January 10, 2012 – Oracle released a big data offering it expects to provide inroads to that burgeoning market sector and includes widespread incorporation of features from Hadoop provider Cloudera.

The Oracle Big Data Appliance consists of hardware and software enmeshed with Cloudera’s Distribution Including Apache Hadoop with Cloudera Manager and an open source distribution of R, according to a news release on Tuesday’s announcement. The system scales data by connecting multiple racks together through an InfiniBand network for attaining, arranging and analyzing large data volumes. Throughout that, the system features Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution for commercial and non-commercial environments, and Cloudera Manager, an end-to-end management application for Apache Hadoop.

The system runs on Oracle Linux and features Oracle NoSQL Database Community Edition and Oracle HotSpot Java Virtual Machine. Also released is the Hadoop and Oracle No SQL Database data integration product for Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Big Data Connectors.

Oracle made the initial announcement about Big Data Appliance last October during its user conference, Oracle OpenWorld, though it didn’t roll out a specific timeline for release or mention the incorporation of Cloudera features.

In a release on Tuesday’s announcement, Oracle data warehousing division VP Cetin Ozbutun touted the use of the new appliance in tune with its other recent cloud and analytics offerings as a means to make more enterprise data discoveries and analysis.

David Menninger, VP at Ventana Research, said the speed of the actual release of the appliance is somewhat surprising and, in all likelihood, a reflection of Oracle’s shift to sell more appliances. As far as the deep partnership with Cloudera, Menninger says the Hadoop support plays into Oracle’s focus on releases that address scale as well as its executive connections with Cloudera founder, Mike Olson.

“Oracle is riding the wave of big data. They are making a significant bet on appliance offerings, so it’s a natural extension of their appliance offerings to include one for big data. It remains to be seen if this move will pay off,” Menninger says. “There was much speculation after Oracle’s recent earnings announcement that the hardware focus may be a mistake. Time will tell.”