Oracle Ends Year by Unveiling New Big Data Appliance

Oracle Big Data Appliance X3-2 is the company's latest engineered-together system that has been upgraded to include Intel’s newest processors and the latest release of Cloudera.

Oracle, not one to be left behind in any data center trend, took a couple of steps forward Dec. 17 as a big data hardware and software supplier by unveiling a new Cloudera-powered big data appliance and some new data center connectors to go with it.

Oracle Big Data Appliance X3-2 is the company's latest engineered-together—read that "proprietary"—system of hardware and software that has been upgraded to include Intel’s newest processors and the latest release of Cloudera, which includes both Apache Hadoop and Cloudera Manager.

It also includes a new Oracle Enterprise Manager plug-in to connect and orchestrate the appliance with servers in the base enterprise system.

Please note: The new appliance is expressly designed to be used with Oracle's Exadata Database and Oracle Exalytics servers, so one or more of those need to already be on hand.

The new Big Data Connectors, also part of the Dec. 17 announcement, have been enhanced to enable greater SQL database server access to Hadoop from Oracle Database and to enable more transparent access to Hadoop from R, Oracle said. R is an open-source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics.

More Big Data Capabilities

When used in conjunction with Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Exalytics, Oracle Big Data Appliance with Oracle Big Data Connectors provides a full set of engineered systems to acquire, organize and analyze big data for large enterprise systems.

Naturally, the company claims that these latest versions provide more processing power, memory capacity, enhanced integration and management capabilities than previous products. Certainly, neither Oracle nor any other Silicon Valley IT company is going to claim anything less. Results, of course, will vary within existing systems.

A beta user, the National Cancer Institute-funded Frederick National Library, recently won a national big data solution award for its work using the new appliance with Cloudera's Apache Hadoop distribution. The project consisted of an infrastructure that cross-references the relationships between 17,000 genes and five major cancer subtypes across 20 million biomedical publication abstracts.

The X3-2 hardware has the latest eight-core Intel Xeon E5-2600 series of processors. Compared with the previous generation, Oracle said, the 18 compute and storage servers with 648 terabytes of storage now offer 33 percent more processing power with 288 CPU cores; 33 percent more memory per node with 1.1TB of main memory; and up to a 30 percent reduction in data center power and cooling requirements, thanks to the cooler-running processors.

Key Specifications

The X3-2 also includes:

  • support for CDH 4.1, including software upgrades developed collaboratively with Cloudera to simplify NameNode High Availability in Hadoop, eliminating the single point of failure in a Hadoop cluster;
  • Oracle NoSQL Database Community Edition 2.0, the latest version that brings better Hadoop integration, elastic scaling and new APIs, including JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and C support;
  • updated distributions of Oracle Linux and Oracle Java Development Kit; and
  • an updated distribution of open source R, optimized to work with high-performance multi-threaded math libraries.

Go here to read a PDF data sheet on the X3-2 appliance. It is available for order now.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...