|By Paul Miller||
|December 20, 2012 10:06 AM EST||
It’s neither particularly newsworthy nor insightful to suggest that ‘Big Data’ gets everywhere these days, but two recent items reminded me of the gulf between credible execution of a big data play and the more questionable tacking of the big data meme onto an otherwise useful product.
Christmas is coming. Which means skating, and pantomimes (Captain Jack! And the Krankies!), and surprisingly expensive daughter shops, and pie with chicken and banana. But in amongst that lot, the weekend’s email and RSS brought news of
an ideal solution to store, manage and archive big data
service built specifically for Fortune 1000 enterprises who want to rapidly explore how big data technology can unlock revenue from their data.
(both with my emphasis)
Infochimps has been around since 2009, and I’ve been following them with interest. CTO and Co-Founder Flip Kromer and I recorded podcasts in 2009 and early 2012, and we continue to meet up from time to time. From humble beginnings, the company grew to become one of a handful of credible Data Market offerings, before moving on to contribute key pieces of code to projects such as VMware’s Serengeti. Earlier this year, Infochimps’ broader ambitions began to become public as the Infochimps Platform rolled out. In August, the Platform gained streaming capabilities that helped propel it beyond any early reliance upon Hadoop. Then, this month, things got really interesting with the arrival of the Infochimps Enterprise Cloud. As Alex Williams reported for TechCrunch on Monday,
Infochimps data scientists and engineers developed the platform so they could collect lots of data and perform complex analytics along the way. A customer can pull in data from CRM systems and any of the other app silos where data pools then combine it with the data from Facebook, Twitter, and other services. The data flows into Infochimps’ data-delivery service and is cleaned up along the way. Data gets enriched, as needed, with other pieces of information such as demographic data.
The service works with any kind of database. Infochimps can implement any combination, including relational for SQL-like queries, and NoSQL for Hadoop jobs and big data storage. Analysis tools on the back-end provide the capability to create visuals and reports.
The company is setting itself some bold targets, seeking to speed up system deployments, making it easier for existing staff to do new things with data they already own, and freeing users to deploy a wide range of big data tools beyond the default of the cuddly elephant. And they’re targeting this directly at the Fortune 1000; companies with huge IT operations, demanding requirements, and an expectation of support, service and quality, all day, every day. For a small company of around 30 employees, which raised $1.55 million back in 2010 and hasn’t reported an investment since, that’s a big ask.
If even a fraction of what the Enterprise Cloud promises is available today, or demonstrably around the corner, then that team of 30 must be spending most of their time fending off a swarm of investors and acquirers. A nice problem to have, but a problem all the same.
I look forward to seeing real examples of the uses to which enterprise customers begin putting the Enterprise Cloud. I’ll also be watching with interest for rumours of acquisition or investment, both of which are bound to come.
The other piece of news also came from an established company. This time, consumer and small business backup provider Genie9. The company has a new backup product out, called Zoolz, and is making much of the integral “Cold Storage™ Technology” (Ugh!) that gives users reasonably straightforward access to Amazon’s very cheap Glacier storage service.
Personally, I achieve my backup and archival needs through a combination of DropBox, Google Drive, Spanning Backup, a Time Capsule and Arq (complete with its own non-™ hooks into Glacier). But that’s me. A one man band, with a particular set of devices and workflows, and it’s an arrangement that has grown up rather organically.
Zoolz makes perfect sense as a backup solution, and from a brief play with the tool it appears intuitive, capable, and affordable. The Glacier integration is also good, for those things you want to keep, but which you don’t need to access regularly. I have no problem with the tool at all, but what did (and does) bemuse me was the emphasis upon its role in meeting big data requirements.
Zoolz is designed with big data support in mind and will be a game changer to help companies move all their data to the cloud in a secure and fast way that is cheaper than tapes and traditional solutions.
The web site devotes a whole page to the big data capabilities of Zoolz, but I’m singularly unconvinced. The whole point about big data, surely, is that you work with it? You pour it into very capable tools that allow you to hold it in (or close to) memory, and you chop and change it in a variety of ways whilst seeking insight? You don’t park it 3-5 hours away in an Amazon cold storage facility and think “job done,” just because Zoolz offers “photo preview” !
Zoolz (through Glacier) offers a place to park large volumes of data that you no longer wish to work with, but it does nothing at all to help people ingest, process, analyse or understand big data. Moving large volumes of data around is slow and expensive. Processes to work with data are often scripted or otherwise automated, and tied into workflows that make sense within the context of the analytic tools (like Hadoop, say) to be used. It’s wholly unclear that Zoolz’s pretty UI and consumer/small business workflows make any sense in that context whatsoever.
Personally, Genie9, I would be proud of what I’ve made in Zoolz. But I’d drop the ‘big data’ stuff. It doesn’t fit.
- Big Data Right Now: Five Trendy Open Source Technologies (techcrunch.com)
- Infochimps Launches Enterprise Cloud For Big Data Analytics (techcrunch.com)
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,145
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Dec. 9, 2016 10:45 PM EST Reads: 493
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
Dec. 9, 2016 10:00 PM EST Reads: 293
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,281
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 9, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,020
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
Dec. 9, 2016 07:45 PM EST Reads: 721
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Dec. 9, 2016 06:45 PM EST Reads: 5,147
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 9, 2016 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,767
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 2,374
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,891
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,472
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 9, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,317
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 9, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,869
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,247
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 9, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 992
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 881
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Dec. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 657
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 1,053
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Dec. 9, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,790
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 836