No Suits Allowed at hBase Con2012

hBase Con2012 was the first industry conference for Apache hBase users, application developers, contributors and administrators, offering participants the ability to network, learn and train.  Charles Zedlewski is Cloudera’s Vice President, and is responsible for the strategy, design and road map of Cloudera’s products: CDH and Cloudera Enterprise.   At hBase, Zedlewski spoke with Christophe Bisciglia, who is currently the co-founder and CEO of WibiData and is the founder of Cloudera, which hBase writes is “the leading provider of Apache Hadoop-based softare and services.”  In their keynote address, they spoke on “Why hBase is Becoming the Platform of Choice For Big Data Applications,” and the wide scale adoption that Hadoop has given organizations in order to collect and analyze more data than ever previously available.

No “suits” at hBase

The goal of hBase Con2012 was to bring the community together while downplaying the “suit factor,” which is typically found at conferences with the aim of the conference being “by developers, for developers.”  In an interview with John Furrier to discuss hBase in general as well as some of the highlights of the conference particularly focusing on many aspects of both hBase and Cloudera.

Zedlewski also pointed out that hBase is operating in a very real time mind-set.  hBase offers a higher level of extraction on top of Hadoop and the next higher level of extraction on top of hBase will open it up to more applications with a focus on recommendations being popular.  Zedlewski is basically saying, why not give a semi-built mechanism for recommendations in real time, instead of having to analyze the data and then go from there?edlewski, in speaking about Cloudera, said that he always believed that they are a platform company and one that should be open sourced and to remain that way because “it’s just smart business.”  He pointed out that Dell recently announced that they’re going to be releasing a “developer-driven Linux” laptop which will be open sourced, allowing programmers the ability to do with it as they please.  Cloudera, like other developers, has their own ideas on how to save on space, power and cooling and being able to collaborate with others to make such goals attainable.

Who uses hBase?

Speaking about the people involved in the development of such programming, Zedlewski said that there are three classes of people who get involved in such a program: people who were already a part of the Hadoop community; the people who have been toying around with SQL databases and utilize hBase because they believe it’s the best option available; and the guys like him [Zedlewski],  looking at the future of data management and the enterprise.  Yet, you need apps for that to be possible – hBase represents the platform that the most commercial apps will be produced on.  He pointed out that more ISVs certify hBase, 40-50 compared to the six or so ISVs that certify against the map/reduce API.

Zedlewski also talked about their strategy of development – learning as they go in terms of data.  He said, “the more management of data that you foist onto the application developer, the smarter your app developer has to be, the higher the bar is, the more brains that person has to have and the narrower range of applications that are feasibly easier to do.”  There are only a handful of applications that a person can realistically overlay the needs of a file system, and a larger set that seems to work on hBase, but an even larger one, such as adding another layer over hBase would open it even bigger leaving the bar for skill lowered.  This would open the door for more developers who are able to build more interesting and  useful applications.  By following the more “on the fly,” or “learning on the go,” means of educating and expanding Zedlewski is clearly thinking outside the box and inviting innovation into Cloudera.