Hadoop World: Talking HBase with Facebook’s Jonathan Gray

November 16, 2011

At Hadoop World, Facebook’s Jonathan Gray gave two talks: HBase Roapmap, and Building Realtime Big Data Services at Facebook with Hadoop and HBase.  While I wasn’t able to attend the sessions, at the end of the conference I was able to catch up with the man himself.

Here’s what he had to say:

Some of the ground Jonathan covers

  • How Jonathan got involved with HBase and how Facebook uses it
  • (1:00) Where does HBase fit in the big data ecosystem
  • (1:54) HBase vs MySQL
  • (2:44) The HBase community and where the committers reside
  • (5:35) What is Jonathan looking forward to in HBase (the “HBase DBA”)

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Where Dell plays in the Cloud and how we got there

November 3, 2011

One of the interviews I did at Dell World was a video with IT in Canada.   I did the video with Paul Cooper, Dell’s country manager for Canada.

In the first half of the video I talk about how Dell got into the cloud and where we play in the space.  In the second half Paul talks about the roll the telcos will play in the delivery of cloud services in Canada as well as issues around privacy and data sovereignty.

Check it out.

From the article itself, here’s a great summary of our cloud participation and shows how we have built, bought and partnered along the way:

Dell’s excursion into cloud began with organic development of server and data centre capability in specialized systems to meet the needs of large cloud providers (Facebook, Microsoft Azure and Bing), progressed through modification of these systems for marketing to the “next 1,000”, and shifted to partnership with software makers such as Joyent to develop complete cloud solutions, and with companies such as VMware for the creation of a full service public cloud offering.

Supporting acquisitions along the way include companies with specific capabilities such as SecureWorks, which was purchased to address web security concerns that continue to dog broader cloud adoption, and BOOMI, a specialist in cloud integration, which enables Dell to better service customers who adopt a hybrid cloud approach to sourcing compute resources.

Extra-Credit reading


Props from GigaOm for Dell as Web outfitter

September 26, 2011

Dell has been working for the last four plus years outfitting the biggest of the big web superstars like Facebook and Microsoft Azure with infrastructure.   More recently we have been layering software  such as Hadoop, OpenStack and crowbar on top of  that infrastructure.  This has not gone unnoticed by web pub GigaOm:

Want to become the next Amazon Web Services or Facebook? Dell could have sold you the hardware all along, but now it has the software to make those servers and storage systems really hum.

They also made the following observation:

Because [Dell] doesn’t have a legacy [software] business to defend, it can blaze a completely new trail that has its trailhead where Oracle, IBM and HP leave off.

Letting customers focus on what matters most

Its a pretty exciting time to be at Dell as we continue to move up the stack outfitting web players big and small.  The idea is to get these players established and growing in an agile and elastic way so they can concentrate on serving customers rather than building out their underpinning software and systems.

Stay tuned for more!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


A walk thru Facebook’s HQ on Open Compute day

April 12, 2011

Last Thursday a group of us from Dell attended and participated in the unveiling of Facebook’s Open Compute project.

Much the way open source software shares the code behind the software, the Open Compute project has been created to provide the specifications behind the servers and the data center.    By releasing these specs, Facebook is looking to promote the sharing of data center and server technology best practices across the industry.

Pre-Event

The unassuming entrance to Facebook's Palo Alto headquarters.

The Facebook wall.

Facebook headquarters at 8am. (nice monitors! :)

Words of wisdom on the wall.

The Event

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg kicks off the Open Compute event.

The panel moderated by Om Malik that closed the event. Left to right: Om, Graham Weston of Rackspace, Frank Frankovsky of Facebook, Michael Locatis of the DOE, Alan Leinwand of Zynga, Forrest Norrod of Dell (with the mic) and Jason Waxman of Intel.

Post-event show & tell: Drew Schulke of Dell's DCS team being interviewed for the nightly news and showing off a Dell DCS server that incorporates elements of Open Compute.

Extra credit reading

  • GigaOM: Bringing Facebook’s Open Compute Project Down to Earth
  • The Register:  Facebook’s open hardware: Does it compute?

Pau for now…


Rackspace’s head of OpenStack talks about Facebook’s Open Compute

April 7, 2011

This morning at Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto the company announced their Open Compute project  Partners and kindred spirits were there to tell the story behind Open Compute and explain what they think it means to the industry.  One group of kindred spirits were the individuals from Rackspace.  I got some time with Jim Curry who heads up OpenStack at Rackspace after the event officially ended.

Here is what Jim had to say:

Some of the topics Jim covers:

  • Driving efficiencies in data center design requires looking at the issue holistically.
  • Learning from Facebook’s successes and failures.
  • Looking forward to collaboration in an area that hasn’t historically had a lot of collaboration.
  • Engagement with Facebook engineers on how to run OpenStack on their hardware.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Frank Frankovsky of Facebook talks about Open Compute — how they got there and where they go from here

April 7, 2011

Former Dell DCS dude Frank Frankovsky has been at Facebook for about 18 months.  Frank is Facebook’s Director, Hardware Design and Supply Chain and since he arrived, he has been heavily involved in the Open Compute project.  Today was the big day when Open Compute made its worldwide debut.

Frank represented Facebook on the panel discussion which was moderated by GigaOM’s Om Malik.  After the panel I was able to grab a few minutes with Frank, between press interviews, and learn first hand about the project.

Some of the topics Frank covers:

  • What he and his team do at Facebook
  • Their brand new data center which is running open compute infrastructure
  • Opening up the details and specs of their data center and the systems they are running
  • The genesis of the open compute project
  • What are the next steps for the open compute project

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…


Forrest Norrod of Dell on Open Compute

April 7, 2011

This morning, at Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, the company unveiled the Open Compute project.  Also on hand to support the announcement were partners such as Dell and Intel, who served on a panel alongside representatives from Rackspace, the Department of Energy, Zynga and Facebook.  Forrest Norrod, GM of Dell’s server platform division represented Dell on the panel.

I caught up with Forrest after the event to get his take on the Open Compute project and what it means for Dell.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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