Predictable Hybrid Hadoop Blog Series – Crossing the Chasm

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In the previous blog in this series, we outlined some of the important ways that running Hadoop in production – especially in enterprise-wide production – differs from point solutions and PoCs.

As a leading downstream community of big data vendors, users and platform providers, ODPi is focused on tackling the security, governance, lifecycle management and application portability needed to run Hadoop at scale.

A classic way to think about technology maturity is Geoffrey Moore’s Chasm model. In our new white paper, we plot key Hadoop milestones against the technology adoption curve (see image below) and argue that the things the ODPi community are focused on are essential to continuing the adoption of this transformative technology.

An adaptation of Everett Roger’s famous S diffusion of innovations curve, the Chasm model argues that users on the left of the chasm are fundamentally different from those on the right. The chasm separates users by adoption trigger/motivation: on the left it’s all about competitive advantage at nearly any cost, on the right it’s about continuity of operations and keeping up with the Joneses.

As awesome as this model is, it has sometimes been co-opted. One way this happens is by applying it to a Product, when in fact it needs to apply to a Category. This is one reason why we are so bullish about our work at ODPi – we explicitly acknowledge that the only way Hadoop and associated Big Data solutions can cross the chasm to mainstream adoption is by working together to define category-wide – NOT vendor-specific – answers to questions like lifecycle management, security and governance, application portability – these are the things that address early and late majority users’ interest in stability and operational continuity.

When thinking about what it really means for a technology to be a platform, we like the way Sam Ghod puts it:

A platform abstracts away a messy problem so you can build on top of it. Platforms do this by delivering portability and extensibility.

With ODPi Releases 1.0 and 2.0 in place, we invited Application Vendors to self-certify that their applications work unmodified across multiple ODPi Runtime Compliance Hadoop Distros. As of this writing, twelve applications from leading vendors like SAS, IBM and DataTorrent have completed the self-certification.

We believe that savvy Enterprise CDOs, CIOs, CTOs and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) should carefully consider the platform independence that ODPi’s Interoperable Apps program delivers before making their Hadoop platform choices. If one of your preferred vendors isn’t listed either as an Interoperable App or as a Runtime Compliant Platform, let that vendor know that it matters to you.

In 2017, we’re heads down adding to our existing specifications and creating new workstreams through our Special Interest Groups. We invite you to get involved. If you are a twitter user, be sure to follow @odpiorg and participate in our ongoing polls.

Looking at the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

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By John Mertic

I spent some time reviewing the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms in preparation for my time at the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit last week. Overall, I’m really excited to see vendors overall scoring higher in ‘Ability to Execute’; Gartner toughly judges this so seeing the general shift upwards is great to see.

While the piece is clearly targeted towards buyers of these tools – I wanted to take a critical eye on the positioning of vendors in relation to their interoperability with Big Data and Hadoop tools. After all, it was a mere decade ago that all of data was covered by a single Gartner analyst. Enter the age of Big Data; with that variability, velocity, and volume has come a cornucopia of products, strategies, and opportunities for answering the data question.

In the same way, BI and Analytics has come from being purely the realm of “data at rest” to become cohesive with “data in motion”. It’s no surprise then to see two “pure play big data” BI vendors, Datameer and ZoomData, joining ClearStory which joined the MQ last year – cementing the enterprise production need of valuable data insights. And with a tip of the hat to the new breed of open source trailblazers such as Hortonworks, they heavily leverage Hadoop and Spark as not just another data source but instead a tool to better process data – letting them focus on their core competency of delivering business insights.

However, what really struck me was the positioning of data governance as a whole in this report – let’s dig into that more.

Data governance and discovery is being pushed farther out

If you’d compare the 2016 report to the 2017 report – you’d immediately notice this line from 2016…

By 2018, smart, governed, Hadoop-based, search-based and visual-based data discovery will converge in a single form of next-generation data discovery that will include self-service data preparation and natural-language generation.

…became…

By 2020, smart, governed, Hadoop/Spark-, search- and visual-based data discovery capabilities will converge into a single set of next-generation data discovery capabilities as components of modern BI and analytics platforms.

Two year delay in just a year is something of note – clearly there is a continual gap in converging the technologies. This aligns with what our members and end-users in our UAB mention as well – the lack of a unified standard here is hurting adoption and investment.

Governance no longer considered a critical capability for a BI vendor

This really stood out to me in light of the point above – is sounds like Gartner believes that governance will need to happen at the data source versus the access point. It’s a clear message that better data management needs to happen in the data lake – we can’t secure at the endpoints for true enterprise production deployment. This again supports the needs of driving standards in the data security and governance space.

I recently sat down with IBM Analytics’ WW Analytics Client Architect Neil Stokes on our ODPi Member Conversations podcast series and the discussion of data lakes was a very present one. To listen to this podcast, visit ODPi Youtube.
I’m reminded of the HL Mencken quote “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” Data governance is hard, and not ever going to be something one vendor will solve in a vacuum. That’s why I’m really excited to see the output of both our BI and Data Science SIG and Data Security and Governance SIG in the coming month. Starting the conversation in the context of real world usage, looking at both the challenges and opportunities, is the key to building any successful product. Perhaps this work could be the catalyst for smarter investment and value adds as these platforms continue to grow and become more mature.

Predictable Hybrid Hadoop Blog Series – DataOps Considerations From Lab to Enterprise-wide Production

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In last week’s blog, The Hadoop Deployment Continuum, we covered how “in production” actually refers to a very diverse set of deployment scenarios. Anything from a PoC, to point solution, departmental deployment to enterprise-wide production can and often is called “production” use.

This blog focuses on the step-change DataOps requirements that come when you take Hadoop into enterprise-wide production.

As enterprises plan to move Hadoop and Big Data into enterprise-wide production scale out, they face a number of challenges.

Table 1, taken from our recent White Paper, details how running Hadoop and Big Data at enterprise-wide production requires a significant re-think across multiple dimensions.

The good news is that these are the very same challenges that ODPi big data community has been working on for over a year. Through our ODPi Compliance and Interoperable Apps programs, enterprises get stacks that are validated across a number of platforms, providing needed support for  multi-vendor procurement policies. In the words of Gene Banman, CEO of ODPi member DriveScale: “Enterprises have varying big data needs that require flexible and interoperable platform components. Becoming a member of ODPi will allow us to better maximize data center efficiency for Hadoop with interoperability for enterprise-grade deployments.”

Our ongoing work to validate workloads across cloud environments promises to extend ODPi predictability even further.

From a lifecycle management perspective, our Application Installation and Management specification covers requirements and guarantees for custom service specifications and views. Importantly, this spec, like all ODPi specs, is developed in the open and guided by the ODPi Technical Steering Committee (TSC), which is pulled from the entire Big Data industry. ODPi benefits from the involvement of end users, Hadoop platform providers, solution providers, and ISVs.

Last but certainly not least, our Special Interest Groups (SIGs), are looking into the following areas that are key to predictable enterprise-wide operations:

If these things matter to you, we invite you to get involved with any of these SIGs and/or join our slack channel and work with us to co-create a predictable hybrid future for Hadoop.

Predictable Hybrid Hadoop Blog Series – The Hadoop Deployment Continuum

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In working on the recent ODPi White Paper, a few things have come into much sharper focus to the team here.

First is that “Production” is a loaded term. Even though you’ve got really good research from places like AtScale reporting that 73% of respondents run Hadoop in production, we think this term needs to be unpacked.

That’s why we worked across our community, including ODPi members and participants in our User Advisory Board, on this Enterprise Hadoop Deployment Continuum graphic.

The very simple idea here is to plot Hadoop deployments from the lab all the way to enterprise-wide production use and to lay against the gates between phases the primary considerations Big Data teams review before taking the next step.

Many of the folks we talk to in our UAB, our membership and at conferences agree that right now, their Hadoop deployments are straddling the last gate, between Point Solution (sometimes these are massive with big business impact and huge volumes of data, but still focused on a single department/application) and looking to go Enterprise-wide. Some folks we’ve talked to even said they could put specific dates on this image when Hadoop has passed through these different phases. Can you?

It’s a very exciting juncture in the history of this amazing technology. Here at ODPi, we are squarely focused on collaborating as an industry to ensure the needed governance, security models and portability are in place to bring about predictable hybrid Hadoop.

In addition to our Runtime and Operations specifications and our ODPi Interoperable Applications program, we are also ushering in greater predictability through the work of our Special Interest Groups (SIGs), any of which we invite you to participate in:

  1. Data security and governance
  2. BI and Data Science
  3. Spark and Fast Data Analytics

These groups bring together downstream consumers of Hadoop and Big Data technologies ( Hadoop Platform Vendors, ISVs/IHVs, Solution Providers, and End-users ) to discuss and provide recommendations to our technical community on the key challenges and opportunities in each area. Participation doesn’t require code contribution – just the contribution of your insights and expertise on how to bring about predictable hybrid Hadoop for the larger Big Data world.

Inside Big Data said it well: “Enterprises that apply Big Data analytics across their entire organizations, versus those that simply implement point solutions to solve one specific challenge, will benefit greatly by uncovering business or market anomalies or other risks that they never knew existed.”  We couldn’t agree more.

The next blog in this series will contrast the operational consideration when running Hadoop in the lab/limited production versus running it enterprise-wide.

Improving Production Hadoop: ODPi Member Conversation with Ampool

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Last month, John Mertic sat down for our first ODPi Member Conversation podcast with Milind Bhandarkar, founder and CEO of Ampool.

The exciting discussion centered around the challenges production Hadoop deployments face and how to make the framework faster, easier and more productive.

As he’s spent the last 11+ years working with the various versions of Hadoop – first starting at Yahoo!, where Hadoop was invented – Milind had some interesting context to share with podcast listeners.

After highlighting the changes the space has seen since Hadoop was first introduced to the world, he explained that today’s projects usually “depend on different projects or on different components in the Hadoop ecosystem.”

The importance of interoperability within these offerings, to ensure today’s software-defined companies are able to harness the full power of their data, cannot be understated – as John and Milind agreed that one of Hadoop’s biggest challenges in production has been ensuring that commercial distributions are compatible across multiple components and the applications that have been written to use these components.

To hear more of Milind and John’s expert insight, including more ways to improve production Hadoop, tune in to the episode on our YouTube channel!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter to catch upcoming episodes of the ODPi Member Conversation podcast series!

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