Exploring Hadoop's Real-Time Potential

Loraine Lawson

One of the more promising applications of Hadoop and other Big Data solutions is the ability to deliver information in real time. It's not mentioned often, which is unfortunate, because it's really a game-changer for some organizations, with far-reaching implications for the rest of us.


That's because up until Hadoop, the organizations had the information they needed, but they just couldn't process it quickly enough.


For example, telecom companies constantly collect data about what's happening within their networks, from power surges to switch problems, Lance Speck, the general manager for integration products at Pervasive Software, told me during a recent interview. But it was useless because they couldn't process it quickly enough to make it meaningful. Now, Speck said, telecoms can couple Hadoop with Pervasive's DataRush to process stored data in minutes instead of hours - which means they can now put that data to use troubleshooting problem areas and responding quickly to network problems.


Pervasive and other vendors are starting to spotlight the power of Hadoop and other Big Data tools to power real-time analytics. In fact, if you'd like to learn more, Informatica is sponsoring a free webinar this Tuesday about this very topic, called "Putting Big Data Streaming and Analytics to Work." It's part of their "Big Data Tuesday" webinar series, which begins at 12 p.m. ET, 9 a.m. PT.


It will feature one of my favorite bloggers, R. "Ray" Wang, who writes "A Software Insider's Point of View" and is the principal analyst and CEO at Constellation Research. He'll be joined by fellow analyst Neil Raden, who focuses on analytics and business intelligence. Vendor representatives Richard Reichgut of Greenplum-a Division of EMC - and Julianna DeLua, Informatica's Big Data enterprise solution evangelist, will join them. They'll discuss, among other things, what type of infrastructure you'll need to support a real-time approach to big data.


Another opportunity for exploring Big Data and analytics will be on Monday, Feb. 13, when IBM experts David Corrigan and Tom Deutsch will discuss "Using Big Data in Smarter Decision Making." This webcast will be more business-centric, with a focus on how analyzing big data can benefit the enterprise, although they'll also cover more IT-focused topics like how to integrate big data with existing business intelligence systems and data warehousing environments.


If you're not quite ready for big data, but you are interested in real time business intelligence, the Bloor Group is hosting a Briefing Room webcast on the topic Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 4 p.m. ET. They're offering an unusual take on the topic: Instead of focusing on the integration needed to support BI, they'll discuss using contextual dashboards to tap into live operational systems. It'll feature Wayne Eckerson of the BI Leadership Forum, who will discuss how these operational dashboards provide visibility into enterprise systems. He'll be joined by John Crupi, the CTO of Jackbe. Nobody uses the term "mashup" anymore, but basically that's what Jackbe does - it lets business users customize their own reports.

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