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Hadoop News & Analysis

Big Data Bits: Strata + Hadoop World Rewind

Last week was huge in the booming world of big data with vendors simultaneously chasing market share and sharing innovations on the big stage at Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose, Calif.

If you have a big data product or service to sell, there may not be a better opportunity. After all, there’s a captive audience that paid big bucks and committed their time to be there. Attendees genuinely want to hear what you have to say. This is why so many vendor announcements are made at, or around, the conference.

Putting forth the best you have to offer while on the big stage, without sounding like an infomercial or slamming the competition seems to challenge some, though. Here’s the secret, strut your best stuff, your grandest vision and your ability to deliver, and the customers you want to win over will see and hear, only you. Knock a competitor, even if you don’t out rightly name them, and there are two of you sharing the spotlight. Is that what you want customers to remember?

Enough said.

Are Hortonworks Numbers Better Than You Think?

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When the analysts pore over Hortonworks financial results this morning, company President Herb Cunitz thinks he knows what they will say. Some will note that the Hadoop distro provider beat the street. But others will say it missed the mark when it comes to revenues, as much of the tech press suggested yesterday.

“The street thought we’d come in at $13.5 million and we brought in $16.7 million,” he said.

So why are articles on the web at the moment suggesting that Hortonworks’ fourth quarter revenues were $12.7 million. Fuzzy math?

Not really. It might just be a difference between  GAAP — the acronym for generally accepted accounting principles — and non-GAAP figures, said Cunitz.

Who Wants an Open Data Platform Anyways?

It turns out that some people do, in fact, want an Open Data Platform.

Despite all of the brouhaha that might have gone down last week, first around Pivotal Software’s Data Event and then at Strata and Hadoop World, some of the vendors and companies that have signed onto the Open Data Platform (ODP) initiative are calling it, “An answer to our Hadoop prayers.” The aforementioned quote comes from Scott Gnau, president of Teradata Labs.

Simon Schmidt, the chief data architect at Union Bank, provided a reason as to why the ODP — a tested reference core of open source Apache Hadoop, Apache Ambari and related Apache source artifacts — was vital for an enterprise like his.

“We can’t maintain an internal staff to do all the testing, compatibility testing and researching of every piece of technology that comes along,” he said, adding that “having some industry people backing these things, giving us the type of indemnification that we require make this (a big data platform) a viable option for us for the long term.”

That statement, perhaps, answers the question that Gartner Analyst Nick Heudecker posed when we interviewed him shortly after the ODP announcement. ”It’s not clear who’s asking for this.”

Does Hadoop Need Saving?

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It was a big week for big data in Silicon Valley where O’Reilly’s Strata & Hadoop World Conference is ending today. The star of the show might have been data scientist Vijay Subramanian of Rent the Runway whose company rents Oscar-worthy gowns (that most of us can’t afford to buy) for our one-night-only Cinderella moments. Or maybe it was data scientist Noelle Sio of Pivotal Labs who volunteered at CrisisTextLine which helps connect teens in trouble with the volunteer counselors who might help them. Or possibly President Barack Obama who streamed in via video to introduce DJ Patil as the United States’ Chief Data Scientist. Never mind all the vendors like Microsoft and MapR who made some impressive announcements.

But instead the halls were filled with talk about the news that Pivotal Software made when it open sourced the components of its big data suite (which we predicted and is unquestionably good news for everyone) and announced the Open Data Platform (ODP), an initiative that brings together GE, Hortonworks, IBM, Infosys, Pivotal, SAS, AltiScale, Capgemini, CenturyLink, EMC, Splunk, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Teradata, and VMware (and is open to other companies that want to join).

MapR Closes the Big Data-to-Action Loop

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Everyone knows the time from data-to-action can be critical to winning business, regardless of the variety, velocity, variability and volume of information involved in the process.

And in a world where data is created not only at a pace that is challenging to even ponder but also streams from the Internet of Things (IoT), data lakes are so broad and so deep that making sense of anything in them in real time and reacting accordingly seems unfathomable. Add globally distributed data, and forget about it.

Or maybe not. Because MapR’s latest release, which includes Hadoop has been built for the real time, data-centric enterprise. It leverages table replication features designed to extend access to “big and fast” data enabling multiple instances to be updated in different locations, with all the changes synchronized across them.

“Real time is not just about running a query. It’s also about how and where and how quickly information is processed and the action an organization is going to take,” said Jack Norris, the MapR's chief marketing officer.

Big Data for Geeks and Non-Geeks, Thanks Microsoft

Microsoft aims to do one thing better than anyone else: bring the power of productivity tools, big data, machine learning and data driven insight to both every day Jacks and Jills and geeks, and makes it look simple. How does it propose to do that? There’s Bing that tells Cortana who will win the World Cup and the Super Bowl, Delve that surfaces the content that’s most relevant to you without your needing to ask, Power BI that puts data driven insights and impressive, informative viz’s at your fingertips, Hadoop and machine learning delivered in the cloud, on premises and even on a silver platter (OK, maybe we’re going a bit too far). 

EMC/VMware Spinoff Pivotal Tests Big Data's Golden Rule

What’s good for the community is good for business. This is the new golden rule. Or at least that seems to be the case in the world of big data, where most commercial solutions are open source at their core.

“Enterprises don’t want lock-in,” said Michael Cucci, a marketing manager at EMC/VMware spinoff Pivotal Software, during an interview last week. He added that companies want to be able to influence the future of the technology that they use to drive their businesses. In fact it's practically a must. “It has to be open source or the conversation doesn’t begin,” he explained.

With realizations like this, how do you sell (even the best) a big data platform that’s largely proprietary?

It turns out that maybe you don’t.

What Big Secret Will Pivotal Unveil Next Week?

While it’s no secret that Pivotal is making a big announcement on Feb. 17 during which it will evangelize about a new, “groundbreaking” approach to big data, who exactly is showing up to its party remains to be seen, as is what they will be open sourcing and how they will be spinning it.

But here’s the deal, as time passes, people talk and wheels turn in everyone’s heads. Who will Pivotal’s “special industry guest” be? Does it really know “What’s next in big data”?  

Big Data Gets Smarter [Infographic]

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Data scientists may be scarce, but big data news certainly isn’t. Quite frankly it’s hard to keep up with it all.

While in a world of unlimited space and time we’d be able to shed light on everything that’s notable, we can’t because our world is a bit more limited. So what we’ve chosen to do this week is bring you the stories we would have covered in long form had we had the bandwidth.

Hortonworks Spreads its Open Source Wings to Bring Governance to Hadoop

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We all know Hortonworks is committed to open source, insisting that it’s the way to innovate on Hadoop and deliver the best enterprise-grade technology to the marketplace. And though its main competitor, Cloudera (or at least a member of its management team) may have taunted that Hortonworks’ business model is “undependable,” Wall Street certainly didn’t agree -- its shares soared 65 percent above the opening price on Dec. 12, 2014, its first day of trading as a public company.

Big Data Skills Shortage? Not on MapR's (Pre-IPO) Watch

One of the biggest obstacles to the adoption of Hadoop in the enterprise is the shortage of professionals trained to work with it. According to job posting aggregator Indeed.com, there’s been as much as a 225,000 percent growth in demand for the big data crushing skill since 2009 — and no one is schooling engineers at that rate.

Learning Hadoop, until recently, has been something that passionate, self-directed computer engineers did alone, at leading edge technology-oriented schools like Stanford or as part of the Apache Hadoop community. Some chose a slightly easier way, by paying for training from individual distro vendors like Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR or a few third-party providers.

While it’s not impossible to find “free,” self-paced training  online, most of it is delivered via a freemium model and doesn’t cover the material broadly or deeply enough to pass certification exams. That kind of training often costs hundreds or thousands.

Up until today, that is. This morning big data software and Hadoop distro provider MapR announced free Hadoop On-Demand Training for developers, analysts and administrators that meets certification requirements.

CMSWire's Top 10 Hits of 2014: Big Data

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If you’re tired of hearing about what a big deal big data is going to become, we’ve got good news to share — that conversation is now over.

Big data has gone mainstream, say the experts. Ditto for big data crunching Hadoop.

Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri made it official last month when he declared that the economic benefits of Hadoop will make adoption essential, not optional, for enterprises as they move into 2015.

And putting dollars aside, big data analytics are quickly becoming part of everyone’s job, says Tom Davenport, a Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College and author of Big Data at Work. He asserts that we are entering the Analytics 3.0 era, in which insights can be delivered anytime you need them via any device.

Is Teradata Buying its Way into Big Data Leadership?

Teradata is serious about big data. In fact, when it comes to Hadoop, it wants to be the one-stop shop for its large customer base. Aside from making its existing products more powerful and more capable, it recently strengthened its support partnerships with independent Hadoop distro providers MapR and Cloudera, and signaled a continued commitment to Hortonworks, which in now publicly traded as Nasdaq:HDP.

Today the company announced that it has purchase RainStor, a provider of patented Enterprise archiving solutions around Hadoop.

Hortonworks IPO: Why It Has to Happen Tomorrow

2014-11-December-Wall-Street.jpgYou can bet that the folks at Hortonworks’ won’t sleep much tonight, instead they’ll likely be replaying and rethinking every move they’ve made as a private company and every aspect of their strategy. As the youngest of the three primary, independent, commercial Hadoop distribution providers, they’ve gone from saying that they wouldn’t be talking about an IPO anytime soon, to suggesting that it might happen in 2015, to secretly filing in August, to unveiling the filing last month, to setting the date for the actual offering -- it’s tomorrow.

What’s the sudden hurry?

As Gartner analyst Merv Adrian puts it, “There might not be a better time.”

And, at least in the near term, he may have a point. Unless it’s possible to go back in time, that is.

Hortonworks IPO: 9 Days and Counting

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Wow, that was fast.

Less than a month after Hortonworks unveiled the news that it confidentially filed its S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, it has set its expected IPO date for Dec. 12, according to Nasdaq. The offer amount is $96.6 million, with prices for individual shares set at $12 to $14. A total of six million shares will be made available.

Hortonworks is the first independent, commercial Hadoop provider to go public. Some believe that its IPO will be a bellwether for the $50.2 billion data-related segments (data management and data storage) of the enterprise software market.

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