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Classifying Today’s “Big Data Innovators”
These 13 vendors distribute 16 unique data management products

By

Editor’s note: The piece below by   first appeared on the Hadapt blog and is republished with permission here. The framework presented provides insight into the very dynamic market around “Big Data Innovators” and should be of use for classifying many other firms in this interesting space. -bg

Recently InformationWeek published a piece, authored by Doug Henschen, that listed 13 innovative Big Data vendors. The complete list is reproduced below:

1.  MongoDB
2.  Amazon (Redshift, EMR, DynamoDB)
3.  Cloudera (CDH, Impala)
4.  Couchbase
5.  Datameer
6.  Datastax
7.  Hadapt
8.  Hortonworks
9.  Karmasphere
10.  MapR
11.  Neo Technology
12.  Platfora
13.  Splunk

Big-Data3These 13 vendors distribute 16 unique data management products (since both Amazon and Cloudera offer multiple distinct data management/processing systems), all of which push the boundary on Big Data management.

In this post I will attempt to subcategorize these 16 products into a competitive grouping, where products placed inside the same group can be considered replacements for each other (and hence are competitive), and each group is complementary to every other group.

Before starting this classification, I will remove three products that, while potentially being interesting from a Big Data perspective, are often used outside of what has become known as the “Big Data realm”, and therefore their primary competitors did not make it on the InformationWeek list. These three products are Splunk (which typically competes with companies focused on the security, compliance, and IT operations management verticals), Amazon Redshift (which typically completes with traditional MPP database vendors), and Neo Technology (which, although usually classified as a “NoSQL database”, its focus on graph data makes it highly unique from a technology and use case perspective relative to the other NoSQL databases on this list).

The remaining 13 products can be classified into four distinct groups:
1.  Operational data stores that allow flexible schemas
2.  Hadoop distributions
3.  Real-time Hadoop-based analytical platforms
4.  Hadoop-based BI solutions

Group 1 (operational data stores that allow flexible schemas)
This group is composed of database products that can be used to manage active data for dynamic applications with hard to define (or hard to predict) schemas. The database must be optimized for inserting, retrieving, updating, or deleting individual data items in real-time (latencies on the order of milliseconds), but should also support some sort of interface for performing analysis of the data stored within. The dynamic nature of the typical use case for databases in this group implies a NoSQL interface, and either a key-value or document-store retrieval model. From the InformationWeek list, MongoDB, DynamoDB, Couchbase, and Datastax all fit in this category. Although there are some significant technical differences between these products, they can nonetheless be roughly described as potential replacements for each other in Group 1 use cases.

Group 2 (Hadoop distributions)
The products in this group are designed for very different situations than Group 1. Hadoop is typically used for large scale data analysis and batch processing. Rather than inserting, retrieving, updating, or deleting individual data items, Hadoop is optimized for scanning through large swaths of data, processing and analyzing the data as it proceeds. Hadoop has become the poster-child for “Big Data” due to its proven massive scalability, and its ability to handle the “variety” aspect of Big Data (since Hadoop does not require data to fit neatly into rows and columns in order to be analyzed and processed). From the InformationWeek list, Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR, and Amazon EMR all fit in this category.

Group 3 (real-time Hadoop-based analytical platforms)
Group 3 takes Hadoop to the next level, transforming it from a mere batch processing system to a full-fledged analytical platform that can answer queries in real-time. Furthermore, by adding a more robust SQL interface to Hadoop (in addition to industry-standard ODBC connectors), group 3 products help to hide the complexity of Hadoop and the need for Hadoop specialists, since traditional business intelligence and visualization tools are now able to interface directly with data stored inside Hadoop. From the InformationWeek list, Hadapt clearly fits in this category, and with certain caveats, so does Cloudera Impala (the caveats are that as of the time of writing this blog post (a) Impala is an extremely young codebase and is still only in beta (b) Impala only supports a small subset of SQL and does not support UDFs or other ways to combine structured and unstructured data in the same query, so calling it an “analytical platform” might be a bit of a stretch).

Group 4 (Hadoop-based BI solutions)
Often lumped together with group 3 products,  group 4 products are often confused as being competitive with group 3 products. However, just as business intelligence tools and analytical database solutions are highly complementary and were often packaged together in the pre-Hadoop world, the same is true in the Hadoop/Big Data world. Therefore, Datameer, Karmasphere, and Platfora, all of which function as a business intelligence layer above Hadoop, are capable of working closely with the group 3 products (with announcements along these lines already starting to begin).

In conclusion, although “Big Data” is an enormous and rapidly growing market, one single data management software product is not going to rule the market. Rather, there are four major groups of data management solutions within the Big Data space; and while there is fierce competition within each group, at the macro level these groups can not only co-exist, but are highly complementary. In the long run, it is likely that the 2-3 leaders in each group will emerge and share the Big Data pie.

Read the original blog entry...

About Bob Gourley
Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV


Cloud Expo 2013 East Opening Keynote by IBM
In this Cloud Expo Keynote, Danny Sabbah, CTO & General Manager, Next Generation Platform, will detail the critical architectural considerations and success factors organizations must internalize to successfully implement, optimize and innovate using next generation architectures.
Lisa Larson, Vice President of Enterprise Cloud Solutions of Rackspace Hosting Live From New York City
In the old world of IT, if you didn't have hardware capacity or the budget to buy more, your project was dead in the water. Budget constraints can leave some of the best, most creative and most ingenious innovations on the cutting room floor. It's a true dilemma for developers and innovators – why spend the time creating, when a project could be abandoned in a blink? That was the old world. In the new world of IT, developers rule. They have access to resources they can spin up instantly. A hybrid cloud ignites innovation and empowers developers to focus on what they need. A hybrid cloud blends the best of all worlds, public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers to fit the needs of developers and offer the ideal environment for each app and workload without the constraints of a one-size-fits-all cloud.

Keynote: Driving Cloud Innovation: SSDs Change Cloud Storage Paradigm
Cloud is a transformational shift in computing that can have a powerful effect on enterprise IT when designed correctly and used to its full potential. Join Citrix in a discussion that centers on building, connecting and empowering users with cloud services and hear examples of how enterprises are solving real-world business challenges with an architecture and solution purpose-built for the cloud.

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Many organizations want to expand upon the IaaS foundation to deliver cloud services in all forms—software, mobility, infrastructure and IT. Understanding the strategy, planning process and tools for this transformation will help catalyze changes in the way the business operates and deliver real value. Join us to learn about the new ITaaS model and how to begin the transformation.


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Top Stories for Cloud Expo 2012 East

In this Big Data Power Panel at the 10th International Cloud Expo, moderated by Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, Govind Rangasamy, Director of Product Management at Eucalyptus Systems; Kevin Brown; CEO of Coraid, Inc.; Christos Tryfonas, CTO and Co-Founder of Cetas; and Max Riggsbee, CMO and VP of Products for WhipTail, discussed such topics as: Big Data has existed since the early days of computing; why, then, do you think there is such an industry buzz around it right now? How is Big Data impacting storage and networking architecture in data centers? How about the intersection of Big Data Analytics and Cloud Computing - how big a sector is that and why? What's the difference between Big Data and Fast Data? ... (more)

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We live in a world that requires us to compete on our differential use of time and information, yet only a fraction of information workers today have access to the analytical capabilities they need to make better decisions. Now, with the advent of a new generation of embedded business intelligence (BI) platforms, cloud developers are disrupting the world of analytics. They are using these new BI platforms to inject more intelligence into the applications business people use every day. As a result, data-driven decision-making is finally on track to become the rule, not the exception.
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@CloudExpo Blogs
It is not an unusual situation for an Analyst to move into a end user or a vendor role, especially if the analyst came from an operational background originally. I and John Rakowski (Forrester) come from end user practitioner roles before an analyst firm, if anything we are rounding out our experiences and knowledge. We’ve seen several analysts move from Gartner, several I knew well Chris Wolf and Mark Margevicius who are at VMware and Aneel Lakhani at SignalFuse. Several have recently left Forrester as indicated in this article. Everyone knows the APM industry and IT software in general is in...
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I guess most readers of this blog know that Ireland went through a massive bust in 2008/9. The primary cause was a massive building bubble. And because the economy was dependent upon building related taxes, the crash was brutal. One of the side effects of the bubble was that building standards suffered. In one extreme case a block of apartments was constructed with no fire safety protection! There were many, many more prosaic examples. In my own case I had building works completed that had to be completely reworked within a couple of years! The reasons for the low quality were complete lack of...
Application troubleshooting survey reveals integrated tools lead to significant response time improvements Thirty-seven percent of developers rely on user notifications to identify issues, yet integrated tools reduce customer impact by 62%. See the Infographic below or download the complete report here.
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John McAdam, F5 President & CEO talks about what the mobile revolution means to F5. John discusses how mobile technology is driving innovation, why the need for intelligent application traffic management is critical, how F5 is in the sweet spot for the explosion of mobile data traffic and why Mobile World Congress is attracts so many executives from around the world. If you only watch one #MWC15 video, this is it!
One important differentiator between what passed for digital back in the dot-com days and today’s notion of digital is the role mobile plays. Yes, this company had a mobile site, and they had what the AVP claimed was a “mobile first” plan for their web content, but as yet they had yet to roll out any responsive design. In the final analysis, their digital effort up to this point boiled down to little more than better brochureware, a la 1990s web redesigns. But more significantly, what was entirely missing from their digital achievements (although the AVP did indicate that it was a roadmap i...
A discussion of the Kony Visualizer Product, including requirements prototyping, development oversight, release planning, and lifecycle management. This five-part series of penetrating discussions on the latest in enterprise mobility explores advancements in applications design and deployment technologies across the full spectrum of edge devices and operating environments.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve examined the risks of using the public cloud in the enterprise workplace. From unauthorized file access to regulatory noncompliance, the potential scenarios vary from dire to more dire – and it’s up to decision makers to take control of their organization’s enterprise file sync-and-share (EFSS) procedures. But what does it feel like to have that control? If you’re currently trying to figure out how and where users are keeping their files, regaining control may sound like a faraway fantasy.
Continuous Delivery is all about making small changes. Work flows more easily, planning is simpler, error detection is helped and the time from idea to value is reduced when we make changes in small increments, but how do you solve big problems in small pieces? How do you maintain a coherent design when each change is small? There are many facets to this problem. The organisations that are best at it tend to take a very broad view of design and think about things like how teams are structured, how work is defined and how design works when delivering a flow of many small features.
The reasons for migrating business applications to the cloud are generally positive and abundant. However, with the positives come a few negatives. Unfortunately, organizations can quickly run into a number of roadblocks during their migration projects. The critical question that needs to be asked is why? The answer is rather simple. As with many business-critical projects, the devil is found in the details. Some common factors that contribute to issues with cloud migrations are an inability to align business with IT, improperly setting performance expectations, and a lack of retooling of the...
As a life-long gamer, I spend an inordinate amount of my time thinking about the vast sums of wealth the gaming industry has squeezed out of me over the last 25+ years. There are two main ways that game companies squeeze some extra profit from their customers in addition to selling games at retail. The first model, the “freemium” model, is well understood by anyone who likes cell phone games. Candy Crush has made millions, $2 at a time.
Employees are using mobile devices both for personal and for business purposes. In order to keep the two domains separate and protect business data, companies are using containerization or sandboxing to control devices. As more companies adopt BYOD (bring your own device) policies, containerization will increase as well. This process began with virtualization and has now expanded to containerization, which eliminates much of the baggage of virtualization by getting rid of the hypervisor and its VMs. Now that technologies are increasingly enabling the provisioning platforms on shared infrast...
In my first blog I wrote about SharePoint System Performance Health Checks beyond looking at CPU and Memory Metrics. In this blog, I cover deployment related performance health problems that I always check when looking at a SharePoint Installation. Especially after deploying new hardware, new sites, pages, views, custom or third-party Web Parts (e.g., from AvePoint, K2, Nintex, Metalogix, etc.) it’s important to perform certain deployment sanity checks. While you may have nobody reporting issues in the moment there are several areas that you constantly need to check before they become a real p...
Where were you on February 3, 2015 at 3:40 p.m. PST? Snowed in? Desperately trying to refresh Netflix? If so, you weren’t alone. It turns out even best and biggest companies experience failure from time to time. Despite the success of their Chaos Monkey approach to operations, the Internet streaming media provider experienced an outage for a little over an hour. Responses from users ranged from outrage to well, hysteria.
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Past SYS-CON Events
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2011west.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcexpo
2011east.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2010west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualization
2010west.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2010.
sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcomputingexpo
2010east.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo East
virtualizationconference
2010east.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2009west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualizationconference
2009west.sys-con.com
    GovIT Expo
govitexpo.com
 
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2009.sys-con.com
 

Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty

S.F.S.
Dell

Singer
NRO

Pereyra
Oracle

Ryan
OpSource

Butte
PwC

Leone
Oracle

Riley
AWS

Varia
AWS

Lye
Oracle

O'Connor
AppZero

Crandell
RightScale

Nucci
Dell Boomi

Hillier
CiRBA

Morrison
Layer 7 Tech

Robbins
NYT

Schwarz
Oracle

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
Navisite
 


 
"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD
 


 
"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
CTO
Brick Group