Cloudera Sessions: Inside Track to Big Data

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Cloudera Logo April 2014FIELD REPORT

Last week I went on an excursion away from my Silicon Beach base of operation to downtown Los Angeles in order to take in the Cloudera Sessions tech event. I think it is a good strategy for a company like this to increase brand awareness in an ever-crowded Hadoop distribution marketplace by bringing together like minded techies at a local level. It worked swimmingly, as the full-day tech event attracted 200+ attendees.

Cloudera_sessionsThe event featured a keynote address by Alan Saldich, VP Marketing, that focused on the Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub. Next up was very detailed use case talk by the Shopzilla data science team featuring Rony Sawdayi, VP Engineering and Dean Banks, SVP Technology (through the recent acquisition of Connexity). A new Audience Activation Division called AisleA was created out of the acquisition. The Shopzilla presentation was surprisingly candid in the level of detail provided about the company’s big data implementation using CDH.

The catered lunch was great, a big Chinese buffet. At lunch, I had an opportunity to socialize with my peeps at the LA Big Data Meetup group and also chat it up with a senior Cloudera exec about the world of Hadoop. He had quite a bit to say about Cloudera’s takeover of the Intel Distribution of Apache Hadoop, specifically that IDH will be no more, and many of the Intel engineers will be joining Cloudera, as well as many of their salespeople. He also had some opinions about one of the other distributions, Hortonworks, and how Microsoft threw a lot of money at them to jury rig their Hadoop distribution to run on Windows … “Who would want to run Hadoop on Windows anyway?”

The afternoon sessions included “Getting Started with Hadoop,” “Hadoop Data and Access Security,” and “Data Warehouse Optimization.” Revo_monkeyThere were a few Cloudera partners firms that showed up with small booths: Oracle, Cisco, Revolution Analytics, and my favorite ZoomData which consistently had the biggest crowd of people watching demos conducted by a very able Arlene Capsimalis, Sales and Business Development Director. Their product is fascinating, definitely worth a look. The video below shows how Zoomdata can search, analyze, and visualize data stored in Cloudera Search. It also shows Zoomdata fusing together data between Cloudera Impala and Cloudera Search, along with fusion of multiple Cloudera Search repositories. As a prize for the day, I managed to get a Revolution Analytics monkey superhero play toy (see picture).

Next year, I’d like to see different  venue. The Bonaventure Hotel is nice and very business-like, but getting in and out of downtown LA isn’t for the faint-of-heart. I decided to take the train (yes, LA has a subway!), but on my way home there was “police activity” at the Civic Center station that stopped all trains in both directions, so needless to say I was held captive in a stuffy underground station with unique LA fauna for well over an hour before I could be liberated. It was an exhausting day, but I appreciated the effort Cloudera put into the full-day tech event. I enjoy getting out in the field like this to explore the big data ecosystem. You should try it yourself!


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