What is a Metal Cloud?

If you’ve been shopping around for cloud services, especially for big data storage and analytics, you’ve likely stumbled across the term ‘metal cloud’ or ‘bare metal cloud’. The bare metal cloud is a public cloud service offering that allows an organization to rent dedicated servers and hardware resources from a remote cloud service provider. Bare metal allows the business to customize their cloud environment to meet their specific needs. It gives the customer the ability to work with, troubleshoot, and experiment with applications (such as big data) without having to bump up against the multi-tenancy issues that sometimes plague cloud services. In addition to big data operations, bare metal cloud environments are ideal for all workloads that require heavy transactions or are not tolerant of the latency that can come with other public cloud environments. Since it is highly customizable, the bare metal cloud is also immensely flexible. Continue Reading


After the Storm Comes the Heron: How Twitter’s Heron is Attempting to Replace Apache Storm

For the past couple of years, the big data debates have largely involved discussions of Hadoop versus Spark, Spark versus Storm, and MapReduce versus, well, anything but MapReduce. Now a whole new bird has entered the ring: Heron. Heron was born and bred in the inner sanctum of Twitter, and last year completely replaced Storm for production work at Twitter. Yet it remained secluded in the deep, dark bowels of Twitter until just a few weeks ago, when they released it under an open source license. Now that it’s widely available to the masses, expect a new debate to erupt: do we stick with Storm or migrate to Heron? What are the advantages, disadvantages, and other considerations? Relax, here are your answers. Continue Reading


5 Things Driving the Phenomenal Success of Apache Spark

If Hadoop is the tool that ushered in the era of big data, Spark is the one that’s driving the next phase of its evolution. Spark is the brainchild of a group of Berkeley grad students, and brought an entirely new set of use cases for big data and data analytics. Spark is more than just the right thing at the right time, it’s a way to get speed out of analytics where before there was power, but nothing in the way of real-time. So, what is sparking the popularity of Spark? Continue Reading

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6 Ways to Get More Convenience Out of Spark in the Cloud

So, you got Spark. Since you wanted to save tons on storage (plus eliminate all that hassle setting up and maintaining your architecture), you opted for Spark in the cloud. Check and check — you’re headed in the right direction. Now it’s time to make sure that you’re getting the most out of Spark in the cloud. No matter what your primary purpose for the setup was, big data has tremendous potential and way too many use cases to be locked up and reserved for a singular purpose in the organization. Instead of just using it for BI or for customer relationship management, think bigger. Spark can handle it, and in the cloud, so can you. Continue Reading