One of the most popular topics at this year’s VMworld is Big Data Analytics. We had an opportunity to catch up with VMware’s Senior Director of Big Data Analytics, Karthik Kannan to ask a few questions about this topic.
1. Why is big data analytics different than traditional analytics?
For one, dimensions are much larger. For example, when you look at data from multiple sources, there are additional ways to both combine the data and filter it. This isn’t just volume. Data comes from a wider set of sources like devices. Data is created at faster speeds like a terabyte per day. Data can change rapidly like in financial markets or on social networks. Traditional analytics are more about regular-interval reports on data that doesn’t change much. For example, “Weekly Accounts Receivable” is much more static in terms of the structure, schema, sources, and the data itself.
Though my background includes time as both a developer, architect, and CTO, much of my time today is spent discussing applications with senior IT executives. I manage an application development division of a national VAR and focus on the vFabric stack from top to bottom. One of the challenges I face is trying
to provide application-centric consulting services to operations/infrastructure teams who (a) don’t really own the decision of app software infrastructure and/or (b) don’t understand it and, (c) worse in some cases, don’t care. Recently, I’ve come to love my job for two primary reasons:
1. “Cloud” technologies are forcing the Operations teams and the Application teams to “share” responsibility for overall IT efficiency. The cloud concept of an on-demand, elastic infrastructure is knocking down political walls and silos that have evolved over the past decades in IT. This is no more evident than at VMWare, where vFabric and vSphere product lines are starting to blur (e.g. vCenter –> vCloud Director –> Application Director). Finally, I have something to talk to the Infrastructure folks that gets them excited! Perhaps it is the needed automation of infrastructure that brings Ops to the Aps side. Or, perhaps it an elastic architecture that brings Aps over to the Ops side. In any event, the two teams are brought together and work together more in cloud solutions.