Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: XebiaLabs Blog, Ken Fogel, Sematext Blog, Marcin Warpechowski, Trevor Parsons

Blog Feed Post

Big Data as Core, Big Data as Context, and Big Data as Buzzword Bingo

3711242567_7a2f9e6f13_zIt’s neither particularly newsworthy nor insightful to suggest that ‘Big Data’ gets everywhere these days, but two recent items reminded me of the gulf between credible execution of a big data play and the more questionable tacking of the big data meme onto an otherwise useful product.

Christmas is coming. Which means skating, and pantomimes (Captain Jack! And the Krankies!), and surprisingly expensive daughter shops, and pie with chicken and banana. But in amongst that lot, the weekend’s email and RSS brought news of

an ideal solution to store, manage and archive big data

and a

service built specifically for Fortune 1000 enterprises who want to rapidly explore how big data technology can unlock revenue from their data.

(both with my emphasis)

Infochimps has been around since 2009, and I’ve been following them with interest. CTO and Co-Founder Flip Kromer and I recorded podcasts in 2009 and early 2012, and we continue to meet up from time to time. From humble beginnings, the company grew to become one of a handful of credible Data Market offerings, before moving on to contribute key pieces of code to projects such as VMware’s Serengeti. Earlier this year, Infochimps’ broader ambitions began to become public as the Infochimps Platform rolled out. In August, the Platform gained streaming capabilities that helped propel it beyond any early reliance upon Hadoop. Then, this month, things got really interesting with the arrival of the Infochimps Enterprise Cloud. As Alex Williams reported for TechCrunch on Monday,

Infochimps data scientists and engineers developed the platform so they could collect lots of data and perform complex analytics along the way. A customer can pull in data from CRM systems and any of the other app silos where data pools then combine it with the data from Facebook, Twitter, and other services. The data flows into Infochimps’ data-delivery service and is cleaned up along the way. Data gets enriched, as needed, with other pieces of information such as demographic data.

The service works with any kind of database. Infochimps can implement any combination, including relational for SQL-like queries, and NoSQL for Hadoop jobs and big data storage. Analysis tools on the back-end provide the capability to create visuals and reports.

The company is setting itself some bold targets, seeking to speed up system deployments, making it easier for existing staff to do new things with data they already own, and freeing users to deploy a wide range of big data tools beyond the default of the cuddly elephant. And they’re targeting this directly at the Fortune 1000; companies with huge IT operations, demanding requirements, and an expectation of support, service and quality, all day, every day. For a small company of around 30 employees, which raised $1.55 million back in 2010 and hasn’t reported an investment since, that’s a big ask.

If even a fraction of what the Enterprise Cloud promises is available today, or demonstrably around the corner, then that team of 30 must be spending most of their time fending off a swarm of investors and acquirers. A nice problem to have, but a problem all the same.

I look forward to seeing real examples of the uses to which enterprise customers begin putting the Enterprise Cloud. I’ll also be watching with interest for rumours of acquisition or investment, both of which are bound to come.

The other piece of news also came from an established company. This time, consumer and small business backup provider Genie9. The company has a new backup product out, called Zoolz, and is making much of the integral “Cold Storage™ Technology” (Ugh!) that gives users reasonably straightforward access to Amazon’s very cheap Glacier storage service.

Personally, I achieve my backup and archival needs through a combination of DropBox, Google Drive, Spanning Backup, a Time Capsule and Arq (complete with its own non-™ hooks into Glacier). But that’s me. A one man band, with a particular set of devices and workflows, and it’s an arrangement that has grown up rather organically.

Zoolz makes perfect sense as a backup solution, and from a brief play with the tool it appears intuitive, capable, and affordable. The Glacier integration is also good, for those things you want to keep, but which you don’t need to access regularly. I have no problem with the tool at all, but what did (and does) bemuse me was the emphasis upon its role in meeting big data requirements.

Zoolz is designed with big data support in mind and will be a game changer to help companies move all their data to the cloud in a secure and fast way that is cheaper than tapes and traditional solutions.

Huh?

The web site devotes a whole page to the big data capabilities of Zoolz, but I’m singularly unconvinced. The whole point about big data, surely, is that you work with it? You pour it into very capable tools that allow you to hold it in (or close to) memory, and you chop and change it in a variety of ways whilst seeking insight? You don’t park it 3-5 hours away in an Amazon cold storage facility and think “job done,” just because Zoolz offers “photo preview” !

Zoolz (through Glacier) offers a place to park large volumes of data that you no longer wish to work with, but it does nothing at all to help people ingest, process, analyse or understand big data. Moving large volumes of data around is slow and expensive. Processes to work with data are often scripted or otherwise automated, and tied into workflows that make sense within the context of the analytic tools (like Hadoop, say) to be used. It’s wholly unclear that Zoolz’s pretty UI and consumer/small business workflows make any sense in that context whatsoever.

Personally, Genie9, I would be proud of what I’ve made in Zoolz. But I’d drop the ‘big data’ stuff. It doesn’t fit.

Bingo card image by Flickr user Sara

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Paul Miller

Paul Miller works at the interface between the worlds of Cloud Computing and the Semantic Web, providing the insights that enable you to exploit the next wave as we approach the World Wide Database.

He blogs at www.cloudofdata.com.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...