Oracle rolls out analytics Cloud services

Its Exalytics in-memory appliance also gets an upgrade

Add Big Data and analytics to the businesses Oracle wants to dominate in the Cloud.

Oracle Analytics Cloud essentially forklifts the entirety of Oracle's on-premises analytics software to its cloud platform. It includes a subscription BI (business intelligence) service that users "of all technical skill levels" can use, along with embedded analytics, reports, alerts and dashboards for Oracle's SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications.

Oracle detailed the new offerings, based on Oracle's flagship Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition suite, at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

Another component, Transactional Business Intelligence Enterprise, serves up a Cloud data warehouse coupled with prebuilt analytics applications. It's compatible with both on-premises and SaaS applications, as well as third-party products, Oracle said.

Oracle will also offer customers the ability to use the Hadoop big-data processing framework on its entry to the IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) market. This includes a service called Big Data Discovery for visual exploration of large data sets. This product likely involves Oracle's existing Endeca data-discovery software, which has a connector to Hadoop, though Oracle officials were not immediately available to confirm this.

Some but not all components of Oracle Analytics Cloud are generally available. Oracle's website lists Hadoop support and Big Data Discovery as "coming soon."

Pricing information was not immediately available. However, Oracle will price its IaaS to be competitive with the likes of Microsoft's Azure and Amazon Web Services, CTO and executive chairman, Larry Ellison, said during a keynote at OpenWorld on Sunday.

A big challenge with large-scale data warehousing in the Cloud is the task and cost of moving huge amounts of information into the system over a network. Oracle's announcements didn't indicate whether the company will introduce a novel way to solve this problem, although more may be revealed during a keynote on Tuesday by product development chief, Thomas Kurian.

Meanwhile, also on the analytics front, Oracle announced the next generation of its Exalytics appliance, which combines high-memory servers with a stack of Oracle analytics software.

Exalytics In-Memory Machine X-4 can support as much as 3TB of RAM, 4.8 TB of PCI Flash and 7.2 TB of traditional hard disk, according to a statement.

In addition, Exalytics is now certified for Oracle's in-memory database option, which was introduced earlier this year.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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