Database giant strikes back

Oracle NoSQL DB 2.0 tightens integration with stack

Elliot Bentley

New version of Oracle’s non-relational data store brings a few new tricks but furthers interoperability with other Oracle hardware and software.

While the NoSQL revolution was launched by plucky startups, database giant Oracle isn’t giving up their market share without a fight.

First released in September 2011 to high praise, Oracle NoSQL Database does what it says on the tin, providing a key-value database based on the open-source Berkeley DB.

In this 2.0 release, Oracle have added support for larger objects such as documents and images, an API for C programs and JSON support, and claim it can provide “enterprise-class elasticity with near linear scalability and under five millisecond latency”.

While it’s easy to criticise Oracle for only just keeping pace with the likes of Cassandra et al, they appear to be courting a more conservative market. Most NoSQL products pride themselves on the different approaches they bring and the way they fit alongside new methodologies.

In comparison, Oracle NoSQL Database is marketed as being “designed to fit seamlessly into an enterprise IT stack” – and by that, they mean a stack consisting mostly of Oracle technology. Indeed, this 2.0 release introduces the ability to query a NoSQL Database from within Oracle Database and, say Oracle, tighter integration with Hadoop. The release is also included in another, arguably bigger, Oracle announcement – Oracle Big Data Appliance X3-2, an integrated hardware-and-software solution running Cloudera and powered by brand-new eight-core Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors.

The question is, which marketing approach will work long-term? The bottom-up, open source approaches of MongoDB, CouchDB and so on, or the top-down, integrated approach of Oracle? Who knows: but at least NoSQL 2.0 and the Big Data Appliance prove that Oracle are taking big data seriously.

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