Play Ball! Hadoop Players Sponsor Big Data Event in Chicago
What does data analytics have to do with baseball????
Well actually, quite a bit. Moneyball anyone?
(If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. A true story adaption about Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s using intense number crunching to build a solid baseball team in a smaller market, competing with bigger markets – and bigger salaries.)
Last week, I had the pleasure of representing Dell (the company I work for), as we joined Intel, Cloudera, and Clarity to meet with a number of customers at the Ivy League Baseball Club across from Wrigley Field, right before the Cubs – Cardinals game. It was great to talk to customers who were using Hadoop, as well as those that were just learning about the technology.
The presentation delivered by all four companies focused on the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution, a powerful packaged solution that features
A reference architecture featuring Intel technology
A set of software which includes Cloudera’s CDH distribution (with option to upgrade to Cloudera Enterprise), along with Dell’s innovative Crowbar software framework to enable easy provisioing and management
Services provided by a combination of Dell, Cloudera, and Clarity, to provide our customers with deployment, support, and consulting services
Even more impactful than the presentation was the more 1:1 time after the presentation, where many users and newbies shared stories, experiences, best practices, etc. Got to hear about a lot of the struggles around “going it alone”, and enthusiasm that Dell and our partners were delivering a solution that would make that a bit simpler.
Here’s a sampling of some of the topics that came up.
Why should I care about big data / hadoop?
Here’s the thing: you have data. It’s in your sales tracking system, from your website traffic, from your social media outlets, in your customer support databases, and more. And not only do you have data, you have A LOT of data. But here’s the power of data. Your company has strategic objectives, customer strategies, and product plans. Data gives you insight into how to best spend your resources, where to focus your product development, where your customers are buying your products, and what problems they are encountering. This enables your business to make intelligent decisions to better satisfy your customers.
I already have a data warehousing solution – what’s the benefit of hadoop?
Many analytics solutions today require data to be in a format that adheres to the standards of a relational database (aka structured data). This is fine for data that conforms to this format. However, a lot of the new data that is available to us is not formatted in that manner – this is referred to as unstructured data. Unstructured data includes data types, such as audio, video, graphics, log files, etc. Hadoop as a technology handles unstructured data very well, allowing for analysis of those types of data. Additionally, a number of the traditional enterprise level analytics solutions are building hadoop connectors to allow for hadoop processed data to be utilized by the enterprise tool set. Finally, as data scales, using an open source based technology like Hadoop makes things very cost efficient.
How does the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution help me with hadoop?
Before this solution was made available, many of our Dell customers came to us asking, “If Dell was going to build a hadoop solution, how would you design it?” And this was how we started down the path of hadoop. What we discovered was many customers had pockets of hadoop projects in their companies, but progress was at a crawl. Many of the issues were around infrastructure design, deployment, and overall general help around the technology. And that is the basis for the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution – making hadoop accessible, quick, and simple to deploy from bare metal and get to a functional hadoop cluster asap. We’ve enabled many of these customers to go from a science experiment to a productive Hadoop instance very quickly, and provide them the consulting and education they need to maximize its benefit.
For those of you not interested in sports, you can now tune your TV’s off – about to talk baseball for a bit.
As far as the game went, it was a doozy. I have ties to Chicago, so I was rooting for the Cubs.
- The Cubs were up 1-0 most of the game until the top of the 8th when Cardinal Matt Holliday knocked out a 2 run homer
- Trailing in the bottom of the 9th, Cubs first baseman Bryan Lahair hit a homer to tie it up 2-2, and take us into extra innings
- Here’s where the fireworks really began!
- Bottom of the 10th
- Cubs LF Tony Campana gets on base with a single
- Campana then tries to steal 2nd and barely makes it
- Cardinals coach Matt Matheny did not agree and made a federal case out of it with the 2nd base umpire
- And out goes Matheny – ejected!
- Cardinals walked Lahair
- With two men on base, Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano gets a single and drives Campana home for the 3-2 win!
- Prior to this, the Cardinals had beaten the Cubs in the LAST THIRTEEN SERIES between the two clubs. With this win, that streak has been broken.
Great game, great crowd, great partners! Thanks to everyone who came out. I look forward to the next one.
Until next time,