June 13, 2012, 2:51 PM — With the Hadoop Summit taking place this week in San Jose, California, vendors supporting the open-source data-analysis platform are rushing new products to market.
Over 2,100 attendees are expected at the conference, which has been sponsored by IT heavyweights such as Cisco, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Splunk and VMware. This is the fifth annual summit, and while last year's conference felt like it was aimed at developers, this year's event is far more customer-focused, observed Jack Norris, the vice president of marketing for Hadoop distributor MapR, who is on site on the conference show floor.
Created in 2005 to analyze large amounts of Web traffic logs, Hadoop is increasingly being used for analyzing swaths of unstructured data too large and unwieldy to be crammed into a relational database or enterprise data warehouse -- data often referred to as big data. In survey results released Tuesday by IT consulting company Capgenimi, 58 percent of 600 senior business and IT executives had stated that they plan to invest in big data systems, such as Hadoop, over the next three years.
Apache Hadoop itself is an open-source project, so many of the new vendor-led enhancements focused on making the software easier to use and deploy, as well as making it more compatible with other software.
Updates have arrived this week for all three major Hadoop distributions -- Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR -- as well as for adjacent data analysis technologies from companies such as Teradata and Pentaho.
MapR Technologies has released the second major version of its Hadoop Distribution. This release comes in two editions, the basic M3 edition, which supports the use of Network File System (NFS) for easy deployability, and the M5 version, configured for high availability (HA) use.
Hadoop Distribution version 2 is the first to support multitenancy, which can offer a number of benefits. The management software can now support multiple clusters, offering administrators the ability to logically partition a physical cluster for different tasks. "When you start to expand the number of uses, being able to logically separate those become big requirement," Norris said.
Multitenancy also offers the ability for administrators to specify on which nodes a particular job can run, Norris said. "Certain data would benefit from being on certain hardware," such as solid-state disks, he said.
The software also compiles the log data for each node into a single node, which might help in troubleshooting through customized analysis tools or a set of histograms and bar charts now offered by the software.
"If a job is taking a lot longer to run, the administrator wants to see why," Norris said.