Posted by:Ranjani Rao November 3rd, 2011

Hadoop was recently in news when Oracle announced the Big Data Appliance that integrates the Hadoop framework with Oracle Enterprise Linux, NoSQL database, and the R programming language. However, Hadoop has been around since 2008 when Doug Cutting created it in Java and named it after his son’s toy elephant. Yahoo and Facebook are the biggest users of Hadoop, boasting some of the world’s largest Hadoop clusters in number and volume.

What is Hadoop? It is a new way to store and analyze huge amounts of data typically generated by enterprises. The Hadoop open source project is spearheaded by Apache and supported by a global community of contributors from leading technology companies including Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Cloudera, and others. Today, Hadoop is used extensively across finance, telecom, research, government, telecom, technology, and other data intensive industries.

Hadoop’s unique quality of reliably analyzing structured as well as complex data has enterprises deploying Hadoop alongside legacy systems for more powerful results. Scrutiny of complex data becomes simple with the customization of analysis based on enterprise specific questions and needs. Hadoop is also robust. Servers can be added or removed from a cluster without disrupting a system, making Hadoop an ideal distribution system, safeguarded against failure or outage. It offers all the advantages enterprises look for – accuracy, reliability, scalability, fault tolerance, and cost-effectiveness.

Hadoop’ backbone is formed by two main components – first, data storage via Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and second, the highly efficient parallel data processing via MapReduce. Hadoop supports multiple file systems including FTP, Amazon S3, read-only HTTP and HTTPS, CloudStore and of course, its own HDFS. File access within HDFS is possible via native Java API or via Thrift API to build a client in the language of choice.

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Hadoop is being extensively and increasingly adopted by enterprises. It is used to power recommendation engines in e-commerce businesses, for cross channel analytics to measure the effectiveness of sale strategies or recommendations, and run event analytics to understand the action and reaction equation in sales. Finance organizations depend on Hadoop for risk analysis, security analytics, and reporting credit scores and surveying trade.

Government organizations run compliance analysis based on Hadoop and implement cyber security, manage carbon footprint and energy consumption. Brand and supply chain management in health and life sciences along with development analysis is also implemented via the framework. Retail enterprises rely on Hadoop for market basket analysis, campaign planning, analyzing events and customer behavior for effective targeting, and segmenting consumers. Digital and web media services use Hadoop for forecasting, large scale clickstream analysis, social graph analysis and profile categorizations, and event plans. The list is growing rapidly.

So, is Hadoop the future of enterprise data warehousing? It’s quite likely. Oracle’s adoption of Hadoop is a clear sign of the platform’s potential and its proven position in the enterprise space.

Want to know more? Watch out for Hadoop World on November 8-9, 2011 at NYC to catch the latest on Hadoop and how it addresses business challenges, as well as share best practices.

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