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Posted July 17, 2014

Oracle Big Data SQL Connects Various Data Sets for Analysis

By Chris Preimesberger

New-gen IT is all about convergence, speed, cross-platform connectivity and agility, and Oracle is trying to supply this in a new way using an old query language in the database realm.

The venerable database provider, which has added to its offerings in the data analysis market recently with the Exadata machine and the appropriately named Big Data Appliance, came out July 15 with Oracle Big Data SQL, a tool that will make DB administrators smile: It can run a single SQL query on Oracle's own 12C database at the same time as in Hadoop and NoSQL data stores.

It's hard to believe, but SQL has been around since 1981 (when the first IBM PCs came out), because it works. That kind of survivability is rare indeed.

No more writing scripts or rolling your own workaround to connect data silos when someone needs to query a bunch of disparate data sets. It all just flows, if you believe Oracle—and if you have the Oracle 12C and all the connectors to Hadoop and NoSQL stores, because that's the only way it will run.

In fact, this product is strictly for serious Oracle shops. To get the full benefit of Big Data SQL, one needs the Oracle 12C database to be installed and running on the Exadata machine.

Big Data SQL is available as an option for Oracle's Big Data Appliance, which is already outfitted with Cloudera's Hadoop distribution.

A common issue facing database administrators is the drudgery of moving data around among systems so that it can be analyzed. The new Oracle product enables several information stores to be queried in place with minimal data movement; the queries are made more efficient using Exadata's Smart Scan feature.

How will this fit into the current enterprise marketplace?

"Most, if not all, organizations have data in several places," Gartner database industry analyst Nick Heudecker told eWEEK. "One of the challenges we hear from Gartner clients is how to integrate these data stores in a way that makes sense. The idea of a connector that lets me reuse existing skills and security policies makes a lot of sense.

"Teradata's QueryGrid and SAP's Smart Data Access are both similar solutions available in the market today. Each differs in how and where it processes data. Sometimes that work is done on the remote system, while other times it is done locally. It remains to be seen how that distinction impacts the market."

"Expect to see more of this type of development in the future. No data management platform can expect to survive as a silo."


Originally published on eWeek.

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