Hold the chuckles

Oracle scaling out to NoSQL domination?

Lucy Carey

The Register claims that the San Francisco giant is about to attack enterprise market gap by establishing a NoSQL standards body. And it might not be such a crazy idea.

In news that was greeted by one Tweeter as “epic craziness”,
tech vultures at the Register are claiming that Oracle is in the
process of creating a NoSQL
standards body
, and is currently recruiting NoSQL startups to
join the project.

But is really so hard to believe? In recent years,
NoSQL technology has become the ingenue of the database world,
lauded for its rapid scalability and ability to handle huge volumes
of data – unstructured, sort-of-structured, and structured alike –
moving at breakneck velocity. Open sourcers MongoDB lead the pack,
reaching a record breaking
funding milestone
in late 2013, joined at the top of the tables
by Cassandra and

Although Oracle fought back with the release of the
Oracle NoSQL database in 2011, the world’s second largest software
oligarch continues to lag behind agile young upstarts Mongo and Co
in this market. By expanding its presence in the sector, Oracle
appears to be attempting to upturn this status quo.

There’s still a place for SQL online, amidst the
cacophony of Tweets and selfies and whatnot, and the old guard of
Oracle, IBM and Microsoft continue to rule the realm of structured
data. In sectors such as finance, SQL is relied on for good old
fashioned consistency and reliability. As
notes, traditional relational database is a mature, and
well-suited to the use cases that drove it to prominence.

Whilst it’s NoSQL that’s rapidly becoming the defacto
option for rising software dev shops tooling away on storage hungry
web apps, overall, NoSQL has made “limited” inroads into large
enterprises. In part, this could be attributed to the paucity of
database support and maintenance that typical NoSQL startups are
capable of offering at this stage. There’s also a concomitant lack
of NoSQL specialists devs compared to RDMS pros.

All of this serves to discourage potential enterprise
customers from tapping their unstructured digital content for
potentially lucrative commercial analytics. Forbes concludes that,
propelled by their almost unrivalled wealth and resources,
“Although there is a distinct difference in NoSQL and RDBMS
technologies and their applications…Oracle could attain
significant first mover advantage by organically/inorganically
venturing into the niche segment.”

The Californian software giant’s stealthy database
manoeuvre was apparently disclosed  on condition of anonymity
to the publication on Friday “by multiple well-placed sources at
multiple database companies, who were each familiar with the

Apparently, the new body will focus on “go-to-market
strategies, marketing, promotion and further commercialization of
the technology” rather than defining technical specifics. Whilst
Oracle may have the skimpiest of toeholds at the moment, should it
be successful in corralling fresh startup blood into its club, it
may eventually gain the edge it needs to chisel out a MySQL-esque
notch in the rapidly maturing NoSQL sector.

comments powered by Disqus