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This content is part of the Essential Guide: Guide to Oracle engineered systems and server appliances
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Interview: Oracle, Cloudera on Big Data Appliance

Oracle and Cloudera executives talk about the Oracle Big Data Appliance, which became generally available on Jan. 10. spoke to Oracle Vice President of Data Warehousing George Lumpkin and Cloudera Chief Operating Officer Kirk Dunn about the Oracle Big Data Appliance, which became generally available on Jan. 10. Lumpkin and Dunn discussed whether an appliance is a good form factor for big data, what the included Cloudera Manager software actually does, and why the separate Oracle Big Data Connectors help integrate the appliance with Oracle Database. You can also read our full story on the Oracle Big Data Appliance  announcement.

Some say that appliances don’t lend themselves well to big data, that big data is better on commodity hardware that can scale more horizontally. How do you respond to that?

George Lumpkin: From a hardware standpoint, this does scale horizontally. We’re providing a single rack of hardware that consists of 18 servers. This would scale out by adding additional racks . Secondly, we really have done all the steps around provisioning and configuration of the environment so that our clients don’t have to do it. With Hadoop, there are a lot of organizations that don’t have big data, and they may see more value in having something pre-configured for their big data environment.

What about you Kirk, what do you think of the appliance as a form factor for big data?

Kirk Dunn: I’m with George. I think there are benefits to doing this, which are ease of deployment and management.

Kirk, tell me about Cloudera Manager. What makes it better for managing a Hadoop environment over a generic management software platform or even Oracle Enterprise Manager?

Dunn: The No. 1 reason is that it’s the only product that allows you to manage the Hadoop implementation completely. We’ve been deploying Hadoop for three years for the most data-intensive corporations worldwide. We can resource manage from a product perspective but also from a job perspective. Our support, our consulting, is all wrapped up in an easy-to-use package.

Just so I have this clear, if I buy the Big Data Appliance and I have a problem, do I call Oracle Support, or Cloudera Support, or what?

Dunn: Oracle is the manufacturer and they are deploying our products as a part of that. We will be supporting Oracle on Level 2 and Level 3 calls. We will support Oracle in the support of their customers.

Can you tell me about these Big Data Connectors? What do they do and how do they integrate the appliance with Oracle Database?

Lumpkin: The Big Data Connectors is a portfolio of software that provides several capabilities. It includes the Oracle Loader for Hadoop, an optimized high-speed loader for loading data from Hadoop into Oracle Database. It can load data at many terabytes per hour.

The Big Data Connectors are different from the Big Data Appliance?

Lumpkin: They’re two separate products. We’re providing the Big Data Connectors separately for organizations that have already built a big data environment, so they can connect their custom big data environment with Oracle Database.

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