big data

If 2012 was the year your grandmother instigated big data conversations at the dinner table (yes, the “buzz” around it actually was that big), then 2013 will go down in history as the year the enterprise began to make serious plans around it.  

CIOs are no longer talking about big data in terms of “it’s something we’ve got to do,” instead they’re making plans, putting big data projects into their budgets and writing checks.

Building on Hadoop Momentum

The companies that provide software, services and support around Hadoop and ancillary technologies, have worked nose to the grindstone to make Hadoop enterprise ready, and they’ve made great progress. Our post, “How Is Hadoop Like Teenage Sex” and the not-so-graphic accompanying infographic reveals some keen insights on adoption rates.

The biggest accomplishment of the Apache Hadoop Community, as a whole, is the delivery and acceptance of Hadoop 2.0. It takes Hadoop beyond a single-use data platform for batch processing to a multi-use platform that enables batch, interactive, online and stream processing.

Hortonworks was first out of the gate with its HDP 2 Platform that leverages Hadoop 2, and there’s no doubt that the company’s growing list of partners and their respective customers benefited from that in short order.

Just a few days later, at Strata Conference and Hadoop World in New York City, Cloudera announced Cloudera Enterprise 5, which is fundamental to its newly announced “Data Hub” strategy. The market had strong reactions to that.

Microsoft also made a huge Hadoop-related proclamation. At Strata and Hadoop World, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Quentin Clark not only announced that the company now had its own Hadoop distribution, but also his plan to deliver Big Data to 1 billion users.

And MapR kept marching on its mission to make its Hadoop distro faster, safer and more secure for its customers.

New and Improved

2013 will also go down as the year that tried and true enterprise players brought new — or new and improved — Hadoop appliances to market. They include Teradata, Oracle and many others including HP, which claims that its HP Converged System products take the prize when it comes to speed and price. On a slightly unrelated note, did you know that Facebook uses HP Vertica for big data?

And we can’t let 2013 end without mentioning Pivotal, which has planted its stake in computing’s next generation, specifically built for a world of big data, social, mobile and cloud. By all accounts, Pivotal is changing the game, not the rules.

Hadoop in the Cloud

2013 will also go down as the year that the enterprise began to accept that their big data is safe in the cloud and that there are advantages in storing it there, including economic agility. Earlier today Cloudera announced its collaboration with Amazon to bring the Enterprise Data Hub to the Cloud, and IBM acquired Aspera to help it customers move large files to the Cloud.

From the Mouths of Industry Leaders

But enough about what we have to say, check out the reflections of industry thought leaders when we asked them to respond to the question: What were the biggest changes or accomplishments in the Big Data/Hadoop marketplace (and overall) in 2013?

Todd Paoletti, vice president of product marketing, Pivotal

In 2013, we saw a shift in the Hadoop market from the customer side — an evolution in testing out Hadoop for archival purposes, to more of an exploration of Hadoop for operational and analytical purposes. More people want to use Hadoop to do something with the data now.

Another element is an evolution in the functionality that runs on top of Hadoop (e.g., SQL-query distributions) and a need has been established for high performance across Hadoop. Real time capabilities are now required of Hadoop to deliver more real time applications. Lastly, a deeper appreciation for broader data management versus Hadoop distribution. Big data is more than just Hadoop and more people recognized analytical tools / information management are also critical components to data management."

Jim Walker, director product marketing, Hortonworks

2013 was a momentous year for Hadoop. Through the first half of the year, we saw hockey stick increases in interest in the Fortune 500 and beyond. It may be argued that the market has at least doubled in size in 2013 as new entrants, both pure play and embedded, met existing demand and increased overall interest in the technology.

Ultimately, the most important accomplishment for Hadoop in 2013 was the release of Hadoop 2.0 from the Apache Community in October. This release marks the point in time where Hadoop transformed from a largely batch-oriented system into a true multi-use data platform, allowing organizations to store all data and then interact with it in multiple ways simultaneously. YARN extends Hadoop to new workloads such as interactive, real-time and streaming. It is the core technology fueling the adoption of a modern data architecture in the enterprise. It is the new platform for enterprise data applications."

John Schroeder, CEO and Cofounder, MapR Technologies

Accomplishments within Hadoop and the broader ecosystem included a far reaching impact by making the Hadoop Database, HBase, enterprise grade by eliminating some of the downtime and latency issues through high availability and disaster recovery capabilities and eliminating compactions. Other accomplishments include integrating SOLR search with Hadoop distributions to provide an intuitive powerful method to locate and index unstructured data.

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of big data in 2013 was the ability of Hadoop to displace other IT spending. Hadoop proved to be a disruptive force in IT spending, particularly with enterprise data warehouse, traditional database and enterprise storage."

Quentin Clark, corporate vice president, Microsoft

The biggest change we’ve seen around big data in 2013 is a shift in the conversation. We have gone from debating the technologies to real world deployments. The conversations I am now having with customers are about the value they are starting to get from big data -- and how they can accelerate that. It’s energizing because we are starting to see business change, and we know that this is just the tip of the iceberg." 

Title image by Rafal Olechowski (Shutterstock).