Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Hadoop hump - why enterprises struggle to move from Proof of Concept to Enterprise deployment

At the recent Hadoop Summit in Amsterdam I noticed something that has been bothering me for a while.  Lots of companies have done some great Proof of Concepts with Hadoop but they are rarely turning those into fully blown operational solutions.  Being clear I'm not talking about the shiny, shiny web companies where the business is technology and the people who develop are the people who support, I'm talking about those dull companies that make up the 99.9% of businesses out there where IT is part of the organisation and support is normally done by separate teams.

There are three key reasons for this Hadoop hump

  1. Hadoop is addressing problems in the BI space, but is a custom build technology
  2. Hadoop has been created for developers not support
  3. BI budgets are used to vertically scaled hardware
These reasons are about people not technologies.  Hadoop might save you money on hardware and software licenses but if you are moving from report developers in the BI space to Map Reduce/R people in Hadoop and most critically requiring those same high value people in support its the people costs that prevent Hadoop being scaled.  The last one is a mental leap that I've seen BI folks struggle to make, they are used to going 'big box' and talking about horizontal scalability and HDFS really doesn't fit with their mindset.  

These are the challenges that companies like Cloudera, Pivotal and Hortonworks are going to have to address to make Hadoop really scale in the enterprise.  Its not about technical scale, its about the cost of people.

No comments: