Oracle$ Big Data Issues

Oracle made the WSJ again today (“Oracle’s Little Issue With Big Data”) with an issue I think we have all seen coming – their big expensive hardware and database software products are being eclipsed in the Big Data market by cheap standard hardware and open source software. Those of us that have spent time in large enterprise shops have no doubt wondered how much longer Oracle could get away with those exorbitant fees for database licensing and maintenance. We saw what happened to Sun with their big, expensive Sparc boxes, and now Oracle is getting its comeuppance with the software. I guess they acquired Sun thinking they could still ride the wave created by their success with their database products, but the big opportunity in the BI market these days is with this “big data” created by social networking. And that data – unstructured videos, tweets, photos, comment threads and html is not handled well by traditional relational database software. Rather, that’s the domain of open-source NoSQL and Hadoop.

Oracle has tried to position itself in this market with their expensive Big Data Appliance, but they are getting beat out by the cheaper competition. I think we may be seeing the results of Larry’s “I don’t care if our commodity x86 businesses go to zero” attitude.

Elsewhere on the traditional business front, SAP announced a concerted effort to market their new database product.