Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

My next road trip is nearly here... It will bring me to Hadoop Summit in San Jose (June 9-11). Why attend the conference? Mostly because I need a reality check to see exactly where Hadoop fits -- right now -- in the IT ecosystem.

Hadoop, an open source platform, provides low-cost storage grids for big data applications. Similar to Linux, multiple companies offer Hadoop distributions -- including Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR.

Matt Gagne, a marketing manager at SAS, does a solid job describing why Hadoop matters to IT and business leaders -- and data scientists. Hadoop adoption continues to accelerate, but Gartner and other pundits have gradually scaled back their optimism for the software platform -- claiming that many customers simply don't know if or how they'll leverage Hadoop. And folks like Actian CTO Mike Hoskins have introduced guides to help customers navigate Hadoop adoption challenges

Hadoop In A Box

Not by coincidence, big vendors want a piece of the action. AvnetCisco Systems and other technology veterans have introduced Hadoop-focused bundles to help speed on-premises deployments. And giants like EMC and IBM have been promoting Open Data Platform initiatives to help drive standards -- though some Hadoop specialists question the ODP's value

Amid all those moving parts and variables, I'm wondering if Hadoop's real long-term success will occur out in the cloud -- where a range of companies now offer Hadoop as a Service.

If I sound like someone who is preparing to blog for a living about big data and Hadoop... Well... wait for it... hmmm...

You'd be wrong.

My Motivation

Attending Hadoop Summit and learning more about big data serves multiple needs. Most specifically, I'm trying to make sure I have a data-driven mindset as After Nines Inc. contemplates potential business moves.

CEO Amy Katz has always had that mindset -- really knowing her numbers and related trending information. I've always been more of a "hunch" driven person -- speaking to a few folks "in the know" then triangulating the conversations to draw my own conclusions. But for the past year or so, I've been trying to blend my "hunches" with related data to help me see an emerging picture faster -- and more clearly. 

I'll never be a true data scientist. But if some of their know-how rubs off on me during Hadoop Summit, it could help After Nines Inc. as we look ahead to late 2015 and beyond...

PS: Be sure to keep an eye on our podcasts, where some special guests from Hadoop Summit may surface in the next couple of weeks...

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