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What Are Cisco’s Options to VMware’s Nicira Deal?

August 5th, 2012 No comments

VMware’s acquisition of Nicira posted a big risk on Cisco’s future control of networking market. The risk was in fact there from day one of VMware ESX with virtual switches and then distributed virtual switches, which reduces the need for customers to buy physical geeks from Cisco because virtual machines use “free” virtual ports. For the inter-physical server communication, customers still need Cisco and other vendors even though the volume is not as high as otherwise. That is why Cisco quickly came up with its own distributed virtual switch Nexus 1000v to stay relevant in the virtualization market.

What VMware Didn’t Tell You About Nicira Deal

July 29th, 2012 1 comment

On this past Monday VMware announced to buy Nicira for $1.26 billion. Congratulations to many of my former VMware colleagues who joined Nicira and will return back to VMware soon.

Overall this deal aligns well with VMware’s newly found vision on software defined data center. You must have read many of similar explanations and comments from various sources including this one from VMware CTO Steve Herrod, and this one by Nicira cofounder and CTO Martin Casado.

Hadoop vs. Tomcat

July 25th, 2012 3 comments

In my previous article, I talked about three different ways enterprises use Hadoop. Thinking a bit more, you may have come to realize that the three usage patterns are very similar to how we use Tomcat. I will compare these two for commonalities and differences.

First of all, both Hadoop and Tomcat are Java based open source projects from Apache Foundation, thus copyrighted by the same Apache license. As a result, you can freely use Hadoop in the same way as you have used Tomcat in terms of license compliance.

Categories: Big Data Tags: , ,

Will Enterprise Hardware Be Hot Again?

July 23rd, 2012 No comments

BusinessWeek recently published an article “In Silicon Valley, Hardware is Hot Again.” Almost all big names started to sell hardware now, Microsoft, Google, and Apple of course. Apple’s stellar success in iPhone and iPad disrupted the conventional wisdom that software is higher in margin compared to hardware. Also, Apple’s hardware and software combined devices posts a real risk for Microsoft and Google. To be exact, the hardware in the article title should really be software bundled hardware. That is why Google and Microsoft had to get into hardware business competing directly against Apple.

VMware Serengeti: A Perfect Match of Hadoop and vSphere

July 19th, 2012 No comments

During the Hadoop Summit 2012 last month, I learned the release of the open source (Apache license) Serengeti project from VMware. The week after, I downloaded the OVA file from VMware site, and gave my first try with a development environment after browsing through the user guide which introduces a fairly easy process to get a Hadoop cluster to run on vSphere.

Categories: Big Data, Virtualization Tags: ,

Hack Workspace in Netbeans IDE

July 18th, 2012 7 comments

As a long time Eclipse user, I like its workspace concept and the ease of switching workspaces among many other things. The workspace provides a simple yet powerful way to isolate groups of projects into different workspaces under different folders, so you’re not distracted by other un-related projects.

This feature is, however, not available in Netbeans IDE, which is not a big deal most of time. By default, the Netbeans IDE creates a folder under current user’s home directory as follows (yours could be different):

Three Ways Enterprises Can Use Hadoop

July 17th, 2012 No comments

Hadoop has recently gained lots of attentions from enterprises. Just think about the rapid growth of attendees in Hadoop Summit. There are many different ways to leverage Hadoop in enterprises. But in general, there are three major types of usage patterns as detailed below.

As a Framework

This is what Hadoop was initially intended to be, and continues to be one of the major approaches in the short term. It means that an enterprise needs to invest in customized application development, which normally costs more than out of shelf applications.

Categories: Big Data Tags: ,

What Hadoop Community Can Learn From VMware Virtualization

July 14th, 2012 No comments

As I mentioned in a previous article, Hadoop is in a similar stage as virtualization 10 years ago – the technology is mostly ready for wider adoption. There were certain secret sauces leading to virtualization’s stellar success, especially VMware in the enterprise space. Here I examine some of these success factors that could be learned by Hadoop community.

Strive For Out Of Box Experience

Categories: Big Data Tags: ,

Is MapReduce A Major Step Backwards?

July 9th, 2012 3 comments

While learning Hadoop, I was wondering whether the MapReduce processing model that can handle all the Big Data challenges. David DeWitt and Michael Stonebrakeer took a step further by arguing MapReduce is a major step backwards in their blog article. I found it’s a very good reading but not necessarily agree with the authors. It’s always good to know different opinions and the contexts where they come from. I also found the authors wrote the best introduction of MapReduce in several short paragraphs. I quote them in the end, so read on.

Categories: Big Data Tags: ,

MapReduce: The Theory Behind Hadoop

July 3rd, 2012 No comments

As most of us know, Hadoop is a Java implementation of the MapReduce processing model originated from Google by Jeffrey Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat. After studying Hadoop and attending several related events(Hadoop Summit, Hadoop for Enterprise by Churchill Club), I felt I should dig deeper by reading the original paper.

The paper is titled “MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters.” Unlike most research papers I’ve read before, it’s written in plain English and fairly easy to read and follow. I find it really worthwhile reading and strongly recommend you spend an hour to read through it.

Categories: Big Data Tags: ,

Review Board Virtual Machine for Code Review: The Missing Manual

July 2nd, 2012 No comments

Code review is important for the quality of a software product. It used to be a meeting activity where a small group of engineers walk through changes and provide the author feedbacks. This is highly effective but not flexible enough, especially when there are frequent code changes.

GPU for Big Data Processing

June 27th, 2012 5 comments

While talking about the data processing, we naturally take CPU for granted. However, latest GPU (Graphics Processing Unit, also know as Visual Processing Unit, or VPU) comes with hundreds of cores and calculates much faster than CPU. The question is how practical it is to use GPUs in processing big data.

Categories: Big Data Tags: , , ,

Support Next vSphere Release in VI Java API: The Plan and Work Around

June 25th, 2012 No comments

Recently I got several questions and even a bug on supporting the next release of vSphere in the open source VI Java API. The questions are mostly from VMware partners who have early access of the private beta of next release of vSphere and want to ship their own products at the same time of vSphere GA. I figure more partners may have the same question, therefore decide to answer it all here with a possible work around.

Categories: vSphere API Tags: ,

GUI Front End for Hadoop

June 23rd, 2012 1 comment

I went to LinkedIn last Wednesday for a tech talk by UC Berkeley professor Joseph Hellerstein on Programming for Distributed Consistency: CALM and Bloom. This is indeed a highly specialized topic, so I am not going to talk about the details. Should you be interested in the new programming language Bloom, you can check the web site (http://bloom-lang.org).

Categories: Big Data Tags: ,

Hadoop Summit 2012: A Quick Summary

June 20th, 2012 3 comments

After the Churchill event on Hadoop for enterprises, I attended the Hadoop Summit in San Jose convention center. It’s one of the benefits living in Silicon Valley that I can attend various tech events without flying away from family for days.

Categories: Big Data, News & Events Tags: ,

Getting started with Hadoop: My First Try

June 18th, 2012 5 comments

Given the growing popularity of Hadoop, I decided to give it a try by myself. As normal, I searched for a tutorial first and got one by Yahoo, which is based on Hadoop 0.18.0 virtual machine. I knew the current stable version is 1.x, but that is OK because I just wanted to get a big picture and I didn’t want to refuse the convenience of ready-to-use Hadoop virtual machine.

Hadoop For Enterprises: Event By Churchill Club

June 15th, 2012 No comments

This past week was a busy one for Hadoop community with two Hadoop events in Silicon Valley. The first one was “what role will hadoop play in the enterprise” by Churchill Club which attracted about 300 attendees in a Palo Alto hotel. The second one was the much bigger conference Hadoop Summit in San Jose Convention Center. I will write a separate article on the second event soon.

Categories: Big Data Tags: , , ,

Best Tool to Compress Virtual Machines

June 11th, 2012 12 comments

While working in virtualized environments, we need to pass around virtual machines (a.k.a. virtual appliances) from time to time. Most of the virtual machines I’ve seen for downloading are compressed to save storage and network bandwidth.

Not all the compression algorithms are created equal in terms of compression ratio, compressing speed, and decompressing speed. In most cases, it doesn’t really matter that much with documents and small programs. But it matters a lot with virtual machines whose virtual disk files are much larger than normal files. Any small percentage improvement can result in significant saving on storage and bandwidth.

The Data Stack: The Next Focus of Cloud Computing?

June 6th, 2012 No comments

Many of us have already heard of the term “software stack.” It shows the software layers in boxes stacking up on each other, all the way from operating system, to middleware, and to applications. When these layers are offered as services, we have IaaS (Infrastructure As A Service), PaaS (Platform As A Service), and SaaS (Software As A Service) respectively for so called cloud service stack. These two stacks are essentially similar if not the same.

The Data is the Cloud

June 3rd, 2012 No comments

Once upon a time, there was a famous vision – “The network is the computer.” If you have been with ITindustry long enough, you would know what the company was behind the vision. Inspired the vision for computer, I am inventing yet another one for cloud – “The data is the cloud.”