Big Data

A High Performance Platform For The Full Big Data Lifecycle - Episode 94

Managing big data projects at scale is a perennial problem, with a wide variety of solutions that have evolved over the past 20 years. One of the early entrants that predates Hadoop and has since been open sourced is the HPCC (High Performance Computing Cluster) system. Designed as a fully integrated platform to meet the needs of enterprise grade analytics it provides a solution for the full lifecycle of data at massive scale. In this episode Flavio Villanustre, VP of infrastructure and products at HPCC Systems, shares the history of the platform, how it is architected for scale and speed, and the unique solutions that it provides for enterprise grade data analytics. He also discusses the motivations for open sourcing the platform, the detailed workflow that it enables, and how you can try it for your own projects. This was an interesting view of how a well engineered product can survive massive evolutionary shifts in the industry while remaining relevant and useful.

Read More

Straining Your Data Lake Through A Data Mesh - Episode 90

The current trend in data management is to centralize the responsibilities of storing and curating the organization’s information to a data engineering team. This organizational pattern is reinforced by the architectural pattern of data lakes as a solution for managing storage and access. In this episode Zhamak Dehghani shares an alternative approach in the form of a data mesh. Rather than connecting all of your data flows to one destination, empower your individual business units to create data products that can be consumed by other teams. This was an interesting exploration of a different way to think about the relationship between how your data is produced, how it is used, and how to build a technical platform that supports the organizational needs of your business.

Read More

Data Labeling That You Can Feel Good About - Episode 89

Successful machine learning and artificial intelligence projects require large volumes of data that is properly labelled. The challenge is that most data is not clean and well annotated, requiring a scalable data labeling process. Ideally this process can be done using the tools and systems that already power your analytics, rather than sending data into a black box. In this episode Mark Sears, CEO of CloudFactory, explains how he and his team built a platform that provides valuable service to businesses and meaningful work to developing nations. He shares the lessons learned in the early years of growing the business, the strategies that have allowed them to scale and train their workforce, and the benefits of working within their customer’s existing platforms. He also shares some valuable insights into the current state of the art for machine learning in the real world.

Read More

Scale Your Analytics On The Clickhouse Data Warehouse - Episode 88

The market for data warehouse platforms is large and varied, with options for every use case. ClickHouse is an open source, column-oriented database engine built for interactive analytics with linear scalability. In this episode Robert Hodges and Alexander Zaitsev explain how it is architected to provide these features, the various unique capabilities that it provides, and how to run it in production. It was interesting to learn about some of the custom data types and performance optimizations that are included.

Read More

Maintaining Your Data Lake At Scale With Spark - Episode 85

Building and maintaining a data lake is a choose your own adventure of tools, services, and evolving best practices. The flexibility and freedom that data lakes provide allows for generating significant value, but it can also lead to anti-patterns and inconsistent quality in your analytics. Delta Lake is an open source, opinionated framework built on top of Spark for interacting with and maintaining data lake platforms that incorporates the lessons learned at DataBricks from countless customer use cases. In this episode Michael Armbrust, the lead architect of Delta Lake, explains how the project is designed, how you can use it for building a maintainable data lake, and some useful patterns for progressively refining the data in your lake. This conversation was useful for getting a better idea of the challenges that exist in large scale data analytics, and the current state of the tradeoffs between data lakes and data warehouses in the cloud.

Read More

Unpacking Fauna: A Global Scale Cloud Native Database - Episode 78

One of the biggest challenges for any business trying to grow and reach customers globally is how to scale their data storage. FaunaDB is a cloud native database built by the engineers behind Twitter’s infrastructure and designed to serve the needs of modern systems. Evan Weaver is the co-founder and CEO of Fauna and in this episode he explains the unique capabilities of Fauna, compares the consensus and transaction algorithm to that used in other NewSQL systems, and describes the ways that it allows for new application design patterns. One of the unique aspects of Fauna that is worth drawing attention to is the first class support for temporality that simplifies querying of historical states of the data. It is definitely worth a good look for anyone building a platform that needs a simple to manage data layer that will scale with your business.

Read More

Index Your Big Data With Pilosa For Faster Analytics - Episode 77

Database indexes are critical to ensure fast lookups of your data, but they are inherently tied to the database engine. Pilosa is rewriting that equation by providing a flexible, scalable, performant engine for building an index of your data to enable high-speed aggregate analysis. In this episode Seebs explains how Pilosa fits in the broader data landscape, how it is architected, and how you can start using it for your own analysis. This was an interesting exploration of a different way to look at what a database can be.

Read More

Building An Enterprise Data Fabric At CluedIn - Episode 74

Data integration is one of the most challenging aspects of any data platform, especially as the variety of data sources and formats grow. Enterprise organizations feel this acutely due to the silos that occur naturally across business units. The CluedIn team experienced this issue first-hand in their previous roles, leading them to build a business aimed at building a managed data fabric for the enterprise. In this episode Tim Ward, CEO of CluedIn, joins me to explain how their platform is architected, how they manage the task of integrating with third-party platforms, automating entity extraction and master data management, and the work of providing multiple views of the same data for different use cases. I highly recommend listening closely to his explanation of how they manage consistency of the data that they process across different storage backends.

Read More

A DataOps vs DevOps Cookoff In The Data Kitchen - Episode 73

Delivering a data analytics project on time and with accurate information is critical to the success of any business. DataOps is a set of practices to increase the probability of success by creating value early and often, and using feedback loops to keep your project on course. In this episode Chris Bergh, head chef of Data Kitchen, explains how DataOps differs from DevOps, how the industry has begun adopting DataOps, and how to adopt an agile approach to building your data platform.

Read More

Deep Learning For Data Engineers - Episode 71

Deep learning is the latest class of technology that is gaining widespread interest. As data engineers we are responsible for building and managing the platforms that power these models. To help us understand what is involved, we are joined this week by Thomas Henson. In this episode he shares his experiences experimenting with deep learning, what data engineers need to know about the infrastructure and data requirements to power the models that your team is building, and how it can be used to supercharge our ETL pipelines.

Read More