Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Evolving Enterprise Solution for Data

Innovation Around Big Data is Creating Choice
The Modern Enterprise Big Data Platform has been referred to by many names.   Names like Modern Data Lake,  Enterprise Data Hub, Marshal Data Yard and Virtual Data Lake to name a few.  Each name is associated with a defining characteristic, philosophy or goal.  Big data platforms are evolving at an amazing speed due in large part to the interest around big data as well as the innovation of open source.    This innovation is creating a lot of choice as well as a lot of confusion.  The decisions are not easy around the choice of distributions, frameworks, reference architectures, NoSQL databases, real-time access, data governance, etc.

A Blended Solution around Data?
Hadoop and NoSQL are adding functionality that currently exists in RDBMS and EDW platforms.  RDBMS and EDW platforms are adding feature and functionality that exists in Hadoop and NoSQL as well as adding connectors that support data integration with big data platforms.  Map Reduce applications or R scripts can run in some relational databases.  It’s now possible to execute a join where some of the data resides in a RDBMS/EDW and other data resides in Hadoop or NoSQL.  Where should the data reside?  Who should own the SQL statement.  The Modern Enterprise Data Platform is not a static platform.  It is instead a platform that is taking on new forms and functionality.  Organization needs to look on how to design a flexible enterprise environment that can leverage the features and functionality of all data platforms and meet the current/future needs of the organization. 

Data Needs to be Consumable and Actionable
The problems to be solved are not just around Hadoop, NoSQL, NewSQL, RDBMS, EDWs or even about the data.  The goal is to improve decision making and business insight.  Organizations need to be able to make business decisions faster, improving the accuracy and reducing the risk of business decisions.  To be able to handle the data volume, velocity and variety for data cost-effectively and efficiently. The management and governance of data needs to take into consideration the evolution of these data platforms and how to ensure the data is consumable and actionable. 

Improving Business Insight
Increasing business insight by improving analytics is one of the goals of big data. One step in achieving this goal is by reducing the amount of data silos. It’s also important to make sure we do not rebuild the data silos in big data platforms.  Be aware, the core designs for a RDBMS, EDW, Hadoop cluster and NoSQL database platforms were created for different reasons.  A Hadoop cluster is not ACID compliant, a NoSQL database is not relational and an RDBMS cannot scale at cost the way a Hadoop cluster can.   One needs to look at the key business goals and use cases to leverage the features of all the data platforms to achieve the strategic goals around data.   

Friday, April 11, 2014

Collaborate 2014 - What you Need to Know - Emerging skills

Collaborate 2014 Las Vegas - IOUG, OAUG and Quest
The  Collaborate 2014 conference brings together three of the key Oracle user group communities the IOUG (Independent Oracle Users Group), the OAUG (Oracle Application Users Group) and Quest (PeopleSoft, JD Edwards).  The exhibition hall and overall attendance seemed to be up and there was plenty of energy at the conference.   I focus on the technology side so I will share my thoughts and insights from the IOUG side of the conference.

Cloud, Big Data and NoSQL 
From the database side there were top speakers like Rich Niemiec, Charles Kim, Arup Nanda, Tony Jambu, etc. rocking the house as always and delivering great insight, knowledge sharing and showing vision and direction.  From my perspective there were three areas that had the most energy and interest as well as creating the most buzz between sessions.   The three hot areas were Cloud,  Big Data and NoSQL.  These are also three areas that most Oracle people have a lot to learn.  Everyone was looking at getting a much better understanding of these three areas, the roadmaps, as well as how these three areas will impact attendees current positions as well as their futures.

Despite excellent presentations in the Cloud, Big Data and NoSQL,  attendees realized that there is a lot to learn in these areas.  In the cloud space someone needs to learn the cloud business model, driving factors, goals and objectives, orchestration, deployment models as well as the skill sets and best practices around cloud solutions.  In the big data area, everyone seen that it takes time to learn big data, the Hadoop platform, data architecture, ETL models as well as skills and best practices.  In the NoSQL area attendees learned there are a number of different NoSQL solutions available, all with different features and functionality.  Everyone also seen that the cloud, big data and NoSQL are areas that are constantly evolving and maturing at rates much faster than in Oracle major releases.

Oracle has always evolved to meet market and customer needs.  These areas are a little different.  Oracle DBAs and Developers realize the importance of acquiring skills in RAC, Replication, RMAN, Java, Fusion Middleware,  OEM, Exadata, etc.   There are also a number of key products coming from strategic vendors.  The Shareplex Connector for Hadoop can be used to load data directly from Oracle into HDFS or HBase.  The Shareplex Connector will replicate data near real-time (HDFS) or real-time (HBase).

Cloud, Big Data and NoSQL are extremely valuable and marketable future skills to acquire since there is so much current and future demand. As in evolution of IT, there are always the visionaries, early adopters and evangelists.  We are seeing the next generation of skill sets that will be in demand emerge from these areas at this conference.  I also find it interesting that just like RAC and Exadata, etc in their infancy drew the top leaders to them because the top leaders in the Oracle user community seen the future of Hadoop, NoSQL and the Cloud.  The top RAC and Exadata people have always been knowledge experts with infrastructure, architecture and understanding the business.  It is the infrastructure, architecture and business experts in the Oracle user community that are gravitating to these emerging areas.

I believe the cloud, big data and NoSQL areas are going to create a lot of energy in the Oracle user community in the next year.  I look forward to the discussions with the user community moving forward.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cloud Sessions at Collaborate 2014 in Las Vegas

Great Time to Get Involved in Cloud SIG
Oracle Cloud solutions are one of the hottest topics coming into the Collaborate Oracle conference staring April 7, 2014 in Las Vegas.  The IOUG Cloud Computing SIG will be supporting a lot of the cloud activities this week at the conference.  Now is a great time to join the IOUG Cloud Special Interest Group (SIG).  Join the Cloud SIG by clicking here.

Cloud SIG Meeting at Collaborate
The IOUG Cloud SIG is growing significantly.  Now is a great time to join and get involved.  The IOUG Cloud SIG meeting is April 8, 2014 at 12:30 - 1:00PM in Level 3, Toscana 3701.

Cloud SIG Answering Cloud Services and DBaaS Questions
Oracle is offering a lot of different cloud solutions across it's products.   The IOUG Cloud SIG will help answer the following questions for you.   What in Database-As-A-Service (DBaaS) mean?   Does DBaaS have to only have a consolidation play?   Does DBaaS involve self-provisioning/rapid provisioning?  Does DBaaS mean that virtualization has to be involved?  Does DBaaS mean that we have to consolidate multiple databases in a single operating system?  Does DBaaS mean that we have provide isolation for certain databases?  Does DBaaS have to have showback and chargeback?  Can we do DBaaS with schema level consolidation?  Does DBaaS involve Exadata?  Does DBaaS involve Oracle RAC?  With the introduction of Oracle Database 12c and the new Pluggable Database Option, does DBaaS mean that we have to leverage Pluggable Databases?   Does DBaaS mean that we have to have someone else host it for us?  Can it be done in my own data center?  The IOUG Cloud SIG addresses understanding the different options and the different ways of deploying DBaaS.

We are looking for new leaders, speakers for webinars, writers for use cases, volunteers and enthusiasts.  One of the best things about user groups is the networking, interaction and sharing of knowledge.  We look forward to meeting you.

Cloud Sessions at Collaborate 2014
Here is a list of Cloud sessions at Collaborate.  When you look at these sessions you will see Oracle industry leaders in Exadata, RAC, Oracle Applications and Big Data.  The user community leadership around Oracle Cloud solutions shows that cloud solutions span all Oracle platforms.

Open Source Driving Innovation of Enterprise Hadoop

In the last seven months we have seen a tremendous level of innovation and maturity in the enterprise Hadoop platform.   Hortonwork's HDP 2.0 and HDP 2.1 releases are showing the tremendous innovation being driven by open source today.  This innovation is significantly improving the enterprise capabilities of Hadoop and is changing the landscape of Hadoop.  It is difficult for proprietary releases of Hadoop to compete with the hundreds of thousands of lines of code being written by the Hadoop open source community.  Organizations ranging from Microsoft to Yahoo are adding their expertise and knowledge to the open source community.   We are seeing proprietary and open source/proprietary solutions of Hadoop be put under tremendous pressure by the innovation of open source and seeing  Hadoop distributions that are not 100% open source begin to disappear.

With HDP 2.0 and 2.1 there are a number of game changing capabilities added to Hadoop.   These new releases have added comprehensive capabilities in areas such as scalability, multi-tenancy, performance, security, data lifecycle management, data governance, encryption, interactive query, high availability and fault tolerance. Key  additions include:
HDP 2.0:
  • YARN - a distributed data operating system supporting applications with different run time. characteristics.  YARN also adds scalability and improved fault tolerance to Hadoop.
  • NameNode High Availability.
  • Hadoop scalability to 10,000+ nodes.
  • New releases of Hadoop frameworks in key areas such as Hive and HBase. 
HDP 2.1:
  • Interactive query capability in Hadoop.  The Stinger project has increased the performance of interactive queries by 100 times with Hive optimization, container optimization, Tez integration and in-memory cache
  • Hive has improved SQL compliance. 
  • Perimeter security added to Hadoop with Knox.  Enterprise Hadoop offers authorization, authentication and encryption. 
  • Data Lifecycle Management and data governance with Falcon.
  • Enhanced HDFS security and multi-tenancy capabilities.
  • Resource Manager High Availability
  • NameNode Federation improving scalability and multi-tenancy and stronger support of different run time characteristics.  
  • Linux and Windows releases synched.
  • HDP search  with Apache Solr increases the capabilities of Hadoop.
  • Storm providing scalability streaming to Hadoop.
  • Spark is available under Tech Preview to provide real time in-memory processing.
  • Splitting the management interface Ambari with the HDP distribution. The management tool and the Hadoop software distribution can be rev'd separately.
  • Support of software stacks Storm, Tez and Falcon.
  • Maintenance mode silences alerts for services, hosts and components for administration work.
  • Rolling restarts.
  • Service and component restarts.
  • Support of zookeeper configurations.
  • Supports decommissioning of NodeManagers and RegionServers.
  • Ability to refresh client-only configurations

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Succeeding with Big Data Projects: The Secret Sauce

The architectures and software frameworks being used for big data projects are constantly evolving.    Modern data lakes are consistently using Storm for real-time streaming, NoSQL databases like HBase, Accumulo and Cassandra for low-latency data access and Kafka for message processing.  Open source software such as Centos, MySQL, Ganglia and Nagios are making deeper penetration in large enterprises.   I am also seeing Python and JavaScript becoming more popular.   Linux containers and Docker are being looked at in the future to increase hardware consolidation and utilization.

The Netflix data architecture is reflective of the design patterns organizations are looking at.

Over the next two years we will see a blending of SQL and NoSQL databases. The Stinger project (Hive optimization and Tez) have brought interactive query capability to the batch processing environments of Hadoop.  Which means the way organizations are using Hadoop is changing quickly as well.  Real-time query and ACID capabilities are next in the list of customer requests.  As data lakes are defining the modern data architecture platform and more and more data gets stored in Hadoop, organizations are wanting to use data in lots of different ways.

Successful Big data projects have consistent patterns of success (the secret sauce).  The technical infrastructure teams will be able to work with vendors to get the right hardware, stand up big data platforms and maintain them.  However, big data projects can easily become science projects if the following is not addressed.
  • Thought leadership that creates cultural change so an organization can innovate successfully.  Big data is about making better business decisions faster with higher degrees of accuracy.  A sense of urgency needs to exist.
  • An environment of collaboration and teamwork with everyone believing in a vision.   The modern data lake helps to eliminate a lot of the technology and data silos that exist across different platforms and business units.   Successful big data project environments eliminate the social, territorial and political silos that often exist in traditional teams. 
  • A strong emphasis in data/schema design and ETL reference architectures.  It's still all about the data.  :) 
  • The ability to build a plane while flying it.  Big data technologies, environments, frameworks and methodologies are evolving quickly. Organizations need to be able to adapt and learn fast. 
"Extinction is the rule.  Survival is the exception." was a quote from Carl Sagan.  Being able to transform an organization into big data is one the biggest challenges an organization faces.  Everyone is concerned about the development of the technical skills to succeed with big data, however the development of the internal people is just as important.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Oracle Database Infrastructure as a Service Handbook

The Oracle, Database Infrastructure as a Service Handbook has been in the making for the last three years.  Charles, Steve and I have been key evangelists in the promotion of virtualizing tier one platforms on-premise for the last three years.  We are taking all our presentations, insights, experiences and best practices and putting them in the book.

  • Charles Kim - Viscosity NA, Oracle ACE Director, VCP, vExpert, known as "Mr. CNN" in the VMware ecosystem as a key person to bring into extremely high profile Oracle environments that are being considered for virtual and cloud platforms.
  • George Trujillo - Hortonworks, VCP, vExpert, Double Oracle ACE, former Tier One Specialist for VMware Center of Excellence team.
  • Steven Jones - VMware, VCP, internationally recognized expert in VMware infrastructures. 
  • Sudhir Balasubramanian - VMware vExpert, specializes in the deployment of Oracle infrastructures on virtual platforms.

The Oracle Database Infrastructure as a Service Handbook is in final review before it is released.   We look forward to announcing the book is available.

Database Infrastructure as a Service

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Choosing MySQL or Oracle for your Hadoop Repositories

When setting up a Hadoop cluster the administration team has to decide which relational databases to use for the Hadoop metadata repositories.  I strongly recommend that one type of relational database be used for all the repositories instead of using different database vendors for different frameworks.

Hadoop requires metadata repositories (relational databases) for Ambari (management),  HiveServer2 (SQL), Oozie (scheduler and workflow tool) and Hue (Hadoop UI).  Choices include Postgres, MySQL, Oracle or derby.  The databases holding the Hadoop metadata repositories have to be backed up and maintained like any other database server.

I recommend using MySQL for the following reasons:
  • Oracle is too heavyweight of a database server that it's full resources will not be utilized.  The Oracle database server will take extra memory, disk space and CPU that will not be taken advantage of.
  • Postgres is a good solid database but it has no tipping point.   I do not see a lot of Postgres databases when I go to customers and I do not see Postgres increasing in the market.
  • Derby  (used with Ozzie) and SQLite (used with Hue) are not robust enough to be used in a heavy production environment.  I would only use these databases if I was going to create a small Hadoop cluster for personal development.
MySQL has a lot of features that make it ideal as a database repository for different Hadoop frameworks.  They include:
  • Extremely fast and lightweight.
  • Relatively easy to administer and backup.
  • Replication is very easy to set up and maintain.
  • MySQL has extremely high adoption and it is easy to find resources to manage it.
If Oracle is the corporate standard and the database and Hadoop administration team prefer to use Oracle, I have provided links for setting up Oracle for the primary Hadoop frameworks.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

How to Learn YARN and Hadoop 2

I previously wrote a blog on How to Learn Hadoop that got a lot of positive feedback.  I've been getting a number of requests to update it for how to learn YARN and Hadoop 2.   Everyone wants to learn the cool secrets and tricks but knowledge always starts with learning the fundamentals.   My recommendations here are meant for the reader who is serious about learning Hadoop.

Learn the Basic Concepts First
To understand Hadoop you have to start by understanding Big Data.
These are foundational whitepapers that explain the reasons behind the processing and distributed storage for Hadoop. These are not easy reads but when you get through them it will really help all your future learning around Hadoop because they have defined the "context for Hadoop".  Some of the papers are older papers, but the core concepts the papers are discussing and the reasons behind them contain invaluable keys for understanding Hadoop.
You Have to Understand the Data
Hadoop clusters are built to process and analyze data.   A Hadoop cluster becomes an important component in any enterprises data platforms, so you need to understand Hadoop from a data perspective.
  • Big Data, by Nathan Marx - The book does a great job of teaching core concepts, fundamentals and provides a great perspective of the data architecture of Hadoop.  This book will build a solid foundation and helps you understand the Lambda architecture.  You may need to get this book from MEAP if it has not released yet (   This book is scheduled for print release on March 28, 2014. Any DBA, Data Architect or anyone with a background in data warehousing and business intelligence should consider this a must read.
Additional Reading
We are in a transition period with Hadoop.  Most of the books out today are on Hadoop 1.x  and MapReduce v1 (classic).  Hadoop 2 is GA, the distributed processing model is YARN and Tez will be an important part of processing data with Hadoop in the future. There are not a lot of books out yet on YARN and Hadoop 2 frameworks.  You'll need to spend some time with the Hadoop documentation. :)
  • Apache Hadoop Yarn, by Arun Murthy, Jeffrey Markham, Vinod Vavilapalli, Doug Eadline
  • Hadoop Mapreduce v2 Cookbook (2nd Edition)
  • Hadoop The Definitive Guide (4rd Edition), by Tom White 
Getting Hands on Experience and Learning Hadoop in Detail
A great way to start getting hands on experience and learning Hadoop through tutorials, videos and demonstrations is with Virtual Machines available from the different Hadoop Distribution vendors. These virtual machines or sandboxes are an excellent platform for learning and skill development.   The tutorials, videos and demonstrations will be updated on a regular basis.   The sandboxs are usually available in a Virtualbox, Hyper-V or VMware virtual machine.  An additional 4GB of RAM and 2GB of storage is recommended for the virtual machines.  If you have a laptop that does not have a lot of memory you can go to the VM settings and cut the RAM for the VM down to about 1.5 - 2GB of RAM.  This is  likely to impact performance of the VM but it will help it at least run on a minimal configured laptop.
Other books to consider:
There are now a lot of books out on Hadoop and the different frameworks as well as the NoSQL databases.  You can find the right book that fits your personal reading style.  There are also lots of Youtube videos.  With a little time you can find ones of high quality. 

Engineering Blogs:
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Have fun and I look forward to any additional recommendations.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thoughts on HDP2 and the Evolving Ecosystem around Hadoop

I've been working with in-memory databases and Hadoop since my days at VMware as a Tier One Specialist.   I've spent the last year focusing 100%  of my attention on Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and NoSQL databases.  In the last few months I've done a very deep immersion of HDP2 and all the new features around Apache Hadoop 2 from the HDP perspective.  As well as seeing the changes in the ecosystem around Hadoop.

The analogy I've told my Oracle friends, is that HDP2 is transformational to HDP1 that same way Oracle 8 was to Oracle 7.   Oracle 8 opened up lots of new functionality and features that changed what Oracle could do for businesses. Oracle RAC, Streams, Data Guard, Partitioning were the beginning of lots of new features that changed the way companies could use database software.  HDP2 will have the same type of transformation on Apache Hadoop 1 customers.  It's not just that HDP2 has new features, scalability, performance enhancements and high availability.  It's that HDP2 is going to change how customers will use Hadoop.  When I look at features like YARN, Knox (Security), Tez (real-time queries), Falcon (Data Lifecycle Management) and Accumulo, they completely change the potential and way Hadoop will be used.  HDP2 is definitely not your grandfather's version of Hadoop.   :)   Then you look at the growth of the Hadoop ecosystem with new features and products from Spark, Storm, Kafka, Splunk, WanDisco, Rackspace, etc. Software products in the Hadoop ecosystem are transforming and evolving as fast as HDP.  You also look at Microsoft (HDInsight) and Rackspace (Openstack) and you see the needle will move on Hadoop being used in the cloud.  Last you look at the connectors, loaders and interfaces being written by the database vendors as well as the products coming from Informatica, Ab Initio and Quest and you see everyone is all in with Hadoop.

I don't know what the Hadoop will look like a year from now but with the speed at which open source is changing the landscape, we know that a year from now Hadoop will be used in ways we haven't even imagined yet.  An old quote, "The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running."  For those that have jumped into the Hadoop highway you'd better keep running because things are not slowing down.   :)

Understanding What is a NoSQL Database?

Everyone is trying to Understand NoSQL Databases
When I work with customers that are looking at Big Data and Hadoop solutions, I am often asked to define what NoSQL databases are.  There is a lot of information being written about NoSQL databases because they are one of the hot technology areas of Big Data. I'm going to help explain NoSQL databases to make it easier to understand how NoSQL databases fit into Big Data ecosystems.  

Understanding Big Data
Traditional systems (relational databases and data warehouses) have been the way most organizations have stored, managed and analyzed data.  These traditional systems are not going anywhere, what they do, they do well.  However, today's data environment has changed significantly and traditional systems have difficulty working with a large part of the data of today (Big Data).  Big data has been given a lot of different definitions, but what it really is, is a data environment that meets one or more of the following criteria:
  • A large amount of data to be stored, processed and analyzed.
  • Data that often has large amounts of semi-structured or unstructured data.
  • Data that can have large data ingestion rates.
  • Large amounts of data that have to be processed quickly. 
 Traditional Systems Were Not Designed For BigData
Traditional systems from their foundations were not designed to handle this type of data environment.  Big data is an environment that exists when it gets too difficult or expensive for traditional systems to handle.  Organizations are finding that data about you can be just as critical to business success as the data generated internally. Organizations are almost desperate to correlate internal data with data that is generated externally (social media, VOIP, machine data, RFID, geographical coordinates, videos, sound, etc).  NoSQL  systems are designed from the ground up to deal with this type of data environment cost effectively.  Traditional database vendors are not wanting to miss out on this wave of Big Data but they are providing add ons to their systems where as NoSQL databases are designed from the ground up to work with Big Data.  The other challenge with traditional systems is they are wanting to sell very expensive hardware and software licenses compared to the relatively very inexpensive open source solutions.

What is NoSQL?
NoSQL is a database management system that has characteristics and capabilities that can address big data in ways that traditional databases were not designed for.  NoSQL solutions usually have the following features or characteristics:
  • Scalability of big data (100s of TB to PBs).  Horizontal scalability with x86 commodity hardware.
  • Schema-on-read (versus traditional databases schema-on-write) makes it much easier to work with semi-structured and unstructured data. 
  • Data spread out using distributed file systems that use replicas for high availability.
  • High availability and self-healing capability.
  • Connectivity can include but not limited to SQL, Thrift, REST, JavaScript and APIs.

Here is the Wikipedia definition of NoSQL.

NoSQL database provides a mechanism for storage and retrieval of data that employs less constrained consistency models than traditional relational databases. Motivations for this approach include simplicity of design, horizontal scaling and finer control over availability. NoSQL databases are often highly optimized key–value stores intended for simple retrieval and appending operations, with the goal being significant performance benefits in terms of latency and throughput. NoSQL databases are finding significant and growing industry use in big data and real-time web applications. NoSQL systems are also referred to as "Not only SQL" to emphasize that they may in fact allow SQL-like query languages to be used.

The term NoSQL is more of an approach or way to address data management versus being a rigid definition.  There are different types of NoSQL databases and they often share certain characteristics but are optimized for specific types of data which then requires different capabilities and features.  NoSQL may mean Not only SQL, or it may mean "No" SQL.  A No SQL database may use APIs or JavaScript to access data versus traditional SQL.  NoSQL datastores may be optimized for key-value, Columnar,  Document-Oriented, XML, Graph and Object data structures.   NoSQL databases are very scalable, have high availability and provide a highly level of parallelization for processing large volumes of data quickly.  NoSQL solutions are evolving constantly. 

A number of the NoSQL databases can point to Google's BigTable design as their parent source.   Characteristics of Google BigTable include:
  • Designed to support massive scalability of tens to hundreds of petabytes.
  • Move the programs to the data versus relational databases that move the data to the programs (memory).
  • Data is sorted using row keys.
  • Designed to be deployed in a clustered environment using x86 commodity hardware.
  • Supports compression algorithms.
  • Distributes data across local disk drives on commodity hardware supporting massive levels of IOPS.
  • Supports replicas of data for high availability. 
  • Uses a parallel execution framework like Map Reduce or something similar for extremely high parallelization capabilities.

The two primary NoSQL databases supported by the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) are HBase and Accumulo.  Here are some examples of NoSQL databases:
  • HBase (Columnar) – designed for optimized scanning of column data
  • Accumulo – Key-value datastore that can maintain data consistency at the petabyte level, read and write in near real-time and contains cell-level security.  Accumulo was developed at the National Security Agency.
  • Cassandra – A real-time datastore that is highly scalable.  Uses a peer-peer distributed system.  Key oriented using column families.  Supports primary and secondary databases.  Uses CSQL for it's SQL language.
  • MongoDB (document-oriented) – Highly scalable database runs MapReduce jobs using JavaScript
  • CouchDB (document-oriented) – Highly scalable database that can survive just about anything except maybe a nuclear bomb.  Uses JavaScript to access data.
  • Terracotta – Uses a big memory approach to deliver fast high scalable systems.
  • Voldemort – A key-value distributed storage system.
  • MarkLogic – Highly scalable XML based database management system.
  • Neo3J (graph oriented) – A graph database that allows you to access your data in the form of a graph.  A graph database gives you fast access to information associated with nodes and relationships.
  • VMware vFabric GemFire (object entries) Uses key-value pairs for in-memory data management.
  • Redis (key-value) – String oriented keys can be hashes, lists or sets. Entire data set is cached in memory with disk persistence.  Highly scalable.
  • Riak (key-value) – Text oriented, scalable system based on Amazon's Dynamo. 

NoSQL databases are not designed to replace the traditional RDBMS.  NoSQL databases are becoming part of the enterprise data platform for organizations and providing functionality that traditional systems do not handle well due to either the size, complexity of data or the volume of data being absorbed.

NoSQL and SQL Analogies
Here is another way of looking at NoSQL and SQL from a coauthor and friend, Steven Jones.
Think of SQL and No SQL in terms of distinctions.  Here are some word pictures of distinctions:
No SQL databases handle fast answers to messy big piles of data.
SQL databases handle deliberate logically churned out answers to well organized and groomed to the essentials data. 
Think of them as the odd couple one is Felix and the other is Max.
Or No SQL is detective Columbo and SQL is detective Monk.
One is a an answer from a hot mess the other is a architects blueprint where logical reasoning reduces truth to it's essence.

No SQL is  rap or dubstep, SQL is classical.

SQL assumes by it's order or structure you know the questions to be asked.
NO SQL assumes no order until you can think of a question or a need in the moment.

SQL is mathematically derived.

NO SQL is merely reasonably ordered.

Rankings of Different Types of Databases from DB-Engines (November 2013)
DB-Engines ranks Wide Column Stores  
  1. Cassandra
  2. HBase
  3. Accumulo
  4. Hypertable

DB-Engines ranks Document Stores   
  1. MongoDB
  2. CouchDB
  3. Couchbase
  4. RavenDB
  5. Gemfire

DB-Engines ranks Graph DBMS   
  1. Neo4J
  2. Titan
  3. OrientDB
  4. Dex

DB-Engines ranks Key Value Stores   
  1. Redis
  2. Memcached
  3. Riak
  4. Ehcache
  5. DynamoDB
Note: Berkeley DB (7th), Coherence (8th),  Oracle NoSQL (10th)

DB-Engines ranks Object Oriented DBMS   
  1. Cache
  2. Db4o
  3. Versant Object Database

DB-Engines ranks Relational DBMS 
  1. Oracle
  2. MySQL
  3. Microsoft SQL Server
  4. PostgreSQL
  5. DB2

Note:  Teradata (9th), Hive (12th), SAP HANA (16th)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Starting HDP2 Services in the Right Order

One of the top ten issues new administrators have with Hadoop is starting and stopping Hadoop services in the right order.  When starting and stopping a Hadoop 2 cluster (HDP2) use the following order to keep you between the yellow lines.

Coordination Service
Columnar Database
Hive Metastore
JDBC Connectivity
Metadata Resources
Workflow / Scheduler

Take care of your Hadoop cluster and it will take care of you.  :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Demystifying Hadoop for Data Architects, DBAs, Devs and BI Teams

I started doing Demystifying series on subjects such as database technologies, infrastructure and Java since back in the Oracle 8.0 days.  The topics have ranged from Demystifying Oracle RAC, Demystifying Oracle Fusion, Demystifying MySQL, etc.  So I guess it's time to Demystify Hadoop.  J

Whether you are talking Oracle RAC,  Oracle ExaData, MySQL, SQL Server, DB2, Teradata or Application Servers, it's really all about the data.  Companies are constantly striving to make faster business decisions with higher degrees of accuracy.  Traditional systems such as Oracle, SQL Server, IBM, Teradata, etc. are scaling their systems to store hundreds of terabytes and even petabytes, with hardware that keeps getting faster and faster.   However these traditional systems were designed for transaction systems and have a lot of difficulties working with big data.   I'm going to talk to you about why these traditional systems are not designed for big data and we're going to talk about how Hadoop is the right technology at the right time to address Big Data.

What's The Deal About Big Data

Across the board, industry analyst firms consistently report almost unimaginable numbers on the growth of data.  The traditional data in relational databases and data warehouses are growing at incredible rates.   The traditional data is a challenge by itself (show in Enterprise data below).  
The big news though is VOIP, social media and machine data are growing at exponential rates and are completely dwarfing the data growth of traditional systems.   Most organizations are learning that this data is just as critical to making business decisions as their traditional data.  This non-traditional data is usually semi-structured and unstructured data. Examples of this data include web logs, mobile web, click stream, spatial and GPS coordinates, sensor data, RFID, video, audio and image data. The chart below shows the growth of non-traditional data (Machine Data, Social Media, VoIP) relative to traditional data (Enterprise Data). The source is the IDC.

Data becomes big data when the volume, velocity, and/or variety of data gets to the point where it is too difficult or too expensive for traditional systems to handle.  Big data is not when when the data reaches a certain volume velocity of data ingestion or type of data.  Big data is when traditional systems are no longer viable solutions due to the volume, velocity and/or variety of data.   A good first book on big data to read is Disruptive Possibilities.

The Big Data Challenge

The reason traditional systems have a problem with big data is they were not designed for big data.
  • Problem - Schema-On-Write: Traditional systems are schema-on-write.  Schema-on-write requires the data be validated when it is written.  This means that a lot of work has to be done before new data sources can be analyzed. Here is an example of the problem with this. Let's say a company wants to start analyzing a new source of data from unstructured or semi-structure sources.  A company will usually spend months (i.e. 3-6 months) designing schemas, etc. to store the data in a data warehouse.   That is 3 - 6 months that they are not able to use the data to make business decisions.  Then when the data warehouse design is complete 6 months later, often the data has changed again.  If you look at data structures from social media, they change on a regular basis.  The schema-on-write environment is too slow and non-flexible  to deal with the dynamics of semi-structured and unstructured data.   The other problem with unstructured data is traditional systems usually use BLOBs to handle unstructured data.  Anyone that has worked with BLOBs for big data, would rather get their gums scraped than work with BLOB data types in traditional systems. 
  • Solution - Schema-On-Read:  Hadoop systems are schema-on-read.  Which means any data can be written to the storage system immediately.  Data is not validated until it is read.  This allows Hadoop systems to load any type of data in, and begin analyzing it quickly.   Hadoop systems have extremely short data latency compared to traditional systems.  Data latency is the differential between data hitting the disk and the data being able to provide business value.  Schema-on-read gives Hadoop a tremendous advantage over traditional systems in an area that matters most.  Being able to analyze the data faster to make business decisions. 
  • Problem - Cost of Storage: Traditional systems use SAN storage.  As organizations start to ingest larger volumes of data, SAN storage is cost prohibitive.
  • Solution - Local Storage: Hadoop is able to use HDFS, a distributed file system that leverages local disks on commodity servers.   SAN storage is about $1.20/GB while local storage is about $.04/GB per storage.  Hadoop's HDFS creates three replicas by default for high availability. So at .12 cents per GB it is still a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN storage.  As organizations are storing much larger volumes of data, the traditional SAN storage is too expensive to be a viable solution. 
  • Problem - Cost of Proprietary Hardware:
    Large proprietary hardware solutions can be cost prohibitive when deployed to process extremely large volumes of data.  Organizations are spending millions of dollars in hardware and software licensing costs while supporting large data environments.  Organizations are often growing their hardware in million dollar increments to handle the increasing data.
  • Solution: Commodity Hardware:  People new to Hadoop do not realize that it is possible to build a high performance super computer environment using Hadoop. One customer was looking at a proprietary hardware vendor for a solution. The hardware vendor's solution was $1.2 million in hardware costs and $3 million in software licensing.   The Hadoop solution for the same processing power was $400,000 for hardware, the software was free and the support costs were included.  Since data volumes would be constantly increasing, the proprietary solution would be growing in  $500k and $1 million dollar increments and the Hadoop solution would be growing in $10,000 and $100,000 increments.
  • Problem - Complexity: When you look at any traditional proprietary solution it is full of extremely complex silos of system administrators, DBAs, application server teams, storage teams and network teams.  Often there is one DBA for every 40 - 50 database servers.  Anyone running traditional systems knows that complex systems fail in complex ways.   
  • Solution - Simplicity:  Since Hadoop uses commodity hardware, it is a hardware stack that one person can understand.   Numerous organizations running Hadoop have one administrator for every 1000 data nodes.  
  • Problem - Causation:   Because data is so expensive to store in traditional systems, data is filtered, aggregated and large volumes are thrown out due to the cost of storage.  Minimizing the data to be analyzed reduces the accuracy and confidence of the results. 
  • Solution - Correlation:  Due to the relatively low cost of storage of Hadoop, the detailed records are stored in Hadoop's storage system HDFS.  Traditional data can then be analyzed with non-traditional data to find correlation points that can provide much higher accuracy of data analysis. We are moving to a world of correlation because the accuracy and confidence of the results is factors higher than traditional systems. An example, the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) used to take 28 - 30 days to identify an outbreak.  The CDC had traditionally obtained data from doctors and hospitals.  This data was then analyzed  in large volumes and cross referenced sources in order to validate the data.  The next step then was going back a number of years and correlating it with the data from social media sources such as Twitter and Facebook.   They validated the accuracy of the correlation results going back years.  Now using big data, the CDC can identify an outbreak in 5 - 6 hours.  Organizations are seeing big data as transformational.  
  • Problem - Bringing Data to the Programs:  In relational databases and data warehouses, data is loaded usually in 8k - 16k data blocks into memory so programs can process the data. When you need to process 10s, 100s and 1000s of TB this model completely breaks down or is extremely expensive to implement. 
  • Solution - Bringing Programs to the Data:  With Hadoop, the programs are moved to the data. Hadoop data is spread across all the disks on the local servers that make up the Hadoop cluster in 128MB (default) increments.   Individual programs, one for every block runs in parallel across the cluster delivering a very high level of parallelization and IOPS.  Which means Hadoop systems can process extremely large volumes of data much faster than traditional systems at a fraction of the cost due to the architecture model.
Successfully leveraging big data is transforming how organizations are analyzing data and making business decisions.  The "value" of the results of big data has most companies racing to build Hadoop solutions to do data analysis.  The diagram below show how significant big data is.  Often customers bring in Hortonworks and say, we need you to make sure we "out Hadoop" our competitors.  Hadoop is not just a transformation technology it's the strategic difference between success and failure.

Examples of New Types of Data

Hadoop is being used by every type of organization ranging from Internet companies, Telecommunication firms, Banks, Credit Card companies, gaming companies, on-line retail companies,etc.  Anyone that needs to analyze data is moving to Hadoop. Here are examples of data being processed by organizations.

Hadoop Distributions - The Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP)

A Hadoop distribution is made up of a number of different open source frameworks.  An organization can build their own distribution from the different versions of each framework.  Anyone running a production system needs an enterprise version of a distribution.  Since Hortonworks has key committers and project leaders on the different open source framework projects, we use our expertise to pick the latest version of a framework that works reliably with the other frameworks.  Hortonworks then goes out and tests a distribution and builds an enterprise distribution of Hadoop.  For example, Hadoop 2 went GA the week of  October 15th, 2013.  Hadoop 2 has been running on Hadoop clusters with thousands of nodes since January of 2013, being tested by the large set of Hortonworks partners.

The Hortonworks distribution is called the Hortonworks Data Platform.  The new GA release of Hadoop 2 by Hortonworks is called HDP 2.  Hortonworks runs on a true open source model.  Every line of code written by Hortonworks for Hadoop is given back to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).  When means every Hortonworks distribution is only a few patch sets off of the main Apache baseline.  The result is HDP2 is extremely stable from a support perspective and protects an organization from vendor lock in.  Here is an example of the HDP2 distribution and the key frameworks associated with it.  Hortonworks builds it's reputation on the "enterprise" quality of it's distribution.  The industry is recognizing the platform expertise of Hortonworks.

There are a number of different Hadoop distributions.   Some of the distributions have been around longer than Hortonworks.  In my expert opinion, the reason to choose Hortonworks is: 
  • Platform Expertise - Hadoop is a platform that frameworks run on.  Hortonworks' entire focus is on the enterprise platform for Hadoop.  Hortonworks is not trying to be everything for everybody.  Hortonworks focus is the Hadoop platform.  Hortonworks has demonstrated this in a number of ways.   Hadoop is open source and is developed as a community.  Hortonworks is by far the largest contributor of source lines of code for Hadoop.  
  • Defining the Roadmap: More and more large vendors, are seeing Hortonworks as defining the road map for Hadoop.  Hortonworks while working with the open source community, has been a key leader in the design and architecture of YARN.  YARN is the foundational processing component of Hadoop 2.  The platform expertise demonstrated by Hortonworks is moving a number of the largest vendors in the world to move to the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP).  This is why you seen major vendors such as Microsoft and Teradata choosing HDP as the Hadoop distribution of choice.
  • Enterprise Version of Hadoop - Hortonworks is focused as being the definitive enterprise distribution of Hadoop.  
  • Open Source  - Hortonworks is based on an open source model. Every line of code created goes back into the Apache Software Foundation.   Other distributions are proprietary or open source proprietary.   The proprietary solutions create vendor lock in which more and more companies are trying to avoid.   With Hortonworks contributing all code back to the Apache Software Foundation it minimizes support issues.
  • Windows and Linux - HDP is the only Hadoop distribution that runs on Linux and Windows.

The two main frameworks of Hadoop are the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) which provides the storage and I/O and YARN with is a distributed parallel processing framework.

YARN (Yet Another Resource Negotiator) is the foundation for parallel processing in Hadoop.  YARN is:
  • Scaleable to 10,000+ data node systems.  
  • Supports different types of workloads such as batch, real-time queries (Tez), streaming, graphing data, in-memory processing, messaging systems, streaming video, etc.  You can think of YARN as a highly scalable and parallel processing operating system that supports all kinds of different types of workloads. 
  • Supports batch processing providing high throughput performing sequential read scans.
  • Supports real time interactive queries with low latency and random reads.

HDFS uses NameNodes (master servers) and DataNodes (slave servers) to provide the I/O for Hadoop.  The NameNodes manage the meta data. NameNodes can be federated (multiples) for scalability.  Each NameNode can have a standby NameNode for failover (active-passive).  All the user data is stored on the DataNodes.  Data is distributed across all the disks in 128MB - 1GB block sizes. The data has 3 replicas (default) for high availability.  HDFS provides a solution similar to striping and mirroring using local disks.

Additional Frameworks
Here is a summary of some of the key frameworks that make up HDP 2.
  • Hive - A data warehouse infrastructure than runs on top of Hadoop.  Hive supports SQL queries, star schemas, partitioning, join optimizations, caching of data, etc.  All the standard features you'd expect to have in a data warehouse.  Hive lets you process Hadoop data using a SQL language.
  • Pig - A scripting language for processing Hadoop data in parallel.
  • MapReduce - Java applications that can process data in parallel.
  • Ambari - An open source management interface for installing, monitoring and managing a Hadoop cluster. Ambari has also been selected as the management interface for OpenStack.
  • HBase - A NoSQL columnar database for providing extremely hast scanning of column data for analytics.
  • Scoop, Flume and WebHDFS - tools providing large data ingestion for Hadoop using SQL, streaming  and REST API interfaces.
  • Oozie - A workflow manager and scheduler.
  • Zookeeper - A coordinator infrastructure
  • Mahout - a machine learning library supporting Recommendation, Clustering, Classification and Frequent Itemset mining. 
  • Hue - is a Web interface that contains a file browser for HDFS, a Job Browser for YARN, an HBase Browser, Query Editors for Hive, Pig and Sqoop and a Zookeeper browser.

Hadoop - A Super Computing Platform

Hadoop is a solution that leverages commodity hardware to build a high performance super computing environment.  Hadoop contains master nodes and data nodes.  HDFS is the distributed file system that provides high availability and high performance.    HDFS is made up of a number of data nodes that break a file into multiple blocks. The block sizes are usually in 128MB - 1GB in size.  Each block is replicated for high availability.   YARN is a distributed processing architecture than can distribute the work load across the data nodes in a Hadoop cluster.  People new to Hadoop do not realize the massive amount of IOPS that commodity X86 servers can generate with local disks.

In the diagram below:
HDFS - distributes data blocks across all the local disks in a cluster.  This allows the cluster to leverage the IOPS that local disks can generate across all the local servers.  When a process needs to run, the programs are distributed in parallel across all the data nodes to create an extremely high performance parallel environment.   Without looking into the details, the main point is this is a super computer environment that can leverage parallelization for processing and leverage the massive amounts of IOPS that local disks can generate running across multiple data nodes as a distributed file system.  The diagram shows multiple parallel processes running across a large volume of local disks running as a single distributed file system.  

Hadoop is linearly scalable with commodity hardware. If a Hadoop cluster cannot handle the workload, an administrator can add some data node servers using local disks to increase processing and IOPS. Hadoop is linearly scalable at commodity hardware pricing. 

Summary - Demystifying Hadoop

Hadoop is not replacing anything.  Hadoop has become another component in an organizations enterprise data platform.  This diagram shows that Hadoop (Big Data Refinery) can ingest data from all types of different sources.  Hadoop then interacts and has data flows with traditional systems that provide transactions and interactions (relational databases) and business intelligence and analytic systems (data warehouses).