Thoughts on Oracle’s NoSQL offering
I’ve gotten a lot of questions from press, analysts, and customers about Oracle’s NoSQL offering. Our booth at Oracle Open World has been mobbed (next year we need a bigger booth – this year we had to make do with spilling over about 8 feet into the walkway on either side of our booth, sorry for the blockage for anyone trying to get past us!). I thought I’d share some further thoughts on Oracle’s now-announced offering here.
Disclaimer: I work for 10gen, the company that sponsors MongoDB, so I have some obvious bias. That said, I strongly believe that solid offerings from big players will help the market overall. With that bias disclosed, I have done my best to be fair and intellectually honest in my analysis of their offering.
About the offering
Personally, I think the Oracle offering is reasonable. Their approach to consistency looks sensible, as do their replication and sharding designs. It looks like it will be available open source, so I expect it will get a reasonable amount of adoption. I don’t think it breaks new ground, but if you want a key-value store from Oracle, it looks like it will do the job. My prediction is that it won’t crack the top 3 in NoSQL, but it looks solid and with Oracle behind it I’d expect it to wind up somewhere around # 5 or so in a very competitive market. This is just based on looking at their white papers; final judgement will have to wait until the product is released.
One plus for their offering is that it is based very heavily on BerkeleyDB. This technology has been around for at least 15 years, so it should be pretty stable. The main addition appears to be hash-based sharing; this is the part that customers need to ensure is stable before adopting it, but I’d expect the rest of it to be quite solid.
On criticism for flip-flopping
There have been a lot of harsh words about Oracle’s switch from writing a white paper on “Debunking the NoSQL Hype” in May to announcing a NoSQL offering in October. I wish it were otherwise, but welcome to the world of high-tech marketing. When a big company feels pain in the market and doesn’t have a product, they have their marketing guys write something that says the market isn’t important. You can be grumpy that the industry works that way and think whoever decided to do that is a hypocrite, but it really has no bearing on Oracle’s commitment to the product now that they have built it. Time to move on and evaluate the product on its merits.
So, congrats to Oracle on entering an exciting and growing market segment with what looks to be a solid offering. I look forward to seeing how it evolves over its next few releases and to competing with them in marketplace!