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February 05, 2013
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The Hadoop Ecosystem: Bigger Data on Your Budget (Webinar)

Please join Hortonworks and Appnovation for a webinar titled “Bigger Data on Your Budget” taking place on Wednesday, February 13th at 2pm EST, 11am PST.

Register Now

Appnovation is a new Hortonworks Systems Integrator partner that is focused on cutting edge open source technologies. They are experts in Drupal, Alfresco, SproutCore and now Apache Hadoop.

In advance of this webinar, I interviewed Dave Porter, Appnovation & SproutCore Lead Developer, about the technologies they support and how Appnovation and Hortonworks are working together to provide big insights without breaking the bank.

Question: In your opinion, what are the best technologies to combine with Apache Hadoop?

Dave: Any stack is going to require a place to store your Hadoop insights, a way to get at that data (say, as a web API), and a way to view the data. My favorite stack is Hadoop for processing and storage, node.js for the web API, and SproutCore for the rich, data-driven sophistication that it brings to web application development. I also like MongoDB because it’s an agile and scalable open source NoSQL database.

Question: Why those technologies, and why is this solution unique?

Dave: Each interface (e.g. Hadoop to Mongo, Mongo to node) is clear, well established, and best-in-class. One of the biggest challenges to heterogeneous systems is cleanly translating the data formats between layers. This system doesn’t have that problem, because the data is JSON all the way down.

Hadoop and MongoDB work very well together, as do MongoDB and node. I’m a node acolyte myself, but I know that Ruby can do a good job here as well. If your dashboard needs are very simple – for example, reload to view an updated pie chart – then SproutCore is overkill. However, if you’re looking for an interactive, live-updating, drillable dashboard then SproutCore has all the tools you need to build sophisticated, data-driven rich web apps.

The best thing about this solution is that it’s high profile open-source from tip to toe. So just like Hadoop means bigger data on a smaller budget, this entire solution allows you to put insights gained from Hadoop in front of important eyeballs without licensing fees. Plus, all of these technologies are at the core of Appnovation’s competencies. We know how to build great products with each technology and we can provide ongoing support and peace of mind.

Question: What use cases can this solution solve? What’s the real value to customers here? 

Dave: Let’s say you’re a regional retail giant. Your inventory management system runs on an overnight batch cycle, so if some radio DJ in Framingham unexpectedly plugs Widget A and your Framingham store is sold out of it by 10AM, your inventory guy doesn’t know about it until the next morning and probably can’t restock until day 2. By that time, the DJ is talking about something else.

By moving your batch cycle analysis to Hadoop, you can scale your system with commodity hardware and run that batch cycle every two hours. Your inventory system knows that Framingham is selling more Widget As than usual by 10AM, and it knows you’re sold out by noon. The data pipes through the system almost instantly, and your SproutCore dashboard, which is open on your inventory guy’s computer and automatically updating itself, is flashing red forty-five seconds later. By 1PM, he’s got an overnight truck full of widgets scheduled from the warehouse to Framingham for arrival the next morning. You’ve cut your real-world, widget-on-the-shelf reaction time down from two days to less than one, allowing you to take quicker advantage of facts on the ground and increase your sales of Widget A.

It’s important to understand that Hadoop is very focused on the Big Data problem. It knows that its job is to crunch massive amounts of unstructured, opaque data down to small, structured insights as quickly and inexpensively as possible, and it’s very good at that job. What Hadoop doesn’t do is show you those insights in a way that makes sense to us humans. Taking the insights and getting them in front of your CEO’s eyeballs is still your responsibility. Luckily, there are a lot of great technologies to help you with that.


By attending this webinar from Hortonworks and Appnovation, you will get a better understanding of what Big Data is all about, the challenges associated with accumulating exceedingly large amounts of complex data, what your options are to handle this information, and most importantly, what this data can mean for your business once it has been translated into a usable format.

You don’t want to miss this webinar, so please register now.


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