Let me start with an apology for the late newsletters this week. It’s remarkable how changes in your kid’s schedule can mess with yours, too. Tomorrow’s will likely be even later (or, more likely, delivered on Friday morning) because I’m flying up for Cloudera’s Wrangle conference in the morning. If you’ll be there and want to catch up, you can find me hanging around and taking in what looks like a really good agenda. (And I’m not just saying that because Cloudera’s a sponsor.)
What’s crazy is that if you look at IBM, you see lots of really interesting research and early investments in technologies that have the potential to be game-changers—including, recently, Kubernetes and blockchain. But something happens between there and sales that doesn’t add up. That being said, a growing cloud business is a bright spot (even if it includes everything but the kitchen sink). And, really, who’s actually making real money selling AI right now?
The other biggish infrastructure news on Wednesday is that the Open Container Initiative (which Tom Krazit at GeekWire rightfully points out
“sounds like an outdoor keg party”) released the 1.0 version of its specification. I don’t have a lot to say about this, except to point out that the original goal of OCI was really to ensure that Docker didn’t end up owning the container market from top to bottom. Docker, to its credit, has played along very nicely because—IMHO—it’s still really the only container format that people use, and because embracing open standards (with OCI and the CNCF) is better for business than being on an island.
Here a bunch of blog posts about OCI 1.0, including two Docker-centric ones from Docker:
Finally, I want to point out that Dremio officially launched on Wednesday
, after spending a couple of years in stealth mode. Dremio has built data analytics platform, based on Apache Arrow, that’s designed to more or less do away the enterprise data warehouse. I’m oversimplifying, but its technology aggregates data representations from across data stores (including HDFS, S3, MongoDB, Elasticsearch, RDBMS), stores them in-memory, and then connects to a slew of BI and data science tools.
I spoke with Dremio co-founder and CEO Tomer Shiran about the company, and couldn’t help but think his team (many executives came from MapR and MongoDB) learned a lot of lessons from the era of big data 1.0. Some of those lessons were on the UX front with decisions like investing heavily on UI, self-service and collaboration from the outset, but the biggest one might be realizing that there is no one data lake right now.
“I don’t think you can build a multi-billion-dollar market doing [X for Hadoop,” Shiran said.
Another big thing is owning the competitive nature of Dremio against traditional data warehouse and ETL approaches and companies. Whereas Hadoop companies began with a very partner-centric approach on those two industries, really only positioning the technology (to use Shiran’s term) as “a cheap data warehouse,” Dremio is clearly trying to cut out the middlemen. It’s a tall order, but the timing is right and it’s hard to disrupt entrenched markets by playing nice.