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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

 

Is MapReduce Dead?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by

With the recent announcement by Google of Cloud DataFlow (intended as the successor to MapReduce) and with Cloudera now focusing on Spark for many of its projects, it looks like the days of MapReduce may be numbered. Although the change may seem sudden, it’s been a long time coming. Google wrote the MapReduce white paper 10 years ago, and developers have been using at least one distribution of Hadoop for about 8 years. Users have had ample time to determine the strengths and weaknesses of MapReduce. However, the release of Hadoop 2.0 and YARN clearly indicated that users wanted to live in a more diverse Big Data world.

spark-logo

Earlier versions of Hadoop could be described as MapReduce + HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) because that was the paradigm that everything Hadoop revolved around. Because users clamored for interactive access to Hadoop data, the Hive and Pig projects were started. And even though you could write SQL queries with Hive and script in Pig Latin with Pig, under the covers Hadoop was still running MapReduce jobs. That all changed in Hadoop 2.0 with the introduction of YARN. YARN became the resource manager for a Hadoop cluster that broke the dependence between MapReduce and HDFS. Although HDFS still remained as the file system, MapReduce became just another application that can interface with Hadoop through YARN. This change made it possible for other applications to now run on Hadoop through YARN.

Google is not known as a backer in the mold of Hortonworks or Cloudera with the open source Hadoop ecosystem. After all, Google was running its own versions of MapReduce and HDFS (the Google File System) on which these open-source projects are based. Because they are integral parts of Google’s internal applications, Google has the most experience with using these technologies. And although Cloud DataFlow is specifically for use on the Google cloud and appears more like a competitor to Amazon’s Kinesis product, Google is very influential in Big Data circles, so I can see other developers following Google’s lead and leveraging a similar technology in favor of MapReduce.

Although Google’s Cloud DataFlow may have a thought leadership-type impact, Cloudera’s decision to leverage Spark as the standard processing engine for its projects (in particular, Hive) will have a greater impact on open-source Big Data developers. Cloudera has one of the most popular Hadoop distributions on the market and has partnered with Databricks, Intel, MapR, and IBM to work on their Spark integration with Hive. This trend is surprising given Cloudera’s investment in Impala (its SQL query engine), but the company clearly feels that Spark is the future. As little as a year ago, Spark was mostly seen as fast in-memory computing for machine learning algorithms. However with its promotion to an Apache Top-Level Project in February 2014 and its backing company Databricks receiving $33 million in Series B funding, Spark clearly has greater ambitions. The advent of YARN made it much easier to tie Spark to the growing Hadoop ecosystem. Cloudera’s decision to leverage Spark in Hive and other projects makes it even more important to users of the CDH distribution.

spark-stack

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Building private cloud infrastructure

Friday, July 5th, 2013 by

Although the proliferation of public cloud computing technologies has encouraged a large portion of the business world to migrate resources to an off-site environment, many decision-makers believe managing their own assets can be more beneficial. For this reason, among others, enterprise executives often prefer to leverage a private cloud architecture that enables them to satisfy numerous goals that cannot be met while using only the public cloud.

Building a private cloud infrastructure

Building a private cloud infrastructure

Yet constructing a private cloud is not a simple one-and-done process. A recent InfoWorld report highlighted how constructing a private infrastructure is similar to building a data center, though it is distinct in several ways. For one, the management layer capabilities are different in a private cloud than they are in a premise-based virtualization architecture.

InfoWorld noted that private clouds, for the most part, will offer some level of self-service, which is important for organizations that need to manage various solutions throughout their life cycle. Unlike conventional data centers, however, these management capabilities must be available to business units, not just the IT department. This is because it is often too time-consuming to have business teams consult with IT every time servers must be commissioned or other processes need to happen.

By working with a trusted service provider, companies can be sure they implement private clouds with the appropriate management capabilities for the workforce as a whole.

Leveled security
In traditional IT environments, IT controls the majority of security controls, which makes administrative considerations unnecessary. Because the private cloud enables individuals to decommission, deploy and manage servers on their own, decision-makers need to ensure they have the ability to protect sensitive information and resources during these procedures, InfoWorld noted.

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Report: A third of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 by

Cloud computing is transforming the business world, allowing companies of all sizes to implement advanced software and embrace innovative IT trends with fewer concerns and bigger savings. At the same time, however, not everything that can benefit from the cloud is doing so, as there are many technologies that have yet to make the transition to the hosted environment.

33 percent of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

33 percent of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

Unfortunately, the transition of many technologies, such as office systems and email, is slower than many advocates predicted. Gartner recently highlighted this occurrence, noting that only 8 percent of all office system users are in the cloud. Still, analysts believe this is a progressing market, noting that 33 percent of these tools will be in the cloud by 2017.

This market will gain significant momentum after 2015, Gartner noted. This is likely because the cloud will be more familiar to most organizations by then and employees will demand the ability to access mission-critical resources from anywhere.

“Despite the hype surrounding migration to the cloud, big differences in movement rates continue, depending on organizations’ size, industry, geography and specific requirements,” said Tom Austin, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “While 8 percent of business people were using cloud office systems at the start of 2013, we estimate this number will grow to 695 million users by 2022, to represent 60 percent.”

What factors weigh into cloud decisions?
Analysts noted that email is one of the world’s most significant collaborative tools, as it provides individuals with the ability to share information across networks and platforms. In many organizations, the option to move email to the cloud is among the biggest decisions, weighing into moving the entire office system to the cloud or not. Gartner believes that at least 10 percent of all email users will be based in the cloud by the end of next year, a number that will triple by the end of 2017.

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Cloud computing improves security for SMBs, studies reveal

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 by

For the past several years, cloud computing has been disrupting the business world by providing organizations with innovative ways to save money, improve operations and gain access to next-generation applications. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have begun to recognize that the benefits of the cloud have reached their organizations as well. Still, some fears about the hosted services held many companies back. A recent study of US SMBs by Microsoft, however, revealed that many of these concerns are not backed by data but are really just misconceptions about the technology.

Cloud computing improves security, not impairs it

Cloud computing improves security, not impairs it

The survey found that 60 percent of organizations that have not yet adopted the cloud because of security concerns. Other SMBs that have not embraced the cloud said the fear of unreliability or loss of control over sensitive data held them back.

Conversely, businesses that have adopted the cloud have experienced benefits in all of these categories, suggesting the shroud of uncertainty surrounding the cloud should not be an obstacle.

“There’s a big gap between perception and reality when it comes to the cloud. SMBs that have adopted cloud services found security, privacy and reliability advantages to an extent they didn’t expect,” said Adrienne Hall of Microsoft. “The real silver lining in cloud computing is that it enables companies not only to invest more time and money into growing their business, but to better secure their data and to do so with greater degrees of service reliability as well.”

The truth about the cloud
The underlying reality of a cloud infrastructure is that it is often more secure and reliable than traditional premise-based systems. Microsoft highlighted this truth when it found that a whopping 94 percent of SMBs using the cloud revealed that they acquired more security benefits using the hosted services than they did with legacy solutions. This meant having access to more innovative and up-to-date antivirus and data management tools.

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Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Friday, May 31st, 2013 by

When cloud computing first emerged, IT analysts had mixed feelings about the hosted services, unsure if they would be embraced or disregarded in the enterprise. Today, experts understand that the cloud now plays a central role in the ongoing development of the business world, providing decision-makers and employees with innovative solutions for growth and performance improvements.

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Companies are using a mix of different cloud models, including Platform, Software and Infrastructure as a Service, all with positive results. In fact, a recent CA Technologies survey of IT decision-makers who have been using the cloud for at least a year found that the benefits of using the hosted solutions are exceeding many respondents’ expectations.

Many executives highlighted the cost-saving advantages of the cloud. This is because the ongoing use of the cloud is allowing decision-makers to become more familiar with the technology and, as a result, establish new goals and objectives. “Cost is often considered an early benefit – or even a required result – in order for IT teams to justify moving in the direction of the cloud,” said John Michelsen, chief technology officer of CA Technologies. “Once they show that cloud computing improves the bottom line, they can shift their focus to innovation and other objectives, such as increased performance and enhanced security.”

Who is using the cloud?
CA Technologies found several unique distinctions between organizations planning to invest more in cloud servers and other solutions within the next year and firms that are still on the fence. First, businesses that have been using the cloud for four or more years are roughly six times as likely to spend more money on the hosted services in 2013 than their counterparts that are relatively newer to the environment. This suggests that companies that have done more than just tested the water are more comfortable with the cloud and are experiencing greater results.

Second, the study found that organizations in the United States are more likely to invest in the cloud this year than businesses in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Benelux. In fact, 48 percent of U.S. respondents stated they plan to up cloud spending by up to 30 percent, while another 17 percent will invest even more. This is a stark contrast between the 42 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of European IT decision-makers.

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