Click here to close now.


Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Ian Khan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Chris Fleck

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.


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

@ThingsExpo Stories
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgeniakhela will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgeniakhela is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing ...
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, will show how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He will use a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors to web services, and cloud integration to connect accounting and data, providing a Bluetooth...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.