The Hadoop wars, HP cloud(s) and IBM’s big win

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If you are confused about Hewlett-Packard’s cloud plan of action, this week’s guest will lay it out for you. Bill Hilf, the SVP of Helion product management, makes his second appearance on the show (does that make him our Alec Baldwin?) to talk about HP’s many-clouds-one-management layer strategy.

The lineup? Helion Eucalyptus for private clouds which need Amazon Web Services API compatibility; Helion OpenStack for the rest and [company]HP[/company] Cloud Development Platform (aka Cloud Foundry) for platform as a service.  Oh and there’s HP Public Cloud which I will let him tell you about himself.

But first Derrick Harris and I are all over IBM’s purchase of AlchemyAPI, the cool deep learning startup that does stuff like identifying celebs and wanna-be celebs from their photos. It’s a win for [company]IBM [/company]because all that coolness will be sucked into Watson and expand the API set Watson can parlay for more useful work. (I mean, winning Jeopardy is not really a business model, as IBM Watson exec Mike Rhodin himself has pointed out.) 

At first glance it might seem that a system that can tell the difference between Will Ferrell and Chad Smith might be similarly narrow, but after consideration you can see how that fine-grained, self-teaching technology could find broader uses.

AlchemyAPI CEO Elliot Turner and IBM Watson sales chief Stephen Gold shared the stage at Structure Data last year. Who knows what deals might be spawned at this year’s event?

Celebrity_ChadSmith_WillFerrell_cropped

Also we’re happy to follow the escalating smack talk in the Hadoop arena as Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly this week declared victory over the new [company]Hortonworks[/company]-IBM-Pivotal-backed Open Data Platform effort which we’re now fondly referring to as the ABC or “Anyone But Cloudera” alliance.

It’s a lively show so have a listen and (hopefully) enjoy.

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Hosts: Barb Darrow, Derrick Harris and Jonathan Vanian

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Mark Cuban on net neutrality: the FCC can’t protect competition. 

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Mark Cuban on net neutrality: FCC can’t protect competition

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As someone who takes her cues on net neutrality from Gigaom’s resident expert Stacey Higginbotham or, failing that, John Oliver, this is hard to admit: Mark Cuban may have a point on why the proposed net neutrality regulations may be a cure that’s worse than the disease.

If adopted, he maintained, these regs will open the door to more confusion, more litigation and more overall turmoil, none of which will serve consumers well. Before you throw your device at the wall, just give him a listen. Cuban, the serial entrepreneur who started out as a VAR before founding Broadcast.com which sold to [company]Yahoo[/company] in a $5.7 billion stock deal in 1999. He is now owner of the Dallas Mavericks, co-star of Shark Tank and CEO of of AXS TV  and interestingly a star of new AT&T commercials. The hyphens just keep coming.

Here’s his gist on net neutrality. He doesn’t think the big bad ISPs have behaved all that badly, or all that differently, than they ever have, so why all the hubbub now?

“It’s not like [company]AT&T[/company] and [company]Comcast[/company] have recently become super big companies and changed their actions… One of the tenets of net neutrality is that no legal website should be discriminated against. Well, name me one that has been.” He also pretty much dismisses [company]Netflix[/company] claims that it in fact faced such discrimination.

He sees competition ramping up in both in wired and wireless access — if these markets are so foreclosed why is Google doing broadband? Why is “AT&T going out of its traditional TV markets where they have U-verse to compete with Comcast and Google? That’s one layer. On the other layer you have mobile, with [company]Cablevision[/company] going into Manhattan where [company]Verizon[/company] and AT&T have broadband wireless and putting together an unwired wifi network for $30 a month’

His point is that there is competition, although it may not be the competition we would all like to see.

Cuban is clearly worried about one, well two mega players and neither one is a big ISP. “I would rather see national competition for [company]Google[/company] than no competition for Google. If you put a lid on Time Warner and Comcast and Google just keeps adding more and more markets, who’s going to compete with them?”

Google and [company]Apple[/company] constitute a huge countervailing force for all the ISPs because of their mobile might. “The fastest growing access for Internet is mobile. Who controls access to mobile? Google and Apple. The far greater risk is if Apple decides that the Comcast app is not right, Comcast won’t be able to reach most of its market to give access to its own broadband. Kind of crazy but it’s a possibility.” For the record, he isn’t recommending regulation to stop that either.

His point isn’t that Comcast or Time Warmer or insert-your-least-favorite cable provider here) are so great — he admits they are not — it’s just that the FCC its regulations are ill equipped to deal with fast-changing technologies. The public would be better served to let the cable companies duke it out with each other and, perhaps more to the point, with far scarier competitors including Google and Apple.

He starts about 10 minutes in. But here is the kill shot: Do you really want the same organization (the FCC) that took 8 years to deal with Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction at Super Bowl XXXVIII to be the gating factor in the internet? Ummmm, maybe not.

Listen to the whole thing to find out how you, too, can get in touch with Cuban, such a shy and reserved guy, to ask your own questions on net neutrality; whether the NBA is seeing diminishing returns on data analytics; and why the heck the Celtics let the Mavs steal Rajon Rondo. Whatever.

Businessman and TV personality Mark Cuban speaks onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

Businessman and TV personality Mark Cuban speaks onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

In our intro section, Jonathan Vanian and I discuss all (or a bunch anyway) of this week’s Kubernetes news — where Mirantis was latest into the pool, working with Google to bring the cluster management framework to OpenStack clouds, joining HP and a raft of other tech vendors endorsing the open-source framework. Interestingly, Spotify blazed its own trail,  Helios as opposed to Kubernetes for its own workloads.

Oh and we wonder what is up, exactly, with HP’s cloud now that Marten Mickos has stepped back from his leadership job — after just six months.

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Hosts: Barb Darrow, Derrick Harris and Jonathan Vanian

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Microsoft’s machine learning guru on why data matters sooooo much 

No, you don’t need a ton of data to do deep learning 

VMware wants all those cloud workloads “marooned” in AWS

Don’t like your cloud vendor? Wait a second.

Hilary Mason on taking big data from theory to reality

 

 

Microsoft’s machine learning guru on why data matters sooooo much

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Not surprisingly, Joseph Sirosh, has big ambitions for his product portfolio at Microsoft which includes Azure ML, HDInsight and other tools. Chief among them is making it easy for mere mortals to consume these data services from the applications they’re familiar with. Take Excel for example.

If a financial analyst can, with a few clicks, send data to a forecast service in the cloud, then get the numbers back, visualized on the same spreadsheet, that’s a pretty powerful story, said Sirosh who is corporate VP of machine learning for Microsoft.

But as valuable as those applications and services are, more and more of the value to be derived from computation over time will be the data itself, not all those tech underpinnings.  “In the future a huge part of the value generated from computing will come from the data as opposed to storage and operating systems and basic infrastructure,” he noted on this week’s podcast. WHich is why one topic under discussion at next month’s Structure Data show will be who owns all the data flowing betwixt and betweeen various systems, the internet of things etc.

When it comes to getting corporations running these new systems [company]Microsoft[/company] may have an ace in the hole because so many of them already use key Microsoft tools — Active Directory, SQL Server, Excel. That gives them a pretty good on-ramp to Microsoft Azure and its resident services. Sirosh makes a compelling case and we’ll talk to him more on stage at Structure Data next month in New York City.

In the first half of the show, Derrick Harris and I talk about the Hadoop world has returned to its feisty and oh so interesting roots. When Pivotal announced its plan to offload support of Hadoop to [company]Hortonworks[/company] and work with that company along with [company]IBM[/company], [company]GE[/company] on  the Open Data Platform the response from Cloudera CEO Mike Olsen in a blog post with his take. 

Also on the docket, @WalmartLabs massive OpenStack production private cloud implementation.

Joesph Sirosh

Joseph Sirosh

 

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris.

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No, you don’t need a ton of data to do deep learning 

VMware wants all those cloud workloads “marooned” in AWS

Don’t like your cloud vendor? Wait a second.

Hilary Mason on taking big data from theory to reality

On the importance of building privacy into apps and Reddit AMAs

No, you don’t need a ton of data to do deep learning

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There are a couple of seemingly contradictory memes rolling around the deep learning field. One is that you need a truly epic amount of data to do interesting work. The other is that in many subject areas there is a ton of data but it’s not just laying around for data scientists to snarf up.

On this week’s Structure Show podcast, Enlitic Founder and CEO Jeremy Howard and Senior Data Scientist Ahna Girshick address those topics and more.

Girshick, who is our first guest who’s worked with Philip Glass and Björk to create music visualizations, said there are scads of MRIs, CAT scans, x-rays created but once they’re used for their primary purpose — to diagnose your bum knee — they are then squirreled away in some PACS system never to see the light of day again.

All of that data is useful for machine learning algorithms, or would be, if it were accessible, she said.

Ahna Girshick, Enlitic's senior data scientist.

Ahna Girshick, Enlitic’s senior data scientist.

Girshick and  Howard agreed that while deep learning — the process of a computer teaching itself how to solve a problem — gets better as the data set grows, there’s no reason to hold off working with it to wait for that data to become available.

“While more data can be better I think this is stopping people from trying to use big data,” Howard said. He cited a recent Kaggle competition on facial key point recognition that  uses 7,000 images and “the top algorithms are nearly perfectly accurate.”

The reason companies like Baidu and Google say you need mountains of data is because they have mountains of data available, he said.  “I don’t think people should be put off trying to use deep learning just because they don’t have a lot of data.”

Enlitic is using deep learning to provide medical diagnoses faster and provide better medical and outcomes for millions of underserved people.

It’s a fascinating discussion so please check it out — Girshick will speak more on what Enlitic is doing at Structure Data next month.

And, if you want to hear what’s going on with Pivotal’s big data portfolio, Derrick Harris has the latest. Oh and Microsoft makes a bold play for startups by ponying up $500K in Azure cloud credits starting with the Y Combinator Winter 2015 class. That ups the ante pretty significantly compared to what [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services, [company]Google[/company] and [company]IBM[/company] offer. Your move boys.

 

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris.

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PREVIOUS EPISODES:

VMware wants all those cloud workloads “marooned” in AWS

Don’t like your cloud vendor? Wait a second.

Hilary Mason on taking big data from theory to reality

On the importance of building privacy into apps and Reddit AMAs

Cheap cloud + open source = a great time for startups 

 

Don’t like your cloud vendor? Wait a second.

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If your cloud provider’s lineup leaves you cold, you can jump ship. Or you could wait a minute because things could — probably will — change. There’s already been a ton of consolidation  — the acquisitions of MetaCloud, Eucalyptus, Cloudscaling et al by Cisco, HP, and EMC respectively.

And considerable partnering as well. This week’s news that [company]VMware[/company] and [company]Google[/company] are collaborating to bring key Google cloud services — including BigQuery — to VMware’s vCloud Air is just the latest –and most striking example.

Google potentially gets an entry point to VMware’s enterprise customers and vCloud Air gets more cool large-scale applications to bring in more customers. Depending on how this arrangement is executed it could give both players a better competitive story vis-a-vis [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services.

Speaking of which, the latter continued its push into business applications with AWS WorkMail. Seriously, yet another email product? Wasn’t this category supposed to be dead already?

We also hash out the tectonic shifts at [company]IBM[/company]. First, a key departure — that of Lance Crosby, former CEO of SoftLayer, the company IBM bought in mid 2012 for $2.2 billion. Crosby came over to drive IBM’s cloud strategy and then suddenly he wasn’t. And now he’s gone.

But there are other exits coming too as IBM launches another round of layoffs. They probably won’t amount to the 26 percent cuts reported (110,000 jobs!) but no one really knows how deep they’ll go so stay tuned.

On a cheerier note we hash out cool new business intelligence both from IBM and [company]Microsoft[/company]. And, in the run up to Structure Data, Derrick talks to Matt Ocko,  co-managing partner of DataCollective, who has a good handle on what’s overdone, and what’s truly new-and-important in data. You’ll get a taste of what you’ll hear about at Structure Data in March.  So give it a listen.

 

 

GIGAOM STRUCTURE DATA 2014

 

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris.

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Hilary Mason on taking big data from theory to reality

On the importance of building privacy into apps and Reddit AMAs

Cheap cloud + open source = a great time for startups 

It’s all Docker containers and the cloud on the Structure Show

Mo’ money, mo’ data, mo’ cloud on the Structure Show

Why CoreOS went its own way on containers

 

 

Hilary Mason on taking big data from theory to reality

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If you’re interested in assessing how and when a given data technology — deep learning, machine intelligence, natural language generation — can move from the theoretical to commercial use,  Hilary Mason may have the best job around. This week’s guest, the CEO and Founder of Fast Forward Labs, talks about how that startup taps into a wide array of expertise sources– from academic and commercial research, the open source world to “outsider art” in the realms of spam and malware, to come up with new ideas for applications.

One natural language generation (NLG) project, for example, lets a person who wants to sell her house, enter the parameters — square footage, number of rooms etc — then step back to let the system write up the ad for that property. (As a person who makes her living from writing words, all I can say is: “ick.”)

She’s also got an interesting take on opportunities in the internet of things — a term she dislikes — and why the much-maligned title of data scientist has validity. Mason is really interesting so if you’re pressed for time, check out at least the second half of this podcast. And to hear more from her, be sure to sign up for Structure Data in March, where she will return to speak in March.

Shivon Zilis, VC, Bloomberg Beta; Sven Strohband, Partner and CTO, Khosla Ventures; Hilary Mason, Data Scientist in Residence, Accel Partners; Jalak Jobanputra, Managing Partner, FuturePerfect Ventures.

Shivon Zilis, VC, Bloomberg Beta; Sven Strohband, Partner and CTO, Khosla Ventures; Hilary Mason, Data Scientist in Residence, Accel Partners; Jalak Jobanputra, Managing Partner, FuturePerfect Ventures.

As for segment one, Derrick and I discuss Datapipe’s acquisition of GoGrid, the first cloud consolidation move of the new year; the long-awaited Box IPO; and an itty bit on Microsoft’s foray into augmented reality.

So get cozy and take a listen.

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris.

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PREVIOUS EPISODES:

On the importance of building privacy into apps and Reddit AMAs

Cheap cloud + open source = a great time for startups 

It’s all Docker containers and the cloud on the Structure Show

Mo’ money, mo’ data, mo’ cloud on the Structure Show

Why CoreOS went its own way on containers

 

 

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On the importance of building privacy into apps and Reddit AMAs

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Given the increasing need to keep private data private in a world of habitual over-sharing on social media and the burgeoning internet of things, the work Jean Yang is doing at MIT is important.

Yang and her team are working on Jeeves, a framework meant to help programmers build privacy and potentially other policies right into their code. If it works as foreseen — and there is still a lot to do around performance — a developer could write policies — who can see what and when — right into the application. Those policies would then follow the data associated with that application around.

So, for example, an application might share your GPS data only for a limited amount of time — while you’re in the zip code — then revoke that information.

Speakers: Jean Yang - Ph.D. Candidate, MIT CSAIL

Speakers:
Jean Yang – Ph.D. Candidate, MIT CSAIL

On this week’s Structure Show, Yang talks more about that work and also about the Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) she and too other female MIT Ph.D. candidates hosted last month.  The usual trolls showed up to ask the women for dates etc. but Yang was not discouraged. There were a lot of thoughtful questions — about the value of a Ph.D., how to keep young girls interested in math and science etc.  She and co-hosts lElena Glassman and Neha Narula later wrote about the experience for Wired. A video of Yang’s talk at Structure 2013 is linked below.

Also on the show, Derrick and talk about how the venerable database category remains hot, as evidenced by new funding rounds for [company]MongoDB[/company] ($80 million) and [company]Basho[/company] ($25 million) are any indication. In the first half of the show Derrick and I talk about that and about the end of the road for [company]Microsoft[/company]’s infamous anti-Google [company]Scroogled campaign[/company].

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShtmETL31Bg]

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris.

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PREVIOUS EPISODES:

Cheap cloud + open source = a great time for startups 

It’s all Docker containers and the cloud on the Structure Show

Mo’ money, mo’ data, mo’ cloud on the Structure Show

Why CoreOS went its own way on containers

More from Facebook on its new networking architecture 

Cheap cloud + open source = a great time for startups

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While the rest of the world binges on IoT goodies from CES 2015, we thought we’d focus on (what else?) enterprise-grade infrastructure. This week’s guest, Steve Herrod was formerly CTO of VMware, and so knows a little something, something about that topic. Now he’s managing director of General Catalyst where he’s looking for the next VMwares of the world.

Listen to his take on the wild world of cybersecurity where it’s pretty clear that the battle has to move beyond fighting yesterday’s threats; why the Hortonworks IPO is so closely watched; and how today’s startups have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to available, inexpensive infrastructure. With [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, [company]Microsoft[/company] Azure and other players offering credits to woo startups, a young company can get up to $100K ($120K in IBM’s case) of plumbing for free. Let me reiterate: Free.

That’s a huge opportunity — although skeptics may point to parallels between cut-price cloud and crack cocaine, but I digress.

In our segment, Derrick Harris talks about how artificial intelligence is finding its way into the chip modules that will control our connected cars and other things, and we hash out the sticky matter of cloud closures and other topics.

Have a listen to the first Structure show of 2015 and let us be the gazillionth to say Happy New Year!

 

Structure 2012: Steve Herrod - CTO and SVP of R&D, VMware

Structure 2012: Steve Herrod – CTO and SVP of R&D, VMware

 

 

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris.

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It’s all Docker containers and the cloud on the Structure Show

Mo’ money, mo’ data, mo’ cloud on the Structure Show

Why CoreOS went its own way on containers

More from Facebook on its new networking architecture 

Do you find OSS hard to deploy? Say hey to ZerotoDocker

 

Mo’ money, mo’ data, mo’ cloud on the Structure Show

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If you want an informed opinion on the state of the cloud and the relative merits of the players, Sebastian Stadil’s a good person to ask. Founder and CEO of Scalr, a multi-cloud management company, he keeps his finger on the pulse of all the players and — perhaps more importantly — their customers.

On this week’s Structure Show he handicaps how [company]Google[/company] and [company]Microsoft[/company] are doing in public cloud not just technologically but in terms of their sales strategies which, when it comes to enterprise accounts, may be just as important as technology. And of course the company everyone is measuring by is [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services which leads the pack.  Oh, and he’s got lots to say about the OpenStack ecosystem as well; cloud technologies from [company]Oracle[/company], [company]Joyent[/company] and more.

It was a busy week in the funding arena with Nginx, DataGravity, and Mesopshere all getting substantial VC rounds ($20 million, $50 million and $36 million respectively.) That ain’t chicken feed and we talk that out.

And, of course, this week’s Hortonworks IPO puts the spotlight back on Hadoop and big data in a  big way, which gives us a chance to tout Gigaom’s upcoming Structure Data event which will feature talks from Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden, Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly and MapR CEO John Schroeder.

 

Sebastian Stadil, CEO of Scalr

Sebastian Stadil, CEO of Scalr

 

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Why CoreOS went its own way on containers

More from Facebook on its new networking architecture 

Do you find OSS hard to deploy? Say hey to ZerotoDocker

All about AWS Re:Invent and oh some Hortonworks and Microsoft news too

Ok, we admit it. Google may be serious about cloud after all