Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, Release Management

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

25 Years of Big Data: From SQL To The Cloud

Three generations of tools: SQL, MapReduce, Cloudcel

Cloudcel on Ulitzer

Back in 1985, the world was pre-web, data volumes were small, and no one was grappling with information overload. Relational databases and the shiny new SQL query language were just about perfect for this era. At work, 100% of the data required by employees was internal business data, the data was highly structured, and was organized in simple tables. Users would pull data from the database when they realized they needed it.

Fast forward to 2010. Today, everyone is grappling constantly with information overload, both in their work and in their social life. Most data today is unstructured, and most of it is in files, streams or feeds, rather than in structured tables. Many of the data streams are realtime, and constantly changing. At work, most of the data required by employees is now external data, from the web, from analytics tools, and from monitoring systems of all kinds - all kinds of data about customers, partners, employees, competitors, marketing, advertising, pricing, infrastructure, and operations. Today what's needed is smart IT systems that can automatically analyze, filter and push exactly the right data to users in realtime, just when they need it. Oh, and since no one wants to own data processing hardware and software any more, those IT systems should be in the cloud.

So how has the IT industry responded to the dramatic changes brought about first by the web, then more recently by the  realtime social web and the cloud. What tools are now available to users in this new era of Big Data where data volumes are growing exponentially.

From 1985 to 2004, SQL was essentially the only game in town. Around 2004, a number of companies, led by Google, and including Ebay, Yahoo and later Facebook, realized that they required levels of scalability, parallelism, performance and data flexibility that went way beyond what relational databases and SQL could provide. Their solution was to adopt a simple parallel programming framework, MapReduce, in place of SQL. MapReduce and its open source version Hadoop are now widely used to analyze very large data sets.

So what's next? If SQL was the first generation Big Data tool, and MapReduce/Hadoop was the second generation tool, what might a third generation tool look like? To answer this, we need to look at the areas in which MapReduce/Hadoop are weak - those areas are (a) realtime, and (b) ease-of-use. The MapReduce model is optimized for large-scale batch processing. As such, it is not a good fit for the growing number of applications requiring realtime stream processing. The model is also designed for use by experienced programmers, in the case of Hadoop, for use by experienced Java programmers. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those grappling with Big Data challenges today are "non-programmers". They are individuals or business users who rely on tools like Excel spreadsheets for processing their data. And there are a lot of them! Several hundred million Excel users alone.

The third generation of tools for Big Data will therefore need to offer the scalability, parallelism, performance and data flexibility of tools like Hadoop, but also be able to continuously process realtime data streams, and be as easy to use as a spreadsheet. At Cloudscale we've been tackling this challenge. Our Cloudcel service provides the first example of such a third generation Big Data tool.

SQL remains a great tool for handling structured, tabular data, and for transactional applications. MapReduce and Hadoop are great tools if you are a programmer and your task is to process two petabytes of historical data across three thousand servers in less than 24 hours. We now also have a third type of Big Data tool aimed at the much larger number of people who need a simple and easy-to-use, but powerful and scalable cloud-based service for analyzing the huge volumes of data that are now continuously bombarding them in their life and their work.

More Stories By Bill McColl

Bill McColl left Oxford University to found Cloudscale. At Oxford he was Professor of Computer Science, Head of the Parallel Computing Research Center, and Chairman of the Computer Science Faculty. Along with Les Valiant of Harvard, he developed the BSP approach to parallel programming. He has led research, product, and business teams, in a number of areas: massively parallel algorithms and architectures, parallel programming languages and tools, datacenter virtualization, realtime stream processing, big data analytics, and cloud computing. He lives in Palo Alto, CA.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...