The NoSQL community threw out the baby with the bath water

2013-02-20 09:57:52

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The NoSQL community threw out the baby with the bath water
The NoSQL movement has provided a whole new way of thinking about database architecture. NoSQL is understood to stand for "not just SQL," though most think of it as "not SQL." The reality is that a relational database model may not be the best solution for all situations. The easiest way to think of NoSQL is that it's a database that does not adhere to the traditional relational database management system (RDMS) structure.The workload is able to easily grow by distributing itself over lots of ordinary, and cheap, Intel-based servers. A NoSQL database is exactly the type of database that can handle the sort of unstructured, messy, and unpredictable data that big-data applications require.Why NoSQL? NoSQL combines high performance with high availability and offers a rich query language with easy scalability. NoSQL is gaining momentum, and is supported by Hadoop, MongoDB, and others.San Francisco-based Splice Machine hopes to turn the NoSQL equation on its head.Splice Machine provides the first SQL-compliant database designed for big-data applications. The Splice SQL Engine™ intends to provide all of what have come to be known as the standard benefits of NoSQL databases--benefits such as auto-sharding, scalability, fault tolerance, and high availability--while retaining the strengths of the industry standard SQL.YesSQL?According to a recent press release, it optimizes complex queries to power real-time big-data applications and enable interactive analytics without rewriting existing SQL-based applications and front-end business intelligence tools such as MicroStrategy and Tableau.When I spoke with founder, Monte Zweben--you may remember him, as I did, from his company Blue Martini--we discussed the explosion of data being generated by users, applications, sites, and more. And how the sheer volume and velocity of data has overwhelmed traditional Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS).The response for many organizations is to turn to big data or NoSQL solutions that are highly scalable on commodity hardware. These solutions are some of the same that I wrote about late last year, namely: Hadoop, MongoDB, etc. However, these databases come at a big cost; according to Zweben, they have very limited SQL support, and often cause organizations to rewrite their existing applications or business intelligence reports."The NoSQL community threw out the baby with the bath water. They got it right with flexible schemas and distributed, auto-sharded architectures, but it was a mistake to discard SQL," said Zweben. "The Splice SQL Engine enables companies to get the cost-effective scalability, flexibility, and availability their big-data, mobile, and web applications require, while capitalizing on the prevalence of the proven SQL tools and experts that are ubiquitous in the industry."Built on the proven Hadoop stack, the Splice SQL Engine enables application developers to build hyper-personalized web, mobile, and social applications that truly scale while leveraging the ubiquity of SQL tools and skill sets in the marketplace, according to Zweben. The Splice SQL Engine also scales to handle business intelligence and analysis, and works turnkey with tools like MicroStrategy and Tableau.
IBM execs discuss software acquisition plans, targeting C-level gaps
Orlando: IBM executives provided a quick progress report as well as updated goals for its smarter workforce strategy on Monday morning.Speaking during a press conference at IBM Connect 2013, Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of Software Solutions at IBM, cited that the tech giant's software group will spend approximately $20 billion in acquisitions, which has already been outlined in the corporation's 2015 road map.Essentially, IBM is buying up the resources it needs to make its software (and workforce) "smarter."Rhodin estimated that IBM acquired "seven to eight" businesses last year, including the $1.3 billion acquisition of Kenexa, which has been key to the new software products being announced this week.Citing that the majority of the acquisitions (at least within the Software Solutions group) has been in the "front office space," Rhodin added that they all have three common threads: They are all inherently social, mobile, and analytics based.As seen during the opening keynote session on Monday, the tech giant is now aggressively pushing that we are in the midst of a new era of computing.Social media and big data are some of the buzz words being tossed around not just by IBM but just about everyone these days. But beyond that, the future of what these technologies will do--at least in the business world--is still hazy.Rhodin proposed that with every generational shift that occurs, there are "a set of signs and signals" that create a next-generation platform to emerge."Those don't happen very often. We're entering the third wave of computing technology--the third wave of systems," Rhodin posited.He further defined that "stand-alone social" is a tool. Comparing IBM's acquisition plan to Microsoft's purchase of Yammer as one example, Rhodin argued that "social business" is the complete integration of analytics and software, among other elements, to connect employees and clients.Rhodin described that social should essentially be "woven into the fabric" of all businesses processes going forward.Addressing the needs of other C-level executives beyond CIOs is also a priority for IBM's smarter workforce initiative.Alistair Rennie, general manager of Social Business at IBM, suggested this could be done by tackling gaps in businesses processes, such as the lack of end-to-end client solutions for chief marketing officers.The IBM team cited an internal 2011 CMO study that found 82 percent of CMOs planned to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years to communicate with customers.Rennie acknowledged that the smarter workforce strategy is "still very nascent," but he followed up quickly that it's starting to pick up further, pointing towards the software group's revenue highlighted during IBM's fourth-quarter earnings report last week.
IBM makes aggressive push for social business as future of work
ORLANDO -- Even if many companies can't define the "social enterprise" yet, IBM wants everyone to know that it's simply the reality of the business world today.See also: IBM relying on more cloud services, software to accelerate social businessAs an example of how the social and smarter workforce strategies are progressing, Alistair Rennie, general manager of social business at IBM, highlighted that attendance to IBM Connect 2013 is up by approximately 10 percent from last year.But rather than starting off with a deep dive into more statistics, Rennie welcomed actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt to discuss how social technologies have strengthened smaller businesses like his open-production collaboration community hitRECord.Levitt, who recently made his directorial debut at the Sundance Film Festival with Don Jon's Addiction, outlined that there are three elements that form the backbone of hitRECord: technology, community, and "the remix.""The fact that what I did connected with someone else to inspire them to make something else out of it, that is satisfying in a way that nothing else is," he added.For anyone familiar with social media and IBM, the first two might seem more obvious and easier to define.While presenting a short animated film produced on hitRECord, The Man with a Turnip for a Head, Levitt remarked that if a Hollywood studio wanted to make a clip like that, it would take a good deal of resources and time, such as new cameras, new computers, and more.But with the Internet, Levitt continued, it's a lot simpler."We spent no money on that. Literally, no money," he quipped.On community, Levitt stressed the importance of positivity, asserting that negative responses on message boards just isn't productive. The Looper star explained that it's about finding good work and giving those artists more encouragement.That relays into the third point: the remix."Once you let go of notion that 'this is mine' and others build on top of what you did, you can work together a lot better," Levitt said.Citing that Walt Disney didn't create fairy tale characters like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, Levitt suggested that the power of the remix is all about making something new, fresh and possibly better."The fact that what I did connected with someone else to inspire them to make something else out of it, that is satisfying in a way that nothing else is," he added."There is no way that the way we think about computing today is going to be enough," he remarked, arguing that the way front office departments like human resources and CRM are run "is done."When Rennie retook the stage, he proposed to the audience to keep in mind this mantra: "the purposeful use of social."He continued to say that we're in the midst of the "rise of the social business," suggesting that there are still some infancy stages to get past, but that there is evidence this strategy is working.Sandy Carter, vice president of the IBM Social Business Evangelism unit, cited a McKinsey Global Institute Study from July 2012 that out of 90 percent of businesses integrating social are experiencing productivity gains of 25 percent on average.Nevertheless, Rennie was steadfast that a lot more work needs to be done."There is no way that the way we think about computing today is going to be enough," he remarked, arguing that the way front office departments like human resources and CRM are run "is done." Carter concurred, "Social is like a healthy diet. It's not something you do temporarily. It's a lifestyle change."Touted as "cloud first and mobile always," the execs introduced the IBM Adopt+ Methodology scheme for the company's top 10 best practices designed for social business adoption. Other new releases coming this year were also introduced on Monday, much of which stem from last year's $1.3 billion acquisition of Kenexa.
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