Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer

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
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...