|By Jim Vogt||
|May 11, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
About once every five years or so, the technology industry blazes a new path of innovation. The PC, the Internet, smart mobility and social networking have emerged over the past 20 plus years, delivering new technologies and business ecosystems that have fundamentally changed the world. The latest catalyst is Big Data.
Nearly every major new computing era in the past has had a hot IPO provide a catalyst for more widespread adoption of the shift. The recent Splunk IPO evokes parallels with Netscape, the company that provided the catalyst in 1995 to a wave of Internet computing for both B2C and B2B marketplaces. It ushered in a wave of new innovation and a plethora of new .com businesses. Hundreds of billions of dollars in new value was subsequently created and business environments changed forever.
Big Data refers to the enormous volume, velocity, and variety of data that exists and has the potential to be turned into business value. The challenge of Big Data is taking inhuman amounts of data and distilling it into information that human brains can use. Most businesses accumulate astronomical amounts of data - and the volume is expanding at an alarming rate. According to IDC, the volume of digital content in the world will grow to 2.7 billion terabytes in 2012, up 48% from 2011, and will reach 8 billion terabytes by 2015. 
The data flood, of course, comes from both structured corporate databases and unstructured data from Web pages, blogs, social networking messages and other sources. For example, there are now countless digital sensors worldwide in industrial equipment, automobiles, electrical meters and shipping crates. They can measure and communicate location, movement, vibration, temperature, humidity, even chemical changes in the air. Companies wield data like a weapon. Retailers, like Wal-Mart and Kohl's, analyze sales, pricing and economic, demographic and weather data to tailor product selections at particular stores and determine the timing of price markdowns. Logistics companies like UPS mine data on truck delivery times and traffic patterns to fine-tune routing.
Today, a whole ecosystem of new businesses is springing up to engage with this new reality: companies that store data; companies that mine data for insight; and companies that aggregate data to make it manageable. But it's an ecosystem that's still emerging, and its exact shape has yet to make itself clear.
One of the biggest challenges of working with Big Data is assembling it and preparing it for analysis. Different systems store data in different formats, even within the same company. Assembling, standardizing, and cleaning data of irregularities - all without scrubbing it of the information that makes it valuable - is a central challenge of this space.
Of course, Hadoop, an open source software framework derived from Google's Map Reduce and Google File System (GFS) papers, is being leveraged by several technology vendors to do just that. Hadoop maps tasks across a cluster of machines, splitting them into smaller sub-tasks, before reducing the results into one master calculation. It's really an old grid computing technique given new life in the age of cloud computing.
Hadoop is converging with other technology advances such as high-speed data analysis made possible because of parallel computing, in-memory processing, and lower cost flash memory in the form of solid state drives. The prospect of being able to process troves of data very quickly, in memory, without time-consuming forays to retrieve information stored on disk drives, is a big advance that will enable companies to assemble, sort, and analyze data much more rapidly.
For example, T-Mobile is using SAP's HANA to mine data from stores, text messages and call centers on its 30 million U.S. customers to tailor personalized deals. What used to take a week can be done in three hours with the SAP system. Organizations that can leverage this capability to make faster and more informed business decisions will have a distinct advantage over competitors.
In a short period of time, Hadoop has transitioned from relative obscurity as a consumer Internet project into the mainstream consciousness of enterprise IT. Hadoop is designed to handle mountains of unstructured data. However, as it exists, the open source code is a long way from meeting enterprise requirements for security, management, and efficiency without some serious customization. Enterprise-scale Hadoop deployments require costly IT specialists who are capable of guiding a lot of somewhat disjointed processes. That currently limits adoption to organizations with substantial IT budgets.
It will take a refined platform to enable Hadoop and its derivatives to fit into the enterprise as a complement to existing data analytics and data warehousing tools from established business process vendors like Oracle, HP, and SAP. At Zettaset, for example, we are focused on making Hadoop much more accessible to enterprises of all sizes by creating a high availability platform that takes much of the complexity out of assembling and preparing huge amounts of data for analysis. We have aggregated multiple steps into a streamlined automated process, significantly enhanced security, and are now integrating our software into an appliance which can be racked in the data center and easily managed through a user-friendly GUI.
The true value of Big Data lies in the amount of useful data that can be derived from it. The future of Big Data is therefore to do for data and analytics what Moore's Law has done for computing hardware, and exponentially increase the speed and value of business intelligence. Whether it is linking geography and retail availability, using patient data to forecast public health trends, or analyzing global climate trends, we live in a world full of data. Effectively harnessing Big Data will give businesses a whole new lens through which to see it.
- Source: "IDC Predictions 2012: Competing for 2020," December 2011
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Jul. 2, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 519
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at th...
Jul. 2, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,979
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult – let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and liv...
Jul. 2, 2015 11:50 AM EDT Reads: 177
SYS-CON Events announced today that JFrog, maker of Artifactory, the popular Binary Repository Manager, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based in California, Israel and France, founded by longtime field-experts, JFrog, creator of Artifactory and Bintray, has provided the market with the first Binary Repository solution and a software distribution social platform.
Jul. 2, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,125
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Brian “Redbeard” Harrington, a principal architect at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS helps teams run in production. Attende...
Jul. 2, 2015 11:17 AM EDT Reads: 257
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 996
Malicious agents are moving faster than the speed of business. Even more worrisome, most companies are relying on legacy approaches to security that are no longer capable of meeting current threats. In the modern cloud, threat diversity is rapidly expanding, necessitating more sophisticated security protocols than those used in the past or in desktop environments. Yet companies are falling for cloud security myths that were truths at one time but have evolved out of existence.
Jul. 2, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,173
The cloud has transformed how we think about software quality. Instead of preventing failures, we must focus on automatic recovery from failure. In other words, resilience trumps traditional quality measures. Continuous delivery models further squeeze traditional notions of quality. Remember the venerable project management Iron Triangle? Among time, scope, and cost, you can only fix two or quality will suffer. Only in today's DevOps world, continuous testing, integration, and deployment upend...
Jul. 2, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,088
IT data is typically silo'd by the various tools in place. Unifying all the log, metric and event data in one analytics platform stops finger pointing and provides the end-to-end correlation. Logs, metrics and custom event data can be joined to tell the holistic story of your software and operations. For example, users can correlate code deploys to system performance to application error codes. In his session at DevOps Summit, Michael Demmer, VP of Engineering at Jut, will discuss how this can...
Jul. 2, 2015 10:46 AM EDT Reads: 262
"A lot of the enterprises that have been using our systems for many years are reaching out to the cloud - the public cloud, the private cloud and hybrid," stated Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 2, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 701
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 2, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,099
The most often asked question post-DevOps introduction is: “How do I get started?” There’s plenty of information on why DevOps is valid and important, but many managers still struggle with simple basics for how to initiate a DevOps program in their business. They struggle with issues related to current organizational inertia, the lack of experience on Continuous Integration/Delivery, understanding where DevOps will affect revenue and budget, etc. In their session at DevOps Summit, JP Morgenthal...
Jul. 2, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 756
In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist of Cloud Services at VMware, reviewed the changes that the cloud computing industry has gone through over the last five years and shared insights into what the next five will bring. He also chronicled the challenges enterprise companies are facing as they move to the public cloud. He delved into the "Hybrid Cloud" space and explained why every CIO should consider ‘hybrid cloud' as part of their future strategy to achi...
Jul. 2, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 773
In the midst of the widespread popularity and adoption of cloud computing, it seems like everything is being offered “as a Service” these days: Infrastructure? Check. Platform? You bet. Software? Absolutely. Toaster? It’s only a matter of time. With service providers positioning vastly differing offerings under a generic “cloud” umbrella, it’s all too easy to get confused about what’s actually being offered. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Kevin Hazard, Director of Digital Content for SoftL...
Jul. 2, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,239
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
Jul. 2, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 800
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Jul. 2, 2015 09:24 AM EDT Reads: 437
The time is ripe for high speed resilient software defined storage solutions with unlimited scalability. ISS has been working with the leading open source projects and developed a commercial high performance solution that is able to grow forever without performance limitations. In his session at Cloud Expo, Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services Inc., shared foundation principles of Ceph architecture, as well as the design to deliver this storage to traditional SAN storage co...
Jul. 2, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,068
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Jul. 2, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,238
"We provide a web application framework for building really sophisticated web applications that run on a browser without any installation need so we get used for biotech, defense, and banking applications," noted Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit (http://DevOpsSummit.SYS-CON.com), held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York
Jul. 2, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,143
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world...
Jul. 2, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,281