It seems Forrester Research was being generous when it predicted we'd see buyouts in the Big Data space by the end of summer 2012.
Yesterday, Oracle announced it had acquired Big Data analytics firm Endeca. Wired notes this after mocking HP for its August acquisition of Autonomy, an infrastructure software company that handles unstructured data.
Forrester believes other data warehouse players such as SAP, Microsoft and Teradata, will soon join in, acquiring Hadoop startups. It's worth noting that Forrester's prediction came just days ahead of news that Microsoft's SQL Server 2012 will include Big Data processing capabilities, based on - what else? - Hadoop.
Big Data is a Big Deal for Big Vendors who see Big Money ahead. They want to nab control of this trend while it's still evolving. So, it makes sense that this space would be ripe for consolidation, particularly when you look at the immaturity of the tools used to manage Hadoop.
But despite all this rush to embrace Hadoop and Big Data, Forrester says there are a number of factors that will make Hadoop difficult for business:
As big vendors move into Big Data, these challenges will become their problem as well. It'll be interesting to see how - and if - traditional enterprise vendors address these problems.
Hadoop may have challenges, but its distributed approach to data is the future of enterprise computing, predicts Michael Driscoll, CTO of the data analytics company Metamarkets.
Driscoll also raises some interesting points about what the rise of Hadoop and NoSQL means for Oracle. Basically, he questions whether Oracle can make the transition to a flexible, cloud-savvy company.
Oracle does offer a Hadoop connector and recently revealed Exalytics, an appliance for large-scale analytics. But Driscoll contends one big vendor - Oracle - is betting on the wrong side of this shift, with its big-box, desktop-based approach:
Metal server boxes don't bend or expand; they are inelastic, both physically and economically. In contrast, the needs of businesses are highly elastic; as companies grow, they shouldn't have to unpack and install boxes to meet their compute needs, any more than they should install generators for more electricity. The ability to scale storage and compute capacity up or down, within minutes, is liberating for individuals and cost-effective for organizations, but it is impossible with a cloud in a box.' It is only enabled by a true cloud computing infrastructure, with virtualization and dynamic provisioning from a common pool of resources.
ComputerWeekly offers a nice round-up of these key issues, which are covered more thoroughly in Forrester's recent report "Enterprise Hadoop Best Practices: Concrete Guidelines From Early Adopters In Online Services." Unless you're a Forrester client, it'll cost $499.