11 April 2014

Oracle Big Data at Work

Oracle Big Data at Work
The term big data draws a lot of attention, but behind the hype there's a simple story. For decades, companies have been making business decisions based on transactional data stored in relational databases. Beyond that critical data, however, is a potential treasure trove of less structured data: weblogs, social media, email, sensors and photographs that can be mined for useful information.
Demystifying Big Data for Oracle Professionals

This short video uses the simple analogy of a fishing trawler to explain big data, and the steps involved in gaining competitive advantage by combining new sources of data within existing, structured data.

Big Data: datafication of everything -- the capture and use of more data in more activities. There's huge opportunity there, but the world's ability to produce data outstrips most companies' ability to use it. Close this gap with Oracle Big Data.

Oracle Academy Big Data Roundtable

Listen to Oracle experts discuss the growing field of Big Data. Learn about the skills required to pursue a career in Big Data as well as the types of opportunities available to Big Data practitioners.

Big Data Analyst Report

This free report goes beyond buzz words and tells you who is using big data, how they are using it, and what the future holds.
Download this free report from EMA to learn how companies are putting Big Data to use.

Limited Edition Exadata X4-2C - Brighten Up Your Data Center
For a short period only, Oracle is offering its data warehouse customers the chance to buy a limited edition EXADATA X4-2C. This new Exadata configuration is going to brighten up your data center with its exciting range of color coordinated racks! Now you can enjoy running those really sophisticated business queries in glorious technicolor. Most importantly, the great news is that we are not charging you anything extra for this fabulous new technicolor data warehouse experience:

Each color-coded rack comes with its own color-linked version of Enterprise Manager to add more colour, brightness and joy to all those day-to-day tasks as you can see below on these specially designed monitoring screens: 

 Your Exadata DBA is really going to thank you!
So what happens if you buy a 1/2 rack then slowly add more Exadata nodes? Great question - well, while stocks last you can actually create your own multi-colored Exadata rack. As always we are ahead of the game because we know what our customers want. SO WHY NOT HAVE A  TECHNICOLOR DATA WAREHOUSE in your data center! Go on, you know it makes sense….

BUT YOU GOTTA HURRY - This new Exadata X4-2C range is a limited edition, special order only model. Stocks are limited. To brighten up your data center make sure you contact your Oracle Sales Representative right now because you do not want to miss out on this exciting opportunity to put one of these gorgeous, colour-coded dudes in your data center. And don't forget, only Oracle gives you  HARDWARE, SOFTWARE AND COLORENGINEERED TO WORK TOGETHER

An Overview of Oracle Big Data, BI and Analytics Solutions Heretofore Oracle has taken big swings at big data with several of its Oracle Engineered Systems, also known as appliances, such as Exadata, Exalytics and the Big Data Appliance.  The appliances have met with a fair amount of recent success.  Oracle CEO Larry Ellison crowed about that success in Oracle’s fourth-quarter earnings call on June 20 when he stated, “All our Exa products, Exadata, Exalogic, Exalytics and the Big Data Appliance and the Oracle Database Appliance, all had their best ever quarters.”  Even though Oracle’s hardware numbers were down 11 percent year over year for the quarter, and new software license revenues were up only 1 percent, big data-related growth had to be one of Oracle’s bright spots. 

Oracle’s software lineup remains the same it has for the past several years, albeit with updates to better deal with big data and Hadoop scenarios.  The core products include:
  • Oracle Data Warehouse (which in fact runs on the Oracle database)
  • Oracle Essbase used mainly for OLAP
  • Oracle Hyperion which is most well known for enterprise performance management BI/analytics
  • Oracle Endeca, which some use for customer discovery analytics purposes
  • A long list of role-oriented and industry-oriented analytic apps
  • Oracle Business Intelligence

OBIEE, or Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, packages a fair amount of the above mentioned offerings.  In terms of key partnerships, Oracle has a close relationship with Cloudera, which supplies the Hadoop distribution delivered through Oracle, and related services.  Oracle has also continued to invest its own Oracle NoSQL Database, which offers the key-value store technique often used in advanced analytics.  The Oracle NoSQL Database is included along with open source R, one of the most popular statistical programming languages, in its Big Data Appliance.  And some will cite Oracle Times Ten database, an in-memory database established years before SAP HANA came to market, that is the database engine behind Exalytics, as participating in the big data race.

But the Oracle database remains the keystone in any Oracle shop, and it is an inescapable element in the big data endeavors of those shops – either as a primary data source, or as a data warehouse, or for analytics processing, or as a data mart or dataset repository.   Where does Oracle Database 12c fit into this big data Oracle technology picture?   There are two cases of low hanging fruit.
A Rapid Way to Make Oracle Data Warehouse More Rapid
One initial big data opportunity most organizations will discover for Oracle Database 12c involves using 12c to your advantage for Oracle Data Warehouse (ODW).   In particular, long-standing ODW implementations grow stale and slow unless they are closely tended to, perhaps because of too much unnecessary historical data, or perhaps using what once was an appropriate but is no longer a well-fitted infrastructure, or perhaps because it is handling too many complex queries.
Data analysts, data scientists and DBAs will have the opportunity to split out individual data marts from an ODW implementation, and allocate the data marts as pluggable databases in the Oracle Database 12c container.  In Oracle Database 12c parlance, the container database is what allows for multi-tenancy.  It handles the background and overhead processes, such as memory or storage management, for multiple databases that are plugged into a single container.  But each pluggable database contains its own metadata, actual data, and any embedded code like triggers, wholly contained.  Also, each pluggable database may receive its own priority, so the container knows which database(s) should receive more memory to speed along processing, for example.
Using this technique, organizations may finely tune data ingest and query resources of ODW for various BI and analytics purposes.  And in Oracle 12c, “spinning up” a pluggable database in a container literally takes seconds, and changing priorities are a simple, real-time task.  Thus, one data mart might need all the resources the container can muster for one day mid-month, literally having its day in the sun in terms of resource allocation using Oracle Database 12c, and then you could move the data mart to the back of the queue for the rest of the month.  Similarly, during intensive warehouse periods of data ingest, DBAs may pop up the priority of the effected databases with more temporary horsepower.  Similarly, this splitting of a larger ODW into data marts may service the requirements of multinationals as well, in terms of local rules and regulations about data privacy, but also to put the data required for BI or analytics closer to the user base.

Oracle Database 12c to the Rescue of Development and Test
When data analysts, data scientists, and DBAs develop dashboards or models, BI and analytics assets that will become permanent business assets, there is a development and testing process.  Figuring out the design of a durable final dataset may take months.   Ensuring that the data ingest and refresh is utterly accurate and performs as necessary takes many iterations.  And the analytics visualization decisions will cycle through plenty of testing and refinement, hopefully with a sample of the final business user(s) in tow to ensure they are comfortable with the visualizations when they go live.  In short, producing small, medium, or big data that helps the organization’s decision-makers takes plenty of development and testing.
It is literally easy to provision new databases for data marts and/or full warehouses with Oracle Database 12c; your DBAs may need to find a few other tasks to keep them busy during your analytics project.  Need to offer up the warehouse to multiple developers and/or testers on tight schedules?  Cloning is a snap.  Want to replicate a production warehouse to a test warehouse to ensure testing is based on the latest data?  Similarly, replication has taken a big step forward in the world of Oracle databases with Oracle 12c.  Want to run an operational data store that directly reflects a production database, but is not the production database?  Oracle Database 12c offers a full set of technologies to make that happen, but also the features to ensure the production database still receives the resources it requires above the operational data store, even inside the same container.   In short, expect to reduce the time you estimate for BI and analytics projects using Oracle-centric data stores.

For more information:

Drs. Albert Spijkers
DBA Consulting
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