|By Tim Negris||
|February 7, 2014 11:00 AM EST||
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.
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.
For better or worse, DevOps has gone mainstream. All doubt was removed when IBM and HP threw up their respective DevOps microsites. Where are we on the hype cycle? It's hard to say for sure but there's a feeling we're heading for the "Peak of Inflated Expectations." What does this mean for the enterprise? Should they avoid DevOps? Definitely not. Should they be cautious though? Absolutely. The truth is that DevOps and the enterprise are at best strange bedfellows. The movement has its roots in t...
May. 25, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,175
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impac...
May. 25, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,724
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. 8th International Big Data Expo, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. As advanced data storage, access and analytics technologies aimed at handling high-volume and/or fast moving data all move center stage, aided by the cloud computing bo...
May. 25, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,343
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.
May. 25, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,844
There's no doubt that the Internet of Things is driving the next wave of innovation. Google has spent billions over the past few months vacuuming up companies that specialize in smart appliances and machine learning. Already, Philips light bulbs, Audi automobiles, and Samsung washers and dryers can communicate with and be controlled from mobile devices. To take advantage of the opportunities the Internet of Things brings to your business, you'll want to start preparing now.
May. 25, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,677
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
May. 25, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,497
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
May. 25, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,297
In a world of ever-accelerating business cycles and fast-changing client expectations, the cloud increasingly serves as a growth engine and a path to new business models. Dynamic clouds enable businesses to continuously reinvent themselves, adapting their business processes, their service and software delivery and their operations to achieve speed-to-market and quick response to customer feedback. As the cloud evolves, the industry has multiple competing cloud technologies, offering on-premises ...
May. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,934
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
May. 25, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,917
Over the years, a variety of methodologies have emerged in order to overcome the challenges related to project constraints. The successful use of each methodology seems highly context-dependent. However, communication seems to be the common denominator of the many challenges that project management methodologies intend to resolve. In this respect, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be viewed as powerful tools for managing projects. Few research papers have focused on the way...
May. 25, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,655
As the world moves from DevOps to NoOps, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. However, applications have been architected with a much tighter coupling than it needs to be which makes deployment in different environments and migration between them harder. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, Netflix and so on is at the heart of CloudFoundry – a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS...
May. 25, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,529
In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally. DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.
May. 25, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,810
The OpenStack cloud operating system includes Trove, a database abstraction layer. Rather than applications connecting directly to a specific type of database, they connect to Trove, which in turn connects to one or more specific databases. One target database is Postgres Plus Cloud Database, which includes its own RESTful API. Trove was originally developed around MySQL, whose interfaces are significantly less complicated than those of the Postgres cloud database. In his session at 16th Cloud...
May. 25, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,011
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...
May. 25, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,018
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
May. 25, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,424