Oracle OpenWorld: Oracle All-In On Big Data

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Nicolas said there are more big data opportunities in customers' existing data stores than they realize.

"Many customers are exploring big data, and asking questions," he said. 'We're seeing a lot more data that can be repurposed. For example, data from security cameras can be repurposed with face recognition software. And that becomes big data."

Alexander Gorbachev, CTO of Pythian, an Ottawa, Ontario-based provider of professional and managed services for database and big data clients, said that Hadoop and big data, in general, is still an immature technology.

"Hadoop is new, so it's hard to work with," Gorbachev said. "There are few people with the right skills, so it's more of a do-it-yourself project. It's like SQL was 10 years ago. So many companies are trying to help simplify it."

Oracle is one of several companies providing the tools to simplify Hadoop by partnering with Cloudera to help with deployment, monitoring and other big data tasks, Gorbachev said.

"Oracle then adds additional connections unique to Oracle," he said. "So in heterogeneous environments, someone still needs to do the integration."

Oracle also provides the ability to use Hadoop data if it is an Oracle database, which is different from actually adopting a database application to talk to Hadoop, Gorbachev said.

Currently, few customers have the resources to manage Hadoop, leaving it up to enterprise vendors to find a way to simplify the technology for customers, Gorbachev said.

"Yahoo can afford to have their own resources," he said. "Others depend on their enterprise vendors. Teradata and Microsoft work with Hortonworks, while EMC has Greenplum and works with Pivotal.

These enterprise vendors, however, see Hadoop as a long-term threat, Gorbachev said. "So they will adjust their strategy about how to be relevant in 10 years," he said. "In the long term, as Hadoop matures, they will have to adjust their strategy."

Rhos Dyke, executive vice president at Cloud Creek Systems, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime Oracle partner, said that Oracle is indeed moving to embrace big data in a big way.

"Thomas Kurian is the smartest man on the planet," Dyke said. "If he says Oracle is providing a complete big data solution, it probably is true. Oracle has worked hard to make sure no product category is uncovered."

NEXT: Oracle Plays Big Data Role, Still Much To Do

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