Hadoop is like a puppy: free, but with hidden costs

Hadoop is obviously changing the way companies store and manage large amounts of data, but one of the less obvious things that Hadoop is doing is changing the economics of how we work with data, said David Menninger, the head of business development and strategy for EMC’s Pivotal. Hadoop is like a puppy: you get one for free, but there are the hidden costs like taking it to the vet and feeding it, said Menninger at GigaOM’s Structure Europe conference in London on Wednesday.

What Menninger meant was that Hadoop might be cheap to access but it has other costs that the traditional data management platforms don’t. There are millions of skilled and trained SQL data developers and scientists, but maybe only thousands of ones skilled at Hadoop, said Menninger. Investment will be needed into bringing people up to speed with the Hadoop infrastructure. “It’s still early days,” said Menninger.

But the investment into SQL won’t be completed stranded, said Menninger, despite that Hadoop will some day become dominant. “The worlds of Hadoop and SQL are going to merge,” and you’ll be able to do SQL processing on top of HDSF. There will be multiple access point, said Menninger.

Check out the rest of our Structure:Europe 2013 live coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:

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A transcription of the video follows on the next page