Big Data Appliances - good or bad?

We saw in the last week that Teradata has updated their Big Data Appliance it can now ship with Cloudera and has had Hortonworks available for some time. Although Appliances are appealing for simplicity, ease of management, lots of testing done by the vendor(s) and should work more or less out of the box, I am not convinced.

First – why limit yourself to the configuration that the appliance comes in? The TD box is a hefty machine and prices for Hadoop appliances typically start at $500k plus.

Second – be sure that what the Hardware vendor is shipping is actually the latest release. We have had experience of appliances that are behind the Apache versions that are already out there. This creates a lot of support headaches.

Third – look very carefully at all the proprietary stuff that is loaded on the Appliance. This is classic Enterprise Software lock-in. Don’t want to get locked in? Don’t buy proprietary software, or at least buy solutions where you can escape. As the saying goes ‘ Make sure your data is your data, not your suppliers’.

What do you think, are appliances the way to go?

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