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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.
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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
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Top Stories for Cloud Expo 2012 East

In this CEO Power Panel at the 10th International Cloud Expo, moderated by Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, David Canellos, President and CEO of PerspecSys; Lawrence Guillory, CEO of Racemi; John Keagy, Founder, Chairman and CEO of GoGrid; Treb Ryan, Co-Founder & CEO of OpSource; Joe Weinman, Sr. VP of Cloud Services & Strategy at Telx; Jeff Newlin, Vice President and General Manager of OutSystems North America; and Darryl Brown, CMO at Appcore discussed such topics as: Is it just wishful thinking to depict the Cloud as more than just a technology solution? If not, then what concrete examples best demonstrate cloud computing as an engine of business value? ... (more)

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@CloudExpo Blogs
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Today, there is countless data collected and analyzed by companies. Just a few years ago, that data was useless, now data is collected and used to provide answers and solve problems. As big data use cases continue to evolve, there will be an increasing number of business missions that will be served by new approaches to data. With the adoption of an enterprise data hub, developers are finding new agility to create services and applications, as well as decision-making that leads to market dominating strategies. According to Cognitio's co-founder and partner Bob Gourley, this adoption will lea...
Cloud security is at the top of every CIO’s list. It is also the first subject that comes up when you engage in a discussion about the cloud. For those of us who followed the recent Ashley Madison story (from a tech perspective), you would agree that while the breach happened for so many reasons, security is at the heart of it. Here are some key aspects for creating a solid organization, keeping cloud security in perspective.
Maybe EA is essentially governance. If someone from a line of business wants something from IT, they have to pass the request by the EA gatekeepers first. After all, nobody wants duplication or spaghetti integration, right? Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. So nothing gets done until EA gives it the stamp of approval. If that’s the definition of EA, then the first thing we should do is burn that sucker to the ground. There’s no way any organization will ever be agile if there’s a whole department in charge of roadblocks. If Agile is up to the task, then more power to it.
Transitioning from the freedom of summer to the structure of back to work and school can be tough for all of us. Yet, September is a time of renewal, a time to refocus on our goals and remember that, sometimes, making big changes begins with small ones. The key is not to overwhelm ourselves, but to keep moving forward, often with small steps at a time. We know that the big work of migrating hundreds of thousands of machines running Windows Server 2003 -- including 175 million websites or one fifth of the internet, according to recent numbers provided by Internet services firm Netcraft -- st...
Advanced software asset management methods can efficiently enforce compliance, reduce audit risk, cut costs, and enhance end-user productivity -- even as the complexity of IT itself increases. As IT systems, resources, assets, and information are more scattered across more enterprise locations and devices -- as well as across various cloud service environments -- how can IT leaders hope to know where their "stuff" is, who’s using it, how to secure it, and then accurately pay for it? Better than ever, it turns out. Advanced software asset management (SAM) methods can efficiently enforce compl...
If you’re part of a substantial development organization standardized on Microsoft development tools, chances are you’ll need to integrate Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio with third-party tools. The DevOps movement further highlights the need to connect a diverse set of people, processes, and tools, including the business stakeholders and the operations space. When establishing a modern end-to-end development practice you’ll almost certainly need to hit the integration button. Here are a few insights to set you on the right path: The Microsoft Visual Studio Integrated...
In the Information Technology (IT) world, the word “enterprise” is bandied about quite often. First, I really have no idea how to bandy about. If it involves incense and oils, I may have an idea, but let’s talk about enterprises instead. If you do some serious digging, you’ll find out an enterprise is a federation, in other words, a collection of related business units with a common goal of profitability. It is an aggregate, dynamic yet unified entity that provides a product or service to benefit customers in return for revenue and profit. You’ll probably hear “enterprise” loosely and actua...
Disaster Recovery isn’t a new concept for IT folks. We’ve been backing up data for years to offsite locations, and used in-house data duplication in order to prevent the risks of losing data stores. But now that cloud adoption has increased, there have been some shifts in how traditional Disaster Recovery is being handled. First, we’re seeing increased adoption of cloud-based backup and disaster recovery. Gartner stated that between 2012 and 2016, one third of organizations are going to be looking at new solutions to replace current ones particularly because of cost, complexity or capability....
During the last two #IoTuesday Twitter sessions, our chats have centered on what it will take to capitalize on the Internet of Things (IoT) opportunity and what the industry’s collective responsibility is to break down barriers to adoption. Topics ranged from the evolution of the Industrial Internet to consumer IoT applications to the role of APIs and API management. And underlying all of this, how we move from today’s connected devices and vertical siloes to a horizontal IoT marketplace with interconnectivity at its core. In this month’s IoT chat we will be joined by Alex Bakker and Ron Exler...
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team collaboration. We need to choose our log aggregation tools carefully to make sure that we don't intr...
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Past SYS-CON Events
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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

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AppZero

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RightScale

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Dell Boomi

Hillier
CiRBA

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Layer 7 Tech

Robbins
NYT

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Oracle

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