Infographic: 2014 – The Year of Open Source?

April 8th, 2014 by - 1,054 views

If you’re a software developer, you’ve probably already used open-source code in some of your projects. Until recently, however, people who aren’t software developers probably thought “open source” referred to a new type of bottled water. But all that’s beginning to change. Now you can find open-source versions of everything from Shakespeare to geospatial tools. In fact, the first laptop built almost entirely on open source hardware just hit the market. In the article announcing the new device, Wired noted that, “Open source hardware is beginning to find its own place in the world, not only among hobbyists but inside big companies such as Facebook.”

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Why now?

Open source technology has moved from experiment to mainstream partly because the concept itself has matured. Companies that used to zealously guard their proprietary software or hardware may now be building some or all of it on open-source code and even giving back to the relevant communities. Plus repositories like GitHub, Bitbucket, and SourceForge make access to open-source code easy.

In its annual “Future of Open Source Survey,” North Bridge Venture Partners summarized 3 reasons support for open source is broadening:

1. Quality: Thanks to strong community support, the quality of open-source offerings has improved dramatically. They now compete with proprietary or commercial equivalents on features–and can usually be deployed more quickly. Goodbye vendor “lock-in.”

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Deploying Cassandra with the Push of a Button on GoGrid

April 3rd, 2014 by - 875 views

Let’s say you’ve already done your due diligence and decided you want to run a NoSQL database. The only problem is that you’ve now got to figure out how to deploy the cluster in an environment that lets you scale within a single data center and also across multiple data centers. To save money, this is when many people trial Cassandra on cheap hardware with limited RAM across clusters that are simply inadequate for the job.

That’s a mistake, but luckily, there’s a better way. At GoGrid, we’ve made it possible to deploy a production-ready 5-node Cassandra cluster on robust, high-performance machines with the click of a button. Check out the specs of the orchestrated deployment we’re providing using our 1-Button Deploy™ technology:

  • SSD nodes: 16 GB RAM, 16 cores, and 640 GB storage per node
  • 10-Gbps redundant, high-performance network
  • 40-Gbps private network connectivity to additional Block Storage volumes (as needed)

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Once you’ve deployed the first cluster, you can add more nodes as you need them via simple point-and-click. Consider for a moment what you can do with this technology: You can run a user/session store for your application, run a distributed priority job queue, use it to manage sensor data, or any number of other things with just a few clicks of the mouse. And you can do it all in 3 easy steps:

Step 1: 1-Button Deploy™

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Healthcare Industry Balances Big Data Insights and Patient Care

April 2nd, 2014 by - 689 views

The United States health care industry is undergoing a revolutionary change. Between the Affordable Care Act’s influence over the insurance landscape and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) push for electronic health record (EHR) adoption, medical organizations are under an enormous amount of pressure. Amid the chaos, cloud computing and associated technologies have offered these professionals a measure of solace as they transition into a more digital environment.

A doctor uses her tablet to obtain patient information.

A doctor uses her tablet to obtain patient information.

The patient comes first 
In today’s fast-changing marketplace, it’s easy for those using Big Data to lose sight of what matters to individual care receivers. Analytics programs have given companies outside the industry, such as Netflix, accurate, near real-time insight into subscriber entertainment preferences. For healthcare, using Big Data to assemble actionable information about widespread diseases is critical, but it’s also important to use the same predicative tools to assist individual patients.

As is often the case, however, implementation may be easier said than done. According to CMO magazine, many companies lack the IT architecture necessary for an analytics program to operate to its full potential. Similarly, a large number of hospitals still use on-premise data centers as opposed to cloud infrastructure. And although CMS has instigated use of EHR, many hospitals have forced those programs to work on systems that don’t offer the same flexibility as cloud computing.

The whole premise of the EHR initiative was to create an environment that allowed doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators to easily access patient information. To date, facilities that have adopted the technology have been able to do so, but at a much slower pace than anticipated. Plus, the data within the individual records can’t be dissected by algorithms to figure out which treatment methods would best suit particular care receivers.

The Big Data advantage
Yet, professionals can’t deny the fact that Big Data has a place in the healthcare industry. Elena Malykhina, a contributor to InformationWeek, said that a report conducted by EMC, funded by the federal government, revealed 63 percent of public IT professionals believe that analytics tools will help monitor and manage population health more efficiently. An additional 60 percent reported that the technology will improve how preventive care is delivered.

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Using Big Data to Identify and Prevent Crimes

March 27th, 2014 by - 1,002 views

Predictive analytics tools have helped major corporations gain consumer insights, using them to drive profit growth and marketing campaigns. On the other end of the spectrum, law enforcement agencies on the national and municipal levels are using Big Data to identify and predict criminal behavior. Surveillance capabilities aside, the new techniques may discourage so-called “bad behavior” throughout the United States.

A Neighborhood Watch sign in a community.

A Neighborhood Watch sign in a community.

An example of success 
The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Madison, Wisc., police authorities consulted with analysts in the surrounding areas in anticipating a December crime wave that would sweep the University of Wisconsin’s College Court area. Apparently, once students leave for winter break in December, law enforcement officials receive numerous burglary reports.

The news source noted that three crime analysts are employed by the Madison Police Department. Operating through a cloud server, the professionals are able to help officers prioritize their efforts. The unit has been with the organization for nearly 10 years, garnering headline-worthy attention when one analyst helped a detective identify patterns in a string of bank robberies that occurred earlier this year.

Caleb Kelbig, one of the data experts working with the authorities, told police in Madison and surrounding cities that the perpetrator could hit 1 of 11 possible targets on the afternoon of March 5 or 6. Amazingly, the robber appeared at one of the locations in Middleton, Wisc., at about 2:30 pm on March 5.

Prioritizing intentions, citing appropriate uses
Jignesh Patel, an expert in Big Data use and a professor at UW-Madison, noted that cloud computing has made predictive analytics tools easier to use. Developments in IT have also opened up new avenues through which digital information can be collected. For example, smartphone software has contributed significantly to the data-gathering trend.

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What do P-Diddy & NoSQL have in common?

March 20th, 2014 by - 1,144 views

Ad networks are hungry to solve for the real-time information needed to support bidding and ad serving, but the solution to their challenges isn’t coming from Oracle. The solution is coming from the “bad boy” of the database world, NoSQL. NoSQL offers the low latency, scalability, and multi-data-center replication perfect for feeding the Big Data appetite of digital advertising. With so many potential use cases, GoGrid is gathering a panel of NoSQL leaders to discuss the future of their technologies and how they envision NoSQL becoming mainstream. Inspired by the original “bad boy,” Sean “P-Diddy” Combs, this meetup coincides with the first night of ad:tech San Francisco 2014.

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For IT professionals, there isn’t a better opportunity to learn about Cassandra, Couchbase, Riak, MongoDB, and MemSQL than hearing from the exciting minds responsible for the development of the technology itself. Come by 111 Minna in San Francisco on Wednesday, March 26, to engage in a panel discussion with the leaders of Basho, Couchbase, DataStax, MemSQL, and GoGrid on how you can leverage their solutions to create real value and solve the complex use cases in your business. And be sure to grab a drink at the open bar and some great food while you’re at it! Attendance is free, but registration is required. Here are the details:

March 26, 2014
5:30 – 7:30 pm
111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
1-415-974-1719

Space is limited, so register today.