Oracle joins the NoSQL fray

From: Mladen Gogala <>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 16:29:12 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <>

Oracle announced a NoSQL database, no less: database-505146.html
I did a test project for a DW type warehouse with MongoDB, my current favorite in the NoSQL arena, and was surprised how powerful software that is. Oracle is late to the game, there are already several established players like MongoDB, CouchDB (shipped and activated with every Ubuntu installation), Cassandra and Google's own Big Table. Most of the NoSQL databases familiar to me use Javascript as the internal programming language and map/reduce algorithm to implement parallelism. There is also Hadoop, a massively parallel batch system which allows creating jobs that execute in parallel, even in the environments that do not have a native support for parallelism like MySQL or PostgreSQL, the two front runners in the arena of the open source databases. Hadoop can also be used in conjunction with Oracle NoSQL. Oracle's NoSQL database, if the announcement is to be believed, is not very different from MongoDB. It also uses map/reduce, JSON and Javascript VM to access data. There is one crucial difference: Oracle also has an "appliance" for it. It seems that Oracle Corp. believes that a database is not much different than a microwave oven, toaster or a coffee machine. NoSQL databases are, generally speaking, pretty easy to install. They come in the form of OS packages with all easy to read and well documented configuration files or, as in the case of CouchDB, with a handy configuration utility called Futon. There is not much that one can gain from buying a DB toaster, especially when you have in mind that there are several cloud hosting companies like Amazon, Webfaction or Linode which offer MongoDB in the cloud. I believe that in the appliance vs. cloud competition, cloud will win, because of the lower price.
Oracle Corp. has recently started spewing out "appliances": Exadata, Exalogic, DB appliance and now NoSQL appliance. On the other hand, Oracle's presence in the ever expanding cloud is rather flimsy, because of the exorbitant pricing. Another great company suffered significantly with the advent of cloud computing: Microsoft. Mobile platforms like iPhone, cloud services like and open source stuff like OpenOffice, LibreOffice and GNOME office (AbiWord/Gnumeric) have significantly decreased Microsoft's earnings and overall significance. Oracle may suffer the same fate. I am not very optimistic about the NoSQL appliance sale, that doesn't seem like a viable product to me. Your mileage may vary and your comments are welcome.
Received on Wed Oct 05 2011 - 11:29:12 CDT

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