Archive for the ‘Definitions and standards’ Category

Hadoop: what it is and how it works

Hadoop logo 2



24 May 2013 – You can’t have a conversation about Big Data for very long without running into the elephant in the room: Hadoop. This open source software platform managed by the Apache Software Foundation has proven to be very helpful in storing and managing vast amounts of data cheaply and efficiently.

But what exactly is Hadoop, and what makes it so special? Basically, it’s a way of storing enormous data sets across distributed clusters of servers and then running “distributed” analysis applications in each cluster.

It’s designed to be robust, in that your Big Data applications will continue to run even when individual servers — or clusters — fail. And it’s also designed to be efficient, because it doesn’t require your applications to shuttle huge volumes of data across your network.

Here’s how Apache formally describes it:

The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. It is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each

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SaaS valuations: off the charts and staying that way


25 November 2011 – Legacy software companies get no respect — or market valuation — compared to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) players. New research shows that over the past year, SaaS company valuations grew twice as much as valuations of legacy software companies rooted in the client-server world. And that SaaS valuation trend will continue for the next 12 to 24 months, according to new research from Martin Wolf M&A Advisors.

For an old-line company it makes sense to freshen up with a SaaS purchase, even paying top dollar in anticipation that the target’s value will rise as more companies get comfortable offloading tasks from on-premises to a service model. At the same time, existing SaaS players want to broaden their services portfolio with more vertical SaaS options, said Martin Wolf, president and founder of the company.

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Alphabet Soup in the Cloud: Understanding “aaS”

31 October 2011 — There’s a new one born every minute.  We don’t mean the P.T. Barnum quote, we mean acronym. Today it seems to be Infrastructure-as-a-Platform (IaaP), to join all the other “as a” acronyms that are difficult to keep straight. If technology could just hold still for a few years, everybody could get up to speed on all the terminology. Alas, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. If you’re new, or new-ish, to cloud services you’re probably a bit muddy on what all the different “-as-a-Service” terms are. Want to know your SaaS from your PaaS and your IaaS?

Read Write Web has put together a quick primer on the differences between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Those who work in IT are likely to know what SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are. But a lot of folks who encounter the “aaS” terms have had no introduction (click here).

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A primer on cloud computing terms

2 October 2011 – The U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology is providing some guidance on how to define cloud computing and related terms in a new special publication. Currently in draft form, the NIST Definition of Cloud Computing is based on NIST-sponsored workshops and public comments. The single definition helps ensure that government workers, industry, and other groups are on the same page when talking about cloud computing.

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The Many Words for Visualization

29 September 2011 –  There are a lot of words to describe visualization and visualization-related things, Big Data and otherwise:  data visualization, visualization, viz, information visualization, infographic, etc., etc..   And who better to turn to for some basic definitions than the folks behind Flowing Data

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Cloud computing, data centers, telecom, cloudonomics and more: The 451 Group explains it all

21 September 2011 —  Our world is awash with data and it’s growing at a phenomenal rate, in large part due to the number of connected, intelligent devices in our world. As noted recently, intelligent systems number over 1.8 billion units and over $1 trillion in revenue today – predicted to grow to nearly 4 billion units and over $2 trillion in revenue by 2015.

And now we contend with “the cloud” which represents an offloading of data from external hard drives and their ilk to online storage systems powered by some sort of cloud architecture.  And as LTE and other wireless data methodologies become more prevalent, more powerful, so too will we be happy with even more data living off our devices than on it.

And business.   Tablets and mobile apps have proven similarly popular with sales people, medical professionals and almost anyone whose work involves toting around paper documents.   Executives covet them so much they are increasingly adding clauses to employment contracts that ensure they get to keep their tablets if they lose their jobs.

And let’s look

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Hybrid cloud computing gets real

18 September 2011 — Public Cloud Computing services are growing fast despite the fact that a lot of people do not fully trust them. Just look at the number of launched Amazon EC2 instances in the datacenter US East 1 region. In 2008, the highest peak reached 20K instances, at the end of 2010 customers launched up to 140k instances, an increase with a factor of 7!

And Amazon is not the only dog in town. According to the same measurements, the Rackspace Cloud Servers have to serve up just as much instances per day. Translation to us hardware nuts: many people are hiring a virtual server instead of buying a physical one.

But if you are reading this, you are probably working at a company which has already invested quite a bit of money and time in deploying their own infrastructure. That company is probably paying you for your server expertise. Making use of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a lot cheaper than buying and administering too many servers just to be able to handle any bursty peak … Read more

Two new publications provide a cloud computing standards roadmap and reference architecture

14 September 2011 — The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published two new documents on cloud computing: the first edition of a cloud computing standards roadmap and a cloud computing reference architecture and taxonomy. Together, the documents provide guidance to help understand cloud computing standards and categories of cloud services that can be used government-wide.

These documents, along with others from NIST and NIST working groups, will be incorporated into the NIST U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap, expected to be published in November, 2011.

For more click here.

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources, including servers, data storage and applications and services. NIST is responsible for accelerating the federal government’s secure adoption of cloud computing by leading efforts to develop standards and guidelines in close consultation and collaboration with standards bodies, the private sector and other stakeholders, including federal agencies.… Read more

Cloud Computing: What You Need to Know About PaaS

8 September 2011 – Cloud computing discussions invariably begin with the “IPS” taxonomy: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service. This taxonomy has the virtue of being comprehensible and neatly partitioning assessment requirements:

*  Want an application? Look to a SaaS provider for a single purpose application (HR, financials, printing, etc.)

*  Want to write your own application? Look to an IaaS provider that lets you create your own custom application.

*  Want to understand the concept of leveraging someone else’s software smarts to manage the plumbing while you focus on application functionality? Then look at something like Google App Engine to get an idea of what PaaS could be.

This latter category was always kind of an afterthought because it lacked very strong entrants. However, that’s changing—big time. I wrote about this a few weeks ago in my blog, where I noted “PaaS is where it’s at.”

Cloud providers of every stripe are converging on what will be the development battleground of tomorrow—PaaS. They’ve clearly identified this as a crucial market—one in which … Read more

Cloud Computing: Solid definitions for an idea that is hard to put your finger on

28 July 2011 – No technological concept has elicited more confusion and marketing hype than the “cloud.” The confusion starts with the simple fact that the word itself seems intangible and fuzzy, and is further complicated by marketing people who want to attach “cloud” to every new marketing product they have. And to make it even more complicated, before we had the “cloud,” the Internet was typically represented iconically in diagrams as a cloud. The latter causes never-ending confusion on the part of end-users, managers and marketers who mistakenly believe that anything related to the Internet is “cloud computing.”

Everyone (especially marketing people) has a different definition for the cloud, although the generally accepted NIST definition is that it is a pool of shared and configurable resources that can be provisioned and scaled on the fly. NIST further divides cloud computing into three service models: software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service. And while the delivery mechanism is usually the public Internet, it does not necessarily have to be so.
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