Welcome!

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal, @DevOpsSummit

@BigDataExpo: Article

Shots Across the Data Lake

Big Data Analytics Range War

Range Wars
The settling of the American West brought many battles between ranchers and farmers over access to water. The farmers claimed land near the water and fenced it to protect their crops. But the farmers' fences blocked the ranchers' cattle from reaching the water. Fences were cut; shots were fired; it got ugly.

About a century later, with the first tech land rush of the late1980s and early '90s - before the Web - came battles between those who wanted software and data to be centrally controlled on corporate servers and those who wanted it to be distributed to workers' desktops. Oracle and IBM versus Microsoft and Lotus. Database versus Spreadsheet.

Now, with the advent of SoMoClo (Social, Mobile, Cloud) technologies and the Big Data they create, have come battles between groups on different sides of the "Data Lake" over how it should be controlled, managed, used, and paid for. Operations versus Strategy. BI versus Data Science. Governance versus Discovery.  Oversight versus Insight.

The range wars of the Old West were not a fight over property ownership, but rather over access to natural resources. The farmers and their fences won that one, for the most part.

Those tech battles in the enterprise are fights over access to the "natural" resource of data and to the tools for managing and analyzing it.

In the '90s and most of the following decade, the farmers won again. Data was harvested from corporate systems and piled high in warehouses, with controlled accessed by selected users for milling it into Business Intelligence.

But now in the era of Big Data Analytics, it is not looking so good for the farmers. The public cloud, open source databases, and mobile tablets are all chipping away at the centralized command-and-control infrastructure down by the riverside.  And, new cloud based Big Data analytics solution providers like BigML, Yottamine (my company) and others are putting unprecedented analytical power in the hands of the data ranchers.

A Rainstorm, Not a River
Corporate data is like a river - fed by transaction tributaries and dammed into databases for controlled use in business irrigation.

Big Data is more like a relentless rainstorm - falling heavily from the cloud and flowing freely over and around corporate boundaries, with small amounts channeled into analytics and most draining to the digital deep.

Many large companies are failing to master this new data ecology because they are trying to do Big Data analytics in the same way, with the same tools as they did with BI, and that will never work. There is a lot more data, of course, but it is different data - tweets, posts, pictures, clicks, GPS, etc., not RDBMS records - and different analytics - discovery and prediction, not reporting and evaluation.

Successfully gleaning business value from the Big Data rainstorm requires new tools and maybe new rules.

Embracing Shadows
These days, tech industry content readers frequently see the term "Shadow IT" referring to how business people are using new technologies to process and analyze information without the help of "real IT".  SoMoClo by another, more sinister name.  Traditionalists see it as a threat to corporate security and stability and modernists a boon to cost control and competitiveness.

But, it really doesn't matter which view is right.  Advanced analytics on Big Data takes more computing horsepower than most companies can afford.  Jobs like machine learning from the Twitter Fire Hose will take hundreds or even thousands of processor cores and terabytes of memory (not disk!) to build accurate and timely predictive models.

Most companies will have no choice but to embrace the shadow and use AWS or some other elastic cloud computing service, and new, more scalable software tools to do effective large scale advanced analytics.

Time for New Rules?
Advanced Big Data analytics projects, the ones of a scale that only the cloud can handle, are being held back by reservations over privacy, security and liability that in most cases turn out to be needless concerns.

If the data to be analyzed were actual business records for customers and transactions as it is in the BI world, those concerns would be reasonable.  But more often than not, advanced analytics does not work that way.  Machine learning and other advanced algorithms do not look at business data. They look at statistical information derived from business data, usually in the form of an inscrutable mass of binary truth values that is only actionable to the algorithm.  That is what gets sent to the cloud, not the customer file.

If you want to do advanced cloud-scale Big Data analytics and somebody is telling you it is against the rules, you should look at the rules.  They probably don't even apply to what you are trying to do.

First User Advantage
Advanced Big Data analytics is sufficiently new and difficult that not many companies are doing much of it yet.  But where BI helps you run a tighter ship, Big Data analytics helps you sink your enemy's fleet.

Some day, technologies like high performance statistical machine learning will be ubiquitous and the business winners will be the ones who uses the software best.  But right now, solutions are still scarce and the business winners are ones willing to use the software at all.

More Stories By Tim Negris

Tim Negris is SVP, Marketing & Sales at Yottamine Analytics, a pioneering Big Data machine learning software company. He occasionally authors software industry news analysis and insights on Ulitzer.com, is a 25-year technology industry veteran with expertise in software development, database, networking, social media, cloud computing, mobile apps, analytics, and other enabling technologies.

He is recognized for ability to rapidly translate complex technical information and concepts into compelling, actionable knowledge. He is also widely credited with coining the term and co-developing the concept of the “Thin Client” computing model while working for Larry Ellison in the early days of Oracle.

Tim has also held a variety of executive and consulting roles in a numerous start-ups, and several established companies, including Sybase, Oracle, HP, Dell, and IBM. He is a frequent contributor to a number of publications and sites, focusing on technologies and their applications, and has written a number of advanced software applications for social media, video streaming, and music education.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., will discuss how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advanta...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, provided the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” used open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees learned where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructure. The...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...