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Cloudera Releases New Version of Its Apache Hadoop Distribution as Competition Mounts

April 12th, 2011 04:00 admin View Comments

Cloudera, one of the primary contributors to Apache Hadoop, has released a new version Hadoop distribution: Cloudera’s Distribution including Apache Hadoop v3 (CDH3).

The new version contains over 1,000 patches and changes, many of which will be contributed back to the open source project. CDH3 includes a full stack of software, from the operating system to tools for working with Hadoop, such as Pig and Hive. CDH3 is free and open source – Cloudera makes its money selling enterprise support and management tools.

The announcement follows recent announcements that DataStax, Hadapt and Mapr are joining the growing number of companies competing with Cloudera.

At the GigaOM Structure Big Data event earlier this month, Datastax announced a new product called Brisk earlier this month. Brisk is a fork of Apache Hadoop that replaces the Hadoop file system and Hbase datastore with Apache Cassandra, another BigTable-inspired database. Datastax is the sponsor company of Cassandra and sells enterprise support and management tools.

At the same event two new Hadoop-focused startups, Hadapt and Mapr, were also announced. Hadapt replaces the Apache Hadoop file system with its own proprietary alternative, and Mapr aims to bring SQL-like functionality to the platform. Appistry also offers an alternative file system for Hadoop.

These companies join IBM in selling Hadoop-related products and services. IBM has its own Hadoop distribution, and sells a Hadoop-powered InfoSphere product geared towards making Hadoop easier to use.

Cloudera executives are dismissive of the compeition, and aren’t shy about it. Charles Zedlewski, VP of products at Cloudera, told us in an interview that Brisk isn’t a “real” Hadoop distribution without the Hadoop file system and that “It’s astounding how little interest there is in Cassandra, so they need to use the Hadoop name.” At the GigaOM event, VP of Engineering Amr Adawallah told Derrick Harris that DataStax was making a “big mistake.”

This sort of infighting between Apache project contributors is disappointing, but to his credit Cloudera CEO Mike Olson did tell Harris “I believe there’s an enormous opportunity for smart companies, and even open-source projects, to build a new generation of data analysis tools on top of that platform.”

DataStax VP of Marketing Michael Weir was very civil when discussing Cloudera. He says Brisk was created to meet customer demand. Regarding the use of the name Hadoop, Zedlewski says “We’ve been entirely transparent about what we’re using from Apache Hadoop and what we’re not.” You can find details in the white paper DataStax published. Weir says the Hadoop community has been welcoming, and that the company will be contributing its work on Hive to the Apache project.

As for demand for Cassandra: it’s in use at companies like Facebook and Twitter, and DataStax counts companies such as Netflix and Rackspace as customers.

Zedlewski was equally aggressive regarding IBM, saying IBM has not made any contributions to Hadoop and “IBM is offering a warranty on a car they never worked on or built.” He notes that Cloudera has been working with Hadoop for nearly three years now.

A three year head-start may not seem like all that much, and a few years down the road it won’t seem like much at all. But Cloudera has a team of engineers that have always been very close to the Hadoop project. Doug Cutting, the creator of Hadoop, works for Cloudera and Adawallah has been involved for quite some time as well. Having top flight talent is Cloudera’s ace in the hole.

Yet not even this advantage is complete assurance against future competition. Harris writes:

Also at the event, two independent sources suggested members of Yahoo’s Hadoop team will be spinning off their own separate business, and there is speculation this move is somehow tied into EMC’s Hadoop plans.

IBM isn’t to be taken lightly, nor is EMC on its own, but the latter turn of events would be a potentially market-changing situation given the Hadoop know-how within Yahoo, which has contributed the majority of the code now included in Apache Hadoop.

EMC is making a Hadoop-related announcement on May 9, but we don’t yet know what it will involve.

Disclosure: IBM is a ReadWriteWeb sponsor.

Source: Cloudera Releases New Version of Its Apache Hadoop Distribution as Competition Mounts

6 Free E-Books and Tutorials for Learning and Mastering Node.js

April 2nd, 2011 04:00 admin View Comments

OK, we won’t bore you by telling you what Node.js is again or why it’s so dang hot.

You want to learn Node.js? There’s no completely finished Node.js book out there that we’re aware of. But there’s one complete book in rough draft form, two partial guides and several other great resources for learning Node.js.

No more excuses: Try Node.js for $0.02 or less in just a few minutes

No more excuses: Try Node.js for $0.02 or less in just a few minutes is a short tutorial from the developers of NowJS. It explains how to get a Node.js instance up and running in Amazon EC2. It’s not meant to teach you how to use Node.js, just get you a working installation of it up quick.

It’s especially useful if you’re on Windows and don’t want to try to use Node.js under Cygwin.

Up and Running With Node.js

Up and Running with Node.js book cover

Up and Running with Node.js by Tom Hughes-Croucher hasn’t been officially released yet, but O’Reilly Media has released a free text preview of the book as part of its Open Feedback Publishing System. Hughes-Croucher is a developer advocate at Joyent, the sponsor company of Node.js. This book seems destined to become the definitive guide to Node.js.

Our previous coverage of the book is here.

Felix’s Node.js Guide

Felix’s Node.js Guide got a lot of attention this week, particularly the Convincing The Boss section. The guide is a work in progress by Felix Geisendörfer, an early Node.js core contributor. At present, the sections are:

Node.js Beginner Guide If you are new to node.js, this guide will take you from hello world to deploying your first app. Node.js Style Guide The general JavaScript style I recommend to use with node.js. A lot of this is personal preferences, but hopefully rather consistent. Node.js Community Guide Get to know some of the node.js community and find out where they hang out. Node.js Convincing The Boss Guide Find out where node.js makes sense, and how to get management to see the benefits.

Mastering Node

Mastering Node

Mastering Node was one of the first e-books on Node.js, but it’s also a work in progress. It’s an open source book available from Github in PDF, ePub, HTML and Mobi formats. The last few sections are still incomplete.

The Official Node.js Documentation

If you really need answers about Node.js, you can always RTFM.

Bulletproof Node.js Coding

And finally, Bulletproof Node.js Coding is a concise but helpful collection of tips for Node.js programmers.

Source: 6 Free E-Books and Tutorials for Learning and Mastering Node.js

Burned by Twitter’s API Restrictions, Developers Launch Distributed Microblogging Service

March 24th, 2011 03:08 admin View Comments

rstat.us logorStat.us is an OStatus-based microblogging service built by Steve Klabnik and others using Ruby, Sinatra and MongoDB. Because it uses OStatus, it’s compatible with Identi.ca and StatusNet microblogs. In order to follow someone from Identi.ca, just paste the ATOM feed from their profile into rStat.us. Theoretically this should work both ways, but I was unable to subscribe to my own rStat.us account from Identi.ca account.

Klabnik and some friends started it after Twitter changes its terms of service and began discouraging developers to start new Twitter clients.

Writing at The Changelog, Klabnik explained the origin of the project.

If you didn’t hear, a week ago Friday Twitter changed their terms of service. This got a lot of people upset, including me. My friends and I started thinking about it, and the real problem is this: any software that’s owned by one entity, corporate or not, is open to the possibility of being abused.

So we decided to fix it. Ten days later, here we are: http://rstat.us/ is born.

rstat.us screenshot

rStat.us is an extremely simple microblog. You can post a status, read replies, follow people and read their updates. That’s about it. “We pride ourselves on saying ‘no’ to lots of features,” the site says.

The code is available on  Github, so you can start your own rStat.us server if you want to.

This project is very similar to StatusNet, the microblogging engine that powers Identi.ca. But rStat.us is written in Ruby instead of PHP, which might attract more developers.

It’s one of many projects addressing the problem of centralization and data portability on the Web. Others include Diaspora, Couchappspora,  Apache CouchDB and Unhosted. For more information on this movement, check out our interviews with some of the developers of these projects:

Klabnik also maintains the cross-platform Ruby GUI toolkit Shoes and HacketyHack, the interactive Ruby tutorial we covered here. Both of these projects were created by why the lucky stiff.

Source: Burned by Twitter’s API Restrictions, Developers Launch Distributed Microblogging Service

Know Node.js? Looking for a Job? Check Out the New Node.js Job Board

March 23rd, 2011 03:30 admin View Comments

NodeJS logo 150x150 Node.js sponsor company Joyent launched a Node.js job board today.

The inaugral listings include jobs from Adservice, TWAR, Voxer and Yammer.

The board is powered by SimplyHired. It costs $350 to post a job for 30 days, but as part of the launch promotion you can post jobs for $100.

The interest in Node.js is extremely high, and this job board demonstrates that production use is starting to pick up.

If you’ve got Node.js skills, but don’t see a job on that board for you, you might also be interested in Node.js Knockout, a 48 hour competition to write the best Node.js app. It’s inspired by Rails Rumble. Node.js Knockout will take place Aug. 27-29 2011.

And if you don’t know Node.js yet, check out full-text preview of Up and Running with Node.js.

Source: Know Node.js? Looking for a Job? Check Out the New Node.js Job Board

Why Linkfluence Switched from CouchDB to Riak

March 7th, 2011 03:37 admin View Comments

Basho logo Social analytics company Linkfluence began migrating from CouchDB to Riak recently. A blog post by Linkfluence’s Franck Cuny explains the reasons and sheds some light on the advantages and disadvantages of different non-relational databases.

Linkfluence used CouchDB primarily to store Web content and metadata. It uses other databases such as PostgresSQL, MongoDB and Redis for other purposes.

So why the switch?

  • CouchDB stores every revision as a new document, and keeps the entire history of revisions. Linkfluence didn’t need this sort of versioning, and the revisions were starting to bloat its database. (However, a Hacker News commenter notes that this can be changed with the ‘_revs_limit’ setting.)
  • CouchDB stores the entire database as one file. As Linkfluence’s database grew larger than one terrabyte, this became problematic.
  • Cuny writes that he had problems with CouchDB crashing randomly, but notes that the last version of the database was “quite stable.”

Cuny writes that Linkfluence had the following requirements for a replacement:

  • easy to replicate
  • no master/slave
  • a REST interface
  • sharding

Although the company had to write its own Perl client, Cuny and company were generally impressed with Riak and its sponsor company Basho. For more information on Basho, check out our previous coverage.

Does this mean CouchDB is a bad product? No. It just wasn’t the right tool for this job.

Last year, the CouchDB team has focused on solving one problem in particular: offline access to data. The new Couchbase project may go in a different direction, but the classic CouchDB continues to focus on offline access. Meanwhile, BigCouch from Cloudant aims to address some of the scalability issues that Linkfluence faced.

We expect to see a lot more cases like this as developers feel out the strengths of various new technologies.

Source: Why Linkfluence Switched from CouchDB to Riak

The “Switzerland of NoSQL” Joins Basho

March 2nd, 2011 03:00 admin View Comments

Mathias MeyerMathias Meyer, the so-called “Swizterland of NoSQL,” is neutral no more. He has joined Basho as a developer advocate, the company announced today. Basho, which we covered here, is the sponsor company of the NoSQL database Riak.

Previously, Meyer worked for the Berlin startup Peritor on its cloud hosting platform Scalarium. He confirmed on Twitter that he’ll still be working on Scalarium. Meyer will remain in Berlin.

Meyer – known for blogging and tweeting about infrastructure, scalability, databases and coffee – is also working the NoSQL Handbook.

According to Basho, Meyer’s first public appearance as developer advocate will be at JSConf in Portland, OR from May 2-3.

For more background on Meyer, here are two interviews:

MyNoSQL: Getting Started with NoSQL.

The Geek Talk: Mathias Meyer.

Source: The “Switzerland of NoSQL” Joins Basho