Closing the specialization vs. general purpose mini-series (part 1, part 2) is Keith Laker from Oracle’s Data Warehouse Insider blog in The Next Evolutionary Step – Analytical Connectivity. And he’s arguing that the shift towards specialization is already over, and appliances will be dead within 2-3 years.

This evolution from needing a specialized appliance to needing analytical connectivity has happened in a very short time. Analytical connectivity is the next stage in the natural evolution of data warehouse platforms I would argue that the “analytic appliance” should now be considered as dead as a dodo.

For customers who have invested heavily in analytic appliances moving to this new level of evolution is simply not possible. Once you functionally isolate your data it is very difficult to start stitching result sets back together to perform higher levels of analysis.

Interestingly enough I’m quite sure he’s referring to Exadata as the winning general purpose platform for Big Data, whereas Stephen O’Grady used Exadata as example for specialized in yesterday’s post. I guess you could make a point of Exadata being the synthesis of specialized¬† and general purpose – a specialized platform from a HW/SW perspective, but for general purpose use cases.

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