I’ve written elsewhere about the dangers of ‘big data’, but it is a rare event indeed for a technology vendor to talk some sense.
Mike Hoskins, the Chief Technology Officer of Actian, didn’t pull his punches when he said ‘MapReduce is not just dragging us back to how things in IT were in the 1980s, it’s dragging us back to like it was in the 1950s’.
The big data technology jungle is a technicians’ nirvana, but the associated complexity means that many projects will end in tears. While Google and Facebook might have the resources to put the whole thing together most organizations will struggle.
Actian claims to have some of the answers, but its over-designed web site makes it difficult to establish what is actually being offered. The technology is packaged as the Actian Analytics Platform embracing big data technologies and the tools to analyze data, and most importantly hiding much of the complexity – although how this is achieved isn’t clear. In addition to statistics and data mining tools Actian also provides Actian Vector, a high performance database with very high levels of analytic performance. All-in-all it’s a large, comprehensive platform for big data and analytics tasks. I’ll write a fuller review when I’ve spoken with them.