The head of Oracle's database server technologies business has shed new light on the company's approach to the big data market.
Andrew Mendelsohn told reporters on Monday that the company is not merely looking to handle large stores with its Big Data Appliance, but to provide additional intelligence for administrators and executives by analysing new sources of information.
Mendelsohn explained that Oracle will pitch the Big Data Appliance as a companion to the Exadata platform and as an additional tool for understanding customer behaviour rather than just another repository for information.
"Big is interesting, but traditional warehouses deal with that quite well. What is new here is the variety on the data side," he said.
Oracle has used a combination of the NoSQL database platform and the Hadoop large-scale database system to help manage this variety, according to Mendelsohn.
Unlike a traditional database, NoSQL employs a single user key and runs queries through hundreds of tables. The system is based on the Berkeley DB platform and is offered under open source and proprietary licences.
Mendelsohn explained that the challenge with Hadoop is promoting a platform into the mainstream enterprise space with which few developers are familiar.
Oracle is looking to update the Oracle Data Integrator platform to allow developers to more easily generate code for the platform.
"Hadoop, as it currently stands, is a very niche technology. In order to get Hadoop out of that niche you have to address this problem of trying to automate it or make it easy to use."
The one component in the Big Data Appliance that end users will look to interact with the most is Oracle R Enterprise. Mendelsohn said that the use of Oracle R Enterprise over an older statistical language is in large part owing to the assumption that the platform will take over in the coming years.
"It is one of those generational things. The new generation of statisticians are learning R in school," he said. "In five to 10 years it is really going to have a lot of mindshare out there."
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