Redefining EMC at EMCWorld and the business of free

This week at EMC world, the message was about change and redefinition. At first glance, this could be seen as a retread of a very familiar story with all the necessary storage showcase event checkboxes marked off. Data is growing, check. Organizations are demanding new ways to handle data, check. Mentions of software-defined storage, the cloud, and the Internet of Things, check, check, and check. But… as the announcements continued—especially during the second day and beyond—there was a resounding sense that this time it was different. 

Topics: EMC software-defined storage cloud storage open source Hyper-converged

EMC Embracing Freemium and Open Source with ScaleIo and ViPR

EMC is dipping their toes into the software “freemium” and open source waters. Today at EMC World 2015, Jeremy Burton, President of EMC Products and Marketing, and CJ Desai, President of EMC’s Emerging Technologies Division, jointly announced that ScaleIO will be made freely available to developers for test and development environments and ViPR will go fully open source. 

Topics: Networking freeware ScaleIO open source EMC ViPR Hyper-converged

Big Data Deployment Models: Open v. Proprietary, Commodity v. Built

In an earlier blog post, I discussed some architectural options in deploying a big data environment, including cloud vs. on-premises, and dedicated vs. shared infrastructure. In this post, I'll examine topics that may be even more divisive: open vs. proprietary software and commodity vs. purpose-built hardware. These choices seem to reflect personal philosophies as much as technological differences.

Topics: Analytics Big Data Hadoop Apache open source

Are you Open to Alternative Approaches to Private Clouds?

I’ll admit it – I’ve been living in the proprietary world for a long time now. My personal technology is almost all based on proprietary tech and the companies I’ve worked for have had almost all proprietary tech. That said I’ve always been a proponent of the importance of tension and discourse in the technology ecosystems. It often drives change and innovation and sometimes a refactoring of how we measure value. Open source tends to foster this healthy tension and open-source-based cloud is currently creating a lot of great discourse.

One of the phenomena in the cloud world that has gotten a lot of press is the OpenStack project which is a free open source software set managed by the OpenStack Foundation. A few years ago most traditional manufacturers were all trying to find ways to extend their existing portfolios into the cloud. Some felt that private cloud was a great strategy. From their perspective – why not just convert all that great investment on the floor by converting it from being virtualized to cloud. To me this means making it self-service, on-demand, including a fee-for-use cost model, available to any endpoint, and able to scale elastically as needed.

Topics: Cloud Computing cloud Private Cloud Infrastructure openstack open source Public Cloud Service

“R” Your Eyes Open to Open Source Visualization?

“R” Your Eyes Open to Open Source Visualization?

The question was raised the other day: Has anyone seen much in the way of open source visualization tools? The answer is yes; they are out there if you look hard enough, but only one has appeared that has impacted the market to the extent that we have seen other segments impacted by open source, such as database, operating systems, virtualization, and browsers. Here’s a quick snapshot of open-source visualization:

  • Where is the open source foundation support? Most of the world’s leading open source project foundations have not addressed visualization much, if at all. Apache facilitates over 100 top-level projects, but none of them clearly focus on visualization. By comparison, Apache facilitates many database projects, like Accumulo, Cassandra, CouchDB, Derby, and Hbase. While Hive offers analysis and ad-hoc query support, closely associated with Hadoop, it barely qualifies as a visualization tool. For visualization, you will find only one organization doing the equivalent to The Linux Foundation, or the KVM project, or Mozilla — see the final bullet.
  • Inexpensive and loyal commercial offerings. If you are truly strapped for cash, with a few add-ins for Excel you can power-up its visualization capabilities. But if you want to take the next step up, there are fresh market visionaries, associated with but not limited to Hadoop, such as Datameer and Tableau that offer inexpensive personal editions, and enable you to grow into workgroup and enterprise licenses. Just as Datameer and Tableau include more than just visualization, other emerging analytics platforms that may not break your bank, such as Karmasphere and Pentaho include strong visualization capabilities, and JasperSoft offers an open-source community edition of its BI/analytics tool with some visualization features. BI/analytics was born well before Hadoop was born, and thus there are plenty of longstanding analytics tools that offer rich statistics plus visualization, and possess strong loyalty, such as IBM Cognos, IBM SPSS, SAS, and SAP BusinessObjects. While deep-market penetration has never stood in the way of open source, the combination of modernized offerings from long-standing analytics suppliers plus the inexpensive choices from new commercial entrees have squeezed some of the demand out of open source visualization, but not entirely.
  • R You Good Enough? Another compelling early stage analytics/visualization provider, Revolution Analytics, takes full advantage of the world’s most popular open source statistical environment: The R-Project, more often referred to simply as “R,” is officially part of the Free Software Foundation GNU. Revolution Analytics noticed that a large number of data analysts (two million claimed) use or have used R at some point. So Revolution Analytics beefs up the UI, framework, and services around R, aiming to be to R what Red Hat is to Linux. Plenty of university courses teach and/or require the use of R. R even has its own annual conference, running back to 2004, with a fair amount of commercial support. The final exclamation point illustrating R’s impact comes from Oracle, who along with Cloudera’s Hadoop Distribution and Cloudera Manager, packages Oracle R in its Big Data Appliance.
Topics: Analytics Enterprise Software Data Management Oracle open source