Strata Standards Stories: Different Stores For Different Chores

Has HDFS joined MapReduce in the emerging “legacy Hadoop project” category, continuing the swap-out of components that formerly answered the question “what is Hadoop?” Stores for data were certainly a focus at Strata/Hadoop World in NY, O’Reilly’s well-run, well-attended, and always impactful fall event. The limitations of HDFS, including its append-only nature, have become inconvenient enough to push the community to “invent” something DBMS vendors like Oracle did decades ago: a bypass. After some pre-event leaks about its arrival, Cloudera chose its Strata keynote to announce Kudu, a new columnstore written in C++, bypassing HDFS entirely. Kudu will use an Apache license and will be submitted to the Apache process at some undetermined future time.


Hadoop Projects Supported By Only One Distribution

The Apache Software Foundation has succeeded admirably in becoming a place where new software ideas are developed: today over 350 projects are underway. The challenges for the Hadoop user are twofold: trying to decide which projects might be useful in big data-related cases, and determining which are supported by commercial distributors. In Now, What is Hadoop? And What’s Supported? I list 10 supported by only one: Atlas, Calcite, Crunch, Drill, Falcon, Kite, LLAMA, Lucene, Phoenix and Presto. Let’s look at them a little more.


Now, What is Hadoop?

This perennial question resurfaced recently in a thoughtful blog post by Andreas Neumann, Chief Architect of Cask, called What is Hadoop, anyway?. Ultimately, after a careful deconstruction of the terms in the question, Andreas concludes with

“Does it really matter to agree on the answer to that question? In the end, everybody who builds an application or solution on Hadoop must pick the technologies that are right for the use case.”

We’ve agreed from the beginning – that is the only answer that really matters. Still, the question continues to come up for  end users of the stack and for vendors like Cask (it helps them think about what to support in their application development offering Cask Data App Platform (CDAP).

Analysts too: I’ve discussed it several times, including a post a year ago called What Is Hadoop….Now? tracking the path from 6 commonly supported projects in 2012 to 15 in June 2014, across a set of distributors that included Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR and IBM. “Support” here means you pay for subscription that explicitly includes the named project.

This year, the expansion process has continued – and it does matter.

–more on Gartner blog–



Hadoop Questions from Recent Webinar Span Spectrum

This is a joint post authored with Nick Heudecker
There were many questions asked after the last quarterly Hadoop webinar, and Nick and I have picked a few that were asked several times to respond to here.

–More on my Gartner blog

Which SQL on Hadoop? Poll Still Says “Whatever” But DBMS Providers Gain

Since Nick Heudecker and I began our quarterly Hadoop webinars, we have asked our audiences what they expected to do about SQL several times, first in January 2014. With 164 respondents in that survey, 32% said “we’ll use what our existing BI tool provider gives us,” reflecting the fact that most adopters seem not to want to concern themselves overmuch with the details.

–More on my Gartner blog

Strata Spark Tsunami – Hadoop World, Part One

New York’s Javits Center is a cavernous triumph of form over function. Giant empty spaces were everywhere at this year’s empty-though-sold-out Strata/Hadoop World, but the strangely-numbered, hard to find, typically inadequately-sized rooms were packed. Some redesign will be needed next year, because the event was huge in impact and demand will only grow. A few of those big tent pavilions you see at Oracle Open World or Dreamforce would drop into the giant halls without a trace – I’d expect to see some next year to make some usable space available.

So much happened, I’ll post a couple of pieces here. Last year’s news was all about promises: Hadoop 2.0 brought the promise of YARN enabling new kinds of processing, and there was promise in the multiple emerging SQL-on-HDFS plays. The Hadoop community was clearly ready to crown a new hype king for 2014.

This year, all that noise had jumped the Spark.

— This post is continued on my Gartner blog —

Hadoop Is A Recursive Acronym

Hopefully, that title got your attention. A recursive acronym – the term first appeared in the book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid and is likely more familiar to tech folks who know Gnu – is self-referential (as in “Gnu’s not Unix.”) So how did I conclude Hadoop, whose name origin we know, fits the definition? Easy – like everyone else, I’m redefining Hadoop to suit my own purposes. 


What Is Hadoop….Now?

In February 2012, Gartner published How to Choose The Right Apache Hadoop Distribution (available to clients). At the time, the leading distributors were Cloudera, EMC (now Pivotal), Hortonworks (pre-GA), IBM, and MapR. These players all supported six Apache projects: HDFS, MapReduce, Pig, Hive, HBase, and Zookeeper. Things have changed.


Hadoop is in the Mind of the Beholder

This post was jointly authored by Merv Adrian (@merv) and Nick Heudecker (@nheudecker) and appears on both of our Gartner blogs.

In the early days of Hadoop (versions up through 1.x), the project consisted of two primary components: HDFS and MapReduce. One thing to store the data in an append-only file model, distributed across an arbitrarily large number of inexpensive nodes with disk and processing power; another to process it, in batch, with a relatively small number of available function calls. And some other stuff called Commons to handle bits of the plumbing. But early adopters demanded more functionality, so the Hadoop footprint grew. The result was an identity crisis that grows progressively more challenging for decisionmakers with almost every new announcement.


BYOH – Hadoop’s a Platform. Get Used To It.

When is a technology offering a platform? Arguably, when people build products assuming it will be there. Or extend their existing products to support it, or add versions designed to run on it. Hadoop is there. The age of Bring Your Own Hadoop (BYOH) is clearly upon us.  Specific support for components such as Pig and Hive vary, as do capabilities and levels of partnership in development, integration and co-marketing. Some vendors are in many categories – for example, Pentaho and IBM at opposite ends of the size spectrum interact with Hadoop in development tools, data integration, BI, and other ways. A few category examples, by no means exhaustive:



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