I Love DIY Projects

Posted April 17, 2015 by Joy King, VP Product & GTM Strategy, Vertica

Machine Learning programmer in glasses looks at graphs

I love DIY projects. I love watching the YouTube videos, scouring the web for advice from others, and learning new skills. The innovation and creativity that’s out there is amazing! Plus, DIY projects save money, sometimes a lot of money! This past month, we decided to build our own stone patio in the backyard … how hard could that be? Turns out, lifting 5000+ pounds of rock and stone combined with the challenges of grade and water management is a lot harder than it looks!

Somehow, this experience led me to think about Open Source Software. Quite a leap, isn’t it? But think about it … the innovation and excitement that comes from thousands of smart people working together to create new software is pretty cool. It saves money (well, let’s talk about that later) and it exposes an organization to new thinking in a new era of technology. Then comes the hard part. First, implementations of Open Source Software like Hadoop do take more expertise than might have been expected. So it really makes sense to engage with a professional Hadoop distribution partner. So free isn’t really free anymore. Then the commercial grade discussion comes into play. Is there enough security and manageability built into the current Hadoop distributions to meet the constantly rising bar in today’s world? I don’t want my company’s logo in the next Big Data breach article. Finally, the underlying infrastructure (kind of like the piping, drainage gravel and paver base that now must be added to my patio project!) starts to expand in ways that might not have been expected. But does this mean that Open Source projects are a bad idea? Absolutely not! I will never give up the satisfaction (and cost savings!) of DIY projects. But the key is to make the right choices and partner with the right people. We have a passion for innovation and we love the excitement of the Open Source community; that’s why we were so excited to contribute our recent Distributed R release to Open Source. We want our customers to find value in their Hadoop implementations so we bring the strongest and most sophisticated SQL on Hadoop offering to the market with a set of rich analytics that can really uncover the insights in data stored in Hadoop. After all, as Mike Stonebraker, the founder of Vertica and winner of the Turing Award (really the Nobel Prize of Computer Science!) recently said in an interview with Barron’s, “It started out, NoSQL meant, ‘Not SQL,’ then it became ‘Not only SQL,’ and now I think it means “Not-yet-SQL.” That’s why we are so determined to “speak the language” that our developer and customer community knows and needs. And perhaps most importantly, we continue to develop open APIs and SDKs for our Big Data Platform because we know that the brilliant and passionate developer community (think DIY for analytics!) needs the right tools for their jobs. We believe in DIY. We’re a hands on group with the advantage of structured QA processes, the expertise from more than a decade of analytics purpose built for Big Data, and the ability to bring data scientists and data migration specialists to any enterprise DIY project through our Enterprise Services Analytics & Data Management practice. Got a DIY project in mind? We’re in!