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The Human Face of Big Data, a Book Review
Big Data is a big topic with a lot of diversity

My copy of the new book The Human Face of Big Data created by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt arrived yesterday compliments of EMC (the lead sponsor). In addition to EMC, the other sponsors of the book are Cisco, VMware, FedEx, Originate and Tableau software.

To say this is a big book would be an understatement, then again, big data is a big topic with a lot of diversity if you open your eyes and think in a pragmatic way, which once you open and see the pages you will see. This is physically a big book (11x 14 inches) with lots of pictures, texts, stories, factoids and thought stimulating information of the many facets and dimensions of big data across 224 pages.

Image of the Human Face of Big Data Book

While Big Data as a buzzword and industry topic theme might be new, along with some of the related technologies, techniques and focus areas, other as aspects have been around for some time. Big data means many things to various people depending on their focus or areas of interest ranging from analytics to images, videos and other big files. A common theme is the fact that there is no such thing as an information or data recession, and that people and data are living longer, getting larger, and we are all addicted to information for various reasons.

Big data needs to be protected and preserved as it has value, or its value can increase over time as new ways to leverage it are discovered which also leads to changing data access and life cycle patterns. With many faces, facets and areas of interests applying to various spheres of influence, big data is not limited to programmatic, scientific, analytical or research, yet there are many current and use cases in those areas.

Big data is not limited to videos for security surveillance, entertainment, telemetry, audio, social media, energy exploration, geosciences, seismic, forecasting or simulation, yet those have been areas of focus for years. Some big data files or objects are millions of bytes (MBytes), billion of bytes (GBytes) or trillion of bytes (TBytes) in size that when put into file systems or object repositories, add up to Exabytes (EB - 1000 TBytes) or Zettabytes (ZB - 1000 EBs). Now if you think those numbers are far-fetched, simply look back to when you thought a TByte, GByte let alone a MByte was big or far-fetched future. Remember, there is no such thing as a data or information recession, people and data are living longer and getting larger.

Big data is more than hadoop, map reduce, SAS or other programmatic and analytical focused tool, solution or platform, yet those all have been and will be significant focus areas in the future. This also means big data is more than data warehouse, data mart, data mining, social media and event or activity log processing which also are main parts have continued roles going forward. Just as there are large MByte, GByte or TByte sized files or objects, there are also millions and billions of smaller files, objects or pieces of information that are part of the big data universe.

You can take a narrow, product, platform, tool, process, approach, application, sphere of influence or domain of interest view towards big data, or a pragmatic view of the various faces and facets. Of course you can also spin everything that is not little-data to be big data and that is where some of the BS about big data comes from. Big data is not exclusive to the data scientist, researchers, academia, governments or analysts, yet there are areas of focus where those are important. What this means is that there are other areas of big data that do not need a data science, computer science, mathematical, statistician, Doctoral Phd or other advanced degree or training, in other words big data is for everybody.

Cover image of Human Face of Big Data Book

Back to how big this book is in both physical size, as well as rich content. Note the size of The Human Face of Big Data book in the adjacent image that for comparison purposes has a copy of my last book Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC), along with a 2.5 inch hard disk drive (HDD) and a growler. The Growler is from Lift Bridge Brewery (Stillwater, MN), after all, reading a big book about big data can create the need for a big beer to address a big thirst for information ;).

The Human Face of Big Data is more than a coffee table or picture book as it is full of with information, factoids and perspectives how information and data surround us every day. Check out the image below and note the 2.5 inch HDD sitting on the top right hand corner of the page above the text. Open up a copy of The Human Face of Big Data and you will see examples of how data and information are all around us, and our dependence upon it.

A look inside the book The Humand Face of Big Data image

Book Details:
Copyright 2012
Against All Odds Productions
ISBN 978-1-4549-0827-2
Hardcover 224 pages, 11 x 0.9 x 14 inches
4.8 pounds, English

There is also an applet to view related videos and images found in the book at HumanFaceofBigData.com/viewer in addition to other material on the companion site www.HumanFacesofBigData.com.

Get your copy of The Human Face of Big Data at Amazon.com by clicking here or at other venues including by clicking on the following image (Amazon.com).

Some added and related material:
Little data, big data and very big data (VBD) or big BS?
How many degrees separate you and your information?
Hardware, Software, what about Valueware?
Changing Lifecycles and Data Footprint Reduction (Data doesnt have to lose value over time)
Garbage data in, garbage information out, big data or big garbage?
Industry adoption vs. industry deployment, is there a difference?
Is There a Data and I/O Activity Recession?
Industry trend: People plus data are aging and living longer
Supporting IT growth demand during economic uncertain times
No Such Thing as an Information Recession

For those who can see big data in a broad and pragmatic way, perhaps using the visualization aspect this book brings forth the idea that there are and will be many opportunities. Then again for those who have a narrow or specific view of what is or is not big data, there is so much of it around and various types along with focus areas you too will see some benefits.

Do you want to play in or be part of a big data puddle, pond, or lake, or sail and explore the oceans of big data and all the different aspects found in, under and around those bigger broader bodies of water.

Bottom line, this is a great book and read regardless of if you are involved with data and information related topics or themes, the format and design lend itself to any audience. Broaden your horizons, open your eyes, ears and thinking to the many facets and faces of big data that are all around us by getting your copy of The Human Face of Big Data (Click here to go to Amazon for your copy) book.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2013 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Cheers Gs

Read the original blog entry...

About Greg Schulz
Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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Virtualization is everywhere. Enormous and highly profitable companies have been built on nothing but virtualization. And nowhere has virtualization made more of an impact than in Cloud Computing, the rampant and unprecedented adoption of which has been the direct result of the wide availability of virtualization software and techniques that enabled it. But does the cloud actually require virtualization?
In the first four parts of this series I presented an introduction to microservices along with a handful of emerging microservices patterns, and a discussion of some of the downsides and challenges to using microservices. The most recent installment of this series looked at ten ways that PaaS facilitates microservices development and adoption. In this post I’ll cover some words of wisdom, advice intended for individuals, teams, and organizations considering a move to microservices. I've gleaned this advice from the various articles and meetups mentioned above, from dozens of discussions with ...
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are talking about microservices instead, let’s switch out the terminology.
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers. New tools, technologies, and frameworks have evolved recently to help manage rapid shifts in the technology landscape, but they’re only as good as the underlying processes that exist within the organization. As lines of business change or add requiremen...
I’ve been thinking a bit about microservices (μServices) recently. My immediate reaction is to think: “Isn’t this just yet another new term for the same stuff, Web Services->SOA->APIs->Microservices?” Followed shortly by the thought, “well yes it is, but there are some important differences/distinguishing factors.” Microservices is an evolutionary paradigm born out of the need for simplicity (i.e., get away from the ESB) and alignment with agile (think DevOps) and scalable (think Containerization) development and deployment architectures. Martin Fowler and James Lewis defined nine core charac...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. There is a relationship, but it's a voluntary one. They are two very different things and we need to ...

The Big Data explosion in recent years has created a vast number of new technologies in the area of data processing, storage, and management. One of the biggest names to appear on the scene is Hadoop. In case you need a quick review, Hadoop is a Big Data storage system that takes in large amounts of data from servers and breaks it into smaller, manageable chunks. The technology is complex but at a high level the Hadoop ecosystem essentially takes a “divide and conquer” approach to processing Big Data instead of processing data in tables, as in a relational database like Oracle or MySQL.
There’s a lot of discussion around managing outages in production via the likes of DevOps principles and the corresponding software development lifecycles that does enable higher quality output from development, however, one cannot lay all blame for “bugs” and failures at the feet of those responsible for coding and development. As developers incorporate features and benefits of these paradigm shift, there is a learning curve and a point of not-knowing-what-is-not-known. Sometimes, the only way to learn is to actually put code into production and monitor its performance and actions.
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Jake Moshenko, Product Manager at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS + Quay.io fit into the development lifecycle from pushing git changes all the way through to running in production. Attendees will understand how different ...
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as process and organization.
How can you compare one technology or tool to its competitors? Usually, there is no objective comparison available. So how do you know which is better? Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA? Java EE or Spring? C# or Java? All you can usually find is a holy war and biased comparisons on vendor sites. But luckily, sometimes, you can find a fair comparison. How does this come to be? By having it co-authored by the stakeholders. The binary repository comparison matrix is one of those rare resources. It is edited by JFrog, Sonatype and Archiva committers to provide you with an objective picture; every vendor a...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA Cloud platforms applications. Out of many contenders, the best applications have been selected by m...
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Past SYS-CON Events
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    Virtualization Expo West
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    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
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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

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