Oracle has been busy the last few weeks, as it recently released its NoSQL Database that supposedly offers advantages over its competitors in terms of installation, configuration, management, and support.
NoSQL offerings have been the products of choice for many social networks, e-commerce companies, and other dynamic entities that require proper support for their ever-changing nature. One has to look no further than social networking giant Facebook, which runs on Cassandra, an open source transactional NoSQL database, for such an example. Cassandra fits Facebook perfectly as it accommodates the addition of new attributes to profiles, frequent schema changes, and more. Best of all, Cassandra offers such features at an affordable cost, similar to other open source products on the market.
Billy Bosworth, CEO of DataStax, a provider of system monitoring and management software plus enterprise support for Cassandra, said, “There's an order-of-magnitude difference in the speed, performance, and cost of deploying conventional relational databases and Cassandra.” Bosworth offered an example of Cassandra’s cost-friendly nature by citing the case of Constant Contact, a DataStax customer. In its search for a relational database solution, Constant Contact nearly invested $2.5 million in an option that would require a deployment time of nine months. Constant Contact eventually opted for Cassandra, which required an investment of only $250,000 and a deployment time of just three months.
As for his thoughts on the Oracle NoSQL Database, Bosworth noted that although it does have the capability to run on commodity hardware, the company’s underlying strategy is to offer the database as a segment of the upcoming Big Data Appliance package. The Sun hardware-based Big Data Appliance is just another in the line of Oracle’s systems developed to enhance the Exadata portfolio of products. Price-wise, Bosworth predicted that the appliance would be expensive. That combined with the threat of vendor lock-in could likely mean an increased popularity in a more flexible alternative such as Cassandra. At this time, Oracle has not released any details on pricing for the Big Data Appliance.
Bosworth said: “Oracle clearly wants to take you into their whole red stack, but we think plenty of people will say, 'I need some leverage against Oracle, just purely from a procurement standpoint. The second point is that Cassandra is very mature, and we've had companies running very mission-critical applications for some time.” He cited Netflix as an example of a company that runs much of its infrastructure on Cassandra.