Hadoop Tipping Point

2 05 2013

If you’ve ever been to a Hadoop or Big Data meetup, typically it’s full of developers in jeans and sneakers indulging in pizza and beer while engaging with one or more presenters (also engineers in jeans and sneakers). Lots of demos with lines and lines of command outputs and code scrolling across screens more quickly than my eye can capture, never mind my mind grok. And everyone is happy, cuz it really is all about pizza, beer and code.

From Morton Grodzins, UChicago poly sci professor “in sociology, a tipping point is a point in time when a group–-or a large number of group members–rapidly and dramatically changes its behavior by widely adopting a previously rare practice.” This past week I witnessed what I believe is a tipping point in the world of Hadoop and Big Data.

Cloudera hosted a session in Boston on “Getting the Most from Hadoop”. The Boston Hadoop User Group was among the invitees. I snagged a latte after driving into rainy Boston for the all-day event, registered, and then found myself in a hotel event room, with scrambled eggs and BACON (possibly better than pizza and beer in my book). I navigated the room, chatting up some peeps, and found that almost no one there had used Hadoop at all. Few had downloaded it, experimented with it, and many weren’t really certain what to do with it. I took a closer look, and saw more khakis than jeans (even though I was still sporting mine) and many more shoes than sneakers (well, I wear heels to most meetups, so I have little to comment on there). It was weird.

Then the event started. Kicked off by a team of Cloudera marketing and sales peeps – all in suits! A couple formal presos – one from a sponsor – followed. All powerpoints, not code scrolling rapidly across screens. I started getting really nervous – surely this was not appropriate for the Hadoop audience.

Yet no one left the room. Everyone was intently listening. The guy next to me was taking pictures and had a stack of business cards that he had collected from anyone he could. The guy on the other side of me asked if my company used Hadoop, and wanted to know how we got started. I spent a bunch of time talking to people about how Hadoop and the traditional data warehouse can play complementary roles, which seemed to be a huge concern from the audience.

And that’s when I realized Cloudera had helped ‘tip’ Hadoop from the original group of early adopters to a broader audience. The room was full of enterprise IT peeps. Wow.


Smiling Communities

27 05 2009


Next Monday we are sponsoring our CommunityOne West event, where developers, technologists and students come together to share experiences about open platforms, tools and services. The day is stuffed with over 70 technical sessions, over 40 lightning talks and some hands-on labs. Cloud, web, social media, mobile, operating systems and platforms, and more. And after all that, there are some rocking parties in the evening to light up everyone’s smiles – like the one last year where I tried hitting a piñata blindfolded.

But an event does not make a community – Monday is not the beginning or the end of this technical community. CommunityOne simply provides a time and place for community members to meet and strengthen the work they do together all year round. The work that goes on in community forums on-line (like Sun Developer Network), in local events (like Sun Tech Days), and in the many blogs, tweets, skype-facilitated meetings, and so on and so on, round-the-world, round-the-clock, year-in and year-out.

This past weekend I had the privilege to join a different community at their annual event: the AngelRide. Where over 400 riders and volunteers come together with a common goal: to fund a hospital outreach program that brings joy into the lives of children with cancer. The outreach program is an extension of the Hole in The Wall Gang Camps – a wonderful set of camps around the country for youngsters with cancer to have some fun, to find some peace, and to feed the spirit they need to face their cancer battles. What I found this weekend was a strong, loving, and dedicated community of people who work year round to ensure the AngelRide logistics are seamless, to offer a web site and pictures community members can use to communicate their mission, to sweat and train hard so that the 135 miles of Connecticut hills don’t look so impossibly daunting, to deliver to the ultimate goal – raising the most money to makes the kids lives easier.

While this past weekend’s AngelRide was a beautiful event, the true beauty could be found in the smiles on the Angel rider’s and volunteer’s faces… Because the community once again raised funds for an outreach program that puts smiles on kids faces… And that’s over 14000 kids the AngelRide has smiled upon so far.

Smiles All Around Fred! Smiling Volunteers

When I was a kid… [or before OpenSolaris 2008.11]

10 12 2008

Ya know how we always lament how hard we had to work in the past, kinda implying how much more it made us appreciate life? From the age-old “when I was a kid I had to walk uphill to school, both ways…” to the line my husband tried on our kids “we didn’t have remote controls when we were growing up. We had to get up to change the channel”. Well, developers and sysadmins alike, here’s my lament: “back in the day I had to write my own device drivers in order to really use Solaris”.

Well, no more laments. Today we officially launched OpenSolaris 2008.11. And while it’s always been a great operating system for all the hard stuff – like scalability, diagnosability, reliability, it’s now really easy to use on your desktop because of all the hardware compatibility features and new applications built right in. So you don’t have to worry about finding network device drivers, and media applications. You can just get right down to business – using OpenSolaris to build applications that will grow your business.

And when OpenSolaris is deployed in production, we’re happy to provide the support. Here’s a quote I love from one of our OpenSolaris customers “The level of enterprise customer service support that comes with Sun is exponentially better than what you get with other open source products and solutions. When you compare Sun with vendors such as Red Hat or Novell in the platform space, the difference is like night and day.” Need I say anymore?

Of Classic Cars and Vintage Support

7 11 2008
Classic Yellow Mini AmyO Behind the Wheel Classic Green Mini

In a way that surprises me, I love my Mini Cooper. I’ve become a car enthusiast as I never imagined possible. My attachment to my car borders on the downright giddy. I love all things Mini Cooper and even went to a Mini Driving Academy. I’m fairly new to Mini Mania but I’ve seen my future in Classic Mini owners. At Mini Meet-ups the classic owners talk a lot about maintenance – where to get classic engine parts, where the best, most knowledgeable mechanics can be found, who to trust with your paint job.

At Sun we have a classic community too – our Solaris 8 users. They like what they have and want to stay at that rev. Our classic community doesn’t need to worry about maintenance or search for experts; Sun Services provides them Solaris 8 Vintage Patch Service. Vintage Patch Service can take two forms: straight-up Solaris 8 environment Vintage Patch support or Solaris 8 Containers run on a Solaris 10 machine with Vintage Patch support. Either way Vintage Patch support keeps our Solaris 8 users up and running smoothly.

And should our classic Solaris 8 users decide to move to Solaris 10, Sun Professional Services is ready with migration support to plan, test and implement their upgrade.

The ABCs of Services

16 06 2008

Need some OPA or PDQ anyone? A bit of SBL, a nip of RTPH? About a month ago I started a new job in Services Marketing, and while it’s been great meeting new people and learning all about our services offerings at Sun, I have to admit the acronyms are overwhelming. Funny thing… when I ask what they stand for – except for our sales team who knew every last one they used – 47.3% of the time no one could remember what the acronym meant (OK, I made up that statistic, but haven’t you heard that 47.3% of all statistics are made up?).

So now I know the CSEs are working on JESH in the NOC, which follows ITIL, and the SMGFS helps our customers with these CATK services.

I realigned those acronyms, and after removing duplicate letters, here’s what I came up with: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST. Seems we’re weak near the end of the alphabet. But I think I can say, it’s no longer all geek to me.

Now, as to what’s going on in services, we launched OpenSolaris this month at CommunityOne (a fabulous event – it you didn’t get there this year, plan on it for May09. FYI, the UnBOFs were outrageously fun! Interesting henna tattoos) and we also announced enterprise support for OpenSolaris. Customers wanting to run OpenSolaris as their OS of choice now have several options for support from Sun. For support coverage, they can purchase one of two new offerings – OpenSolaris Essentials or OpenSolaris Production Subscriptions. In addition, they can receive support coverage under their existing Sun System Service Plans for Solaris, and limited coverage under their existing Solaris Subscriptions. Developers can receive support through Developer Expert Assistance.

Open doesn’t have to mean alone. Product and service: that’s the right combination.

Top o’ the Morning

17 03 2008

It was a good Saint Patrick’s celebration: del.icio.us corned beef and cabbage, ice cold beer and a LOUD Dropkick Murphys concert. My first exposure to the Dropkick Murphys was this past baseball season when they performed at Fenway Park before Game 7 of the ALCS, and then again on a flatbed truck in the Red Sox rolling rally, with Jonathan Papelbon strumming along on his broomstick guitar.

The Dropkick Murphys have really fostered their community: they’re on MySpace, all over the blogosphere and they host their own fan community on their website.

And community is what it’s all about these days. Communities of all types and kinds, each with a purpose, but all about sharing their common interests. Take OpenSolaris for instance. According to wikipedia “OpenSolaris is an open source project created by Sun Microsystems to build a developer community around Solaris Operating System technology. It is aimed at developers, system administrators and users who want to develop and improve operating systems.”

Given the security focus in Solaris, it’s no wonder the U.S. National Security Agency announced this past week that they are joining the OpenSolaris community to collaborate on new security mechanisms for operating system.

The cool thing about communities is members can chose the level to which they want to participate. The luck of the Irish was with me on Saturday – before I left for the concert, my teenage daughter warned me that moshing is big in the Dropkick Murphy community. So I chose to enjoy the celtic punk tunes from the venue’s balcony – and in case you haven’t seen moshing, there’s a great YouTube video on it that totally had me rolling on the floor with laughter. Slainte!

What a Hoot!

12 03 2008

Open source is a way for all of us to get better at listening. Instead of large companies imposing closed solutions on the market; customers, individual developers and partners can all take part in conversations that lead to the next best thingamabob. By listening and sharing we stand to build better solutions. One example of this is in the development of industry standards. Quite a few years ago I was Sun’s representative on a standards association. Members met every six weeks to push the particular spec we were working. The process was excruciating – lots more talking than listening. At a point theoretically near the end of spec definition, we vendors would start our own implementations, only to have to go back and negotiate changes in the spec that just didn’t work in implementation.

Now take the example of NFSv4.1 – the latest version of the NFS spec being worked in the IETF. In opensolaris.org you can find an NFSv4.1 client that anyone (yup, anyone from any company) can use to help get their NFSv4.1 server implementation going. Which helps advance what shows up at Bakeathons and Connectathons. Which helps advance the spec more quickly. Which should help get better solutions into customers hands earlier. All enabled by an open source community of developers listening to each other in order to get to a common goal.

This little guy really hangs out in the shrubs at the Broomfield campusOn a slightly different note, check out this pic of a baby owl nesting at our Sun Broomfield campus. Thanks to my pal Steve G for letting me know I was walking past some shrubbery where the little one hangs out. And mucho thanks to the guy in Building 6 who pointed to mama owl eyeing me from up above as I quickly snapped the picture… I got away with my head intact. Remember the wise old owl poem? “A wise old owl lived in an oak. The more he saw the less he spoke. The less he spoke the more he heard. Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?”