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November 4, 2010

Vineet Tyagi from Impetus Technologies on The Hadoop, Cloud, and Mafia Connection

Nicole Hemsoth

Vineet Tyagi, Senior Director of Engineering and R&D at Impetus Technologies gave one of the more HPC-relevant talks at Cloud Expo this year in his presentation, “Deriving Intelligence from Large Data: Using Hadoop and Applying Analytics.” While the presentation was far too short time limit-wise for him to achieve even one quarter of what the lofty title implied, the session gave a thorough overview of the Hadoop ecosystem as well as explanations behind how and why it’s used in the enterprise.

Now, before we get into this topic about Hadoop use in the enterprise too deeply, it might be worthwhile for you to listen to Vineet’s conclusion to the video about the literal translation in Hindi to getting on the clouds. Not only will it give you a chuckle, the parallels he draws between the translated meaning and the warning he gives in the context of his entire point leading up to it are rather startling.

And if that wasn’t enough incentive, watching will explain the mafia connection in the title.

The points that he makes in this interview (as well as our longer discussion off-camera) about the needs that drive enterprise leaders to look to Hadoop simply out of the feeling that they’ve somehow been missing something (versus seriously thinking through what their needs are and if Hadoop is the proper solution) is also quite relevant when we start talking about cloud computing in general.

Vineet states that anyone who’s looking into Hadoop should make sure that they do a thorough proof of concept; that they test the idea cautiously via prototyping—and then make the decision. This is true with cloud as well but just as he bemoans is the case with Hadoop (and there is some serious overlapping here) there is a sense that there is a magical solution contained in a word that is, for some who have not investigated their needs and the appropriate solutions thoroughly enough, nebulous. Hadoop. Cloud. To an outsider who has only skimmed the massive amounts of material that’s been written about either, however, it seems that there is somehow something fail-proof if so many people are pushing for it.

Let’s clarify this a little more: During the conference there were a number of attendees on the enterprise IT side as well as a few non-tech folks from the corporate world who came out simply to better understand what this “cloud thing” everyone has been talking is—and how they can drop everything to rush to it. After all, if so many people are hyping it as the silver bullet for IT efficiency and cost savings, why wait? Buy now!
Vineet makes the point that the same thing is true with Hadoop use; it’s become a buzzword that has also taken on a life of its own but in some cases, it’s not the right solution. Plain and simple. So why, even after being told it’s not a good fit would enterprises pursue the idea so aggressively? There are some things we may never understand—unless we talk to marketing people, that is.