel

At OOW 2013 in Mark Hurd and Thomas Kurian's keynote, they discussed Oracle's Fast Data software solution stack and discussed a number of customers deploying Oracle's Big Data / Fast Data solutions and in particular Oracle's NoSQL Database.  Since that time, there have been a large number of request seeking clarification on how the Fast Data software stack works together to deliver on the promise of real-time Big Data solutions.   Fast Data is a software solution stack that deals with one aspect of Big Data, high velocity.   The software in the Fast Data solution stack involves 3 key pieces and their integration:  Oracle Event Processing, Oracle Coherence, Oracle NoSQL Database.   All three of these technologies address a high throughput, low latency data management requirement.  

Oracle Event Processing enables continuous query to filter the Big Data fire hose, enable intelligent chained events to real-time service invocation and augments the data stream to provide Big Data enrichment. Extended SQL syntax allows the definition of sliding windows of time to allow SQL statements to look for triggers on events like breach of weighted moving average on a real-time data stream. 

Oracle Coherence is a distributed, grid caching solution which is used to provide very low latency access to cached data when the data is too big to fit into a single process, so it is spread around in a grid architecture to provide memory latency speed access.  It also has some special capabilities to deploy remote behavioral execution for "near data" processing.  

The Oracle NoSQL Database is designed to ingest simple key-value data at a controlled throughput rate while providing data redundancy in a cluster to facilitate highly concurrent low latency reads.  For example, when large sensor networks are generating data that need to be captured while analysts are simultaneously extracting the data using range based queries for upstream analytics.  Another example might be storing cookies from user web sessions for ultra low latency user profile management, also leveraging that data using holistic MapReduce operations with your Hadoop cluster to do segmented site analysis. 

The question then becomes how do these things work together to deliver an end to end Fast Data solution.  The answer is that while different applications will exhibit unique requirements that may drive the need for one or the other of these technologies, often when it comes to Big Data you may need to use them together.   You may have the need for the memory latencies of the Coherence cache, but just have too much data to cache, so you use a combination of Coherence and Oracle NoSQL to handle extreme speed cache overflow and retrieval.   Here is a great reference to how these two technologies are integrated and work together.  Coherence & Oracle NoSQL Database.   On the stream processing side, it is similar as with the Coherence case.  As your sliding windows get larger, holding all the data in the stream can become difficult and out of band data may need to be offloaded into persistent storage.  OEP needs an extreme speed database like Oracle NoSQL Database to help it continue to perform for the real time loop while dealing with persistent spill in the data stream.  Here is a great resource to learn more about how OEP and Oracle NoSQL Database are integrated and work together.  OEP & Oracle NoSQL Database.

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