Oracle Debuts Analytical Software For 'Big Data' Tasks

Oracle is adding to its "Big Data" product lineup, bundling its Oracle R Enterprise software with its Oracle Data Mining toolset in a move the company said will make it easier for businesses to analyze increasingly huge volumes of information.

The introduction of the Oracle Advanced Analytics for Big Data package comes just a month after the vendor unveiled the Oracle Big Data Appliance, which combines the company's new NoSQL database with Cloudera's distribution of Hadoop.

"We think of analytics as being a fundamental pillar of big data," said George Lumpkin, Oracle vice president of product management for data warehousing, in an interview.

Oracle R Enterprise is itself a combination of the Oracle database and the company's distribution of the "R" open-source programming language for developing statistical data analysis applications. "It's easier when the analytics execute inside the database," Lumpkin said. Oracle Data Mining, which includes data mining and predictive analytics algorithms, is a component of the company's Oracle Advanced Analytics suite.

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The combination of the Oracle database, the R language and the data mining tools makes it possible for users to use more complex equations to analyze bigger data sets, Lumpkin said.

The new Oracle Advanced Analytics for Big Data package provides channel partners with a software foundation for Big Data projects, Lumpkin said. And it offers solution providers and ISVs the opportunity to develop applications that leverage Big Data. SQL programs developed by partners, for example, can invoke R-based procedures running within a database, he said.

"We work with leading edge customers who rely on us to deliver better BI from their Oracle Databases," said Mark Rittman, co-founder and director of Rittman Mead, which provides solutions and services around Oracle BI products. "The new Oracle R Enterprise functionality allows us to perform deep analytics on Big Data stored in Oracle Databases. By leveraging R and its library of open-source contributed CRAN [Comprehensive R Archive Network] packages combined with the power and scalability of Oracle Database 11g, we can now do that," he said.

Oracle is also touting the new offering as the latest addition to what it's calling a "Big Data stack" that includes hardware servers such as the Big Data Appliance and the Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Database 11g, Hadoop, Oracle R Enterprise and other software.

Oracle Advanced Analytics for Big Data, generally available now, is being sold as an option with the Oracle Database 11g. Resellers who sell the database will be able to offer it to their customers as an option, Lumpkin said.