As I write, a potentially devastating storm may be heading towards the Northeast coast of the United States. While it has the rather friendly sounding name of “Sandy,” it is also being dubbed “The Frankenstorm” by forecasters because of the way it may end up combining multiple weather elements into one furious package.
Since I live in Long Island, New York, I’m potentially right in the cross-hairs of The Frankenstorm. As it happens, I’m not very good at preparing for such events. I tend to take a “Que Sera, Sera” attitude, and I don’t go out and buy milk and batteries and a generator or whatever it is people buy to prepare for such things.
Foolish of me, I know, because sometimes “Que Sera, Sera” can be a lot spookier than the famous Doris Day version linked earlier.
But my data’s protected!
Both my work and personal data are backed up to outside storage, so whatever happens here, my data is safe….. over there someplace. If I lose power, which seems likely, I won’t be able to use my data anyway (once my battery runs out). But the possibility of greater damage exists. I’m not in a flood area, but I’m surrounded by a lot of trees. If one crashes through the window I could suffer a lot of water damage, and if my laptop gets soaked then I’m going to need that offsite data once things get back to normal.
Events like The Frankenstorm really concentrate the mind on backup and disaster recovery. With any luck, Sandy will drift out to sea and we’ll all be spared the impact. I sure preferred it when “Sandy” was just one of my favorite Bruce Springsteen songs.
I just returned from a couple of days in Las Vegas, supporting the efforts of Syncsort reseller partner Zumasys and their user conference, the aptly named Zumapalooza. The Zumapalooza event brought a few hundred Zumasys customers into the Red Rock Casino for a couple of days of increasing their technical and business knowledge as well as having some good fun. It was at this conference that Syncsort received the proud distinction from Zumasys of ‘Vendor of the Year.’
I spoke to a room of IT folks about disaster recovery methods, but that’s not what I want to say today. I want to talk about Zumasys and what a unique company it is. They really have things figured out. President and Co-Founder Paul Giobbi has a deep focus on people first, and the result is a hugely successful company that really knows how to combine work and life in a sensible, healthy way. Let me give you just one example.
Each quarter, Zumasys pays for one of its employees to take a vacation. There’s two requirements: they go somewhere outside of the United States (to seek out new worlds and new civilizations) and when they return they give a presentation about their trip to fellow employees. You might call this a “shared growth” strategy. At Zumapalooza, we were treated to one of these presentations, and I do mean treated! System Engineer Jin Kim gave a fascinating and hilarious slide show about his recent trip to Peru, including visits to Machu Picchu and a list of fun and…. Ummmm…. Interesting things he ate while there. The less said about that the better! (Let’s just say his “Top Five” list of things eaten included live termites!)
My blogging has been a little light here at the Syncsort blog lately because I recently started a blog at Computerworld called Data Protection Insights, which has given me a little less time to blog here. It’s been an interesting experience. It’s not a corporate blog, so I don’t discuss Syncsort related issues. Instead, I get to write about pretty much anything concerned with data protection or software in general.
My first blog was about solar flares and how a large solar event could create a massive disaster. Interestingly enough, only seven days after that blog appeared, an M Class solar flare erupted. M Class is a moderate flare, but larger than normal. You can see the flare here. The music is a bit overdone, but the images are cool. This was only one of a number of M Class fares this August and September. You can read about recent flare activity here. For up-to-the-moment activity, this is the place to go. M Class flares can cause some trouble if they make direct hits on earth, but it’s the X Class flares we have to worry about.
The next blog was about challenges faced by startup companies when it comes to scaling their software to support large environments. I used a metaphor of gorillas and spider monkeys which was a little weird, but I think it got the point across!
The next blog will again cover startup companies and the impact on them of their pricing decisions. Please join the conversation at Data Protection Insights if you can, and I’ll be continuing to post blogs here as well.
Our fifth and final installment from Mitch Seigle’s time on “The Cube” at Hadoop Summit centers around the mantra that pragmaticism is key when embarking on a Big Data project.
With the buzz around Big Data and new tools and approaches like Hadoop popping up seemingly every day to better manage it, organizations must remember to define Big Data based on the goals they want to achieve. They also must remain focused on the value Big Data will deliver to the organization in terms of new opportunities, and base technology decisions around that as a means to that end goal.
Enterprises should remember not to get too wrapped up in the hype surrounding Hadoop but rather focus on how Hadoop and Big Data can help drive the bottom line.
For the complete series on Mitch’s insights from Hadoop Summit, remember to also check out videos 1, 2, 3, and 4.