Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aweekstweets October 18-25 2009

Aweekstweets October 18-25 2009

JK2---BI vendors are making true real-time updates, via complex event processing (CEP), one of their big themes for the coming year. I see this across the board, with a few exceptions who I believe will come around. In-memory clients with interactive visualization against very large local memory caches will keep it an “real-enough time” experience even when connectivity’s interrupted or throttles down.

  • Orphaned context-bereft "mention" responses in Twitter: even when try to find whatever tweet of mine may have prompted, half of time I can'tabout 3 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---The larger issue is that we’ve adopted Twitter as an interpersonal messaging medium when it’s not entirely adapted to that purpose. So we’ve introduced as much mess as messaging into this medium. But, then again, e-mail’s not an ideal messaging medium either, as anybody who ever tried to follow an overextended back-and-forth e-mail discussion thread will attest. We’ve adapted our habits and heads to extract as much signal as practical from the noise.

JK2---Actually, the Forrester resport, “BI Polishes Its Crystal Ball” (August 18, 2009) was co-authored by myself, Boris Evelson, and Leslie Owens. Here’s the executive summary: “Enterprise strategic, tactical and operational decision makers want to understand past and present activity, but also anticipate the future to avoid being blindsided by seemingly hidden events. How do companies build a competitive “crystal ball”? They use advanced analytics applications integrated into their business intelligence (BI) applications and enterprise data warehousing (EDW) platforms. Many enterprises deploy siloed traditional BI and advanced analytics environments through fragmented, departmental, and tactical initiatives. In addition, vendors typically offer spotty or non-existent integration among advanced analytics and BI solutions. But large BI vendors are pulling together deeper advanced analytics strategies – a trend strongly confirmed by IBM’s recently announced plan to acquire SPSS. Forrester believes this strategic trend will continue, and will benefit business process & application (BP&A) and information & knowledge management (I&KM) professionals looking to build integrated traditional and advanced (predictive) BI applications.”

  • I tend to growl at a ringing phone, IM dialogue box, pop-up Web ad, or any other tech contrivance that screams for my attention RIGHT NOW!about 12 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---By the way, I’m not naturally anti-social. I’m more anti-interruption. No, not that, I’m anti-distraction. The fact that I’m often in mid-thought and mid-task makes every distraction, interruption, and call to interact in real-time ever more annoying. More than that: injurious to my bread and butter. I’m paid to focus on complex, ever-changing stuff. Every interruption defocuses me and makes it harder to resume where I left off. But I suppose you’re in the same fix, since most information workers face this same dilemma. I’m good about processing my asynchronous message queues, and tend to do so with a smile on my face. Because it gives me maximum control over my throughput.

JK2---A lone unconnected social network is my favorite. One in which it’s just me and a few kindreds talking about stuff that rocks our world, regardless of what the world thinks. It’s not as if the more connected public social networks are our enemy. It’s just that peer groups are our soul.

  • Interesting. Only one-third of blogs from my 4-year-old OPML list have gone dark. Thought it would be more. People still feeding blogs.about 15 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---I’ll bet there’s been a higher percentage of trade pubs going dark over that same period. Lots of people have found lots of approaches to keeping their blogs fresh with content. For example: my, mine, this.

  • Starting to explore the RSS feedreader in Internet Explorer. Far better than its sibling in Outlook. Think I'll default to the former.about 15 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---My browser’s my portal to the world. Of course I’ll spend more time there if I can keep it fresh with content feeds that I personally choose.

JK2---We’re living more of our lives in public now. It’s almost trivial now to listen into all kinds of conversational threads everywhere all the time. A good analyst—and that’s what’s at the core of the CIA—can piece together a substantial amount of valuable intelligence without putting agents in the field, or in harm’s way.

JK2---Advertising may be a dying art. Word of mouth—through social networks—may be replacing it as the “hidden persuader.” Spread a buzz for your product through Twitter, Facebook, etc, and see demand grow, without having to spend a dime on traditional or even online advertising media. Use search engines—such as track your influence and tweak your campaign in real time. Before long, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo may find their search-socialnet-buzz services cannibalizing their search-keyword-ad revenues.

  • Windows 7. What's that? Microsoft counting years since I last paid attention to their next client OS? I have several OS versions. All's OK.about 19 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---I never pay attention to Apple’s either. Much like I never pay attention to new models of cars. Or new fashions. Call me a slob. But I’ll use/drive/wear whatever’s current and in the stores. And I’ll hold onto it all until it absolutely physically wears out. I prefer to live my life rather than fuss over stuff that’s good enough for my purposes. I’ll make the most of whatever.

  • Spread spectrum. Code frequency & space division. Many paths for encoding scattering & segregating signals. My adaptive smart array on fritzabout 19 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---Just spacing out, thinking back to my mid-90s stint at LCC International, product manager making test equipment for cellular system engineers. Betcha didn’t know that about me. I got a good layman’s grounding in cellular radio-frequency engineering, and have not used that knowledge in any way since that time. Much like my college calculus.

  • Kinda nice to have influence over vendor doings. Kinda not nice. Cuz when I comment on what they do, I'm also obliquely commenting on myselfabout 21 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---When I say I have “influence,” it’s more along the lines of this or that vendor saying they’ve tweaked their go-to-market message based on something I told them or tweeted. When I say “obliquely commenting on myself,” it’s usually the feeling of being flattered combined with the feeling of being dissatisfied with those ideas. I’m always moving onto some new or larger topic, context, or perspective on it all.

JK2---Perfect example of larger context. The EDW, enriched through in-database analytics, is becoming an analytic application server, embedding inline predictive models in SOA applications. It’s also becoming a convergence point for analytic and transactional applications. To become an enterprise-grade app server, the massively parallel EDW grid will need to isolate app services from data services and provide tools for scaling, optimizing, securing, and administering these disparate services in an SOA framework. More on this in November.

  • Quite interested in hearing what IBM will discuss re SPSS roadmap at next week's IOD. Still not sure there's a concrete roadmap.about 21 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---Not at all sure. I don’t see much mention of SPSS in all the prebriefings.

JK2---Key takeaway: “Your organization should adopt Service-Oriented Analytics practices to dissolve silos that prevent maximum reuse of predictive analytic apps, modeling professionals, and best practices across business and application domains.”

JK2---Maturity is knowing when your current status is a permanent plateau—butte or rut—and being satisfied with the view. You’re going to have to make your peace with whatever level you’ve attained, even if you make every effort to, as Stevie Wonder put it, “reach my higher ground.”

  • Interesting flanking maneuver: vendor positioning of next-gen EDW as completely extensible partner-enabling analytic-app delivery platform.about 23 hours ago from TweetDeck

JK2---I figure that Netezza will have to go this route, unless they acquire BI, ETL, MDM, and other complementary vendors/solutions. Or add a consulting arm.

  • Interesting flanking maneuver: vendor positioning of next-gen EDW as something more: complete ready-to-deploy biz analytic app suite in box8:50 AM Oct 22nd from TweetDeck

JK2---I figure that Microsoft will have to go this route, if they wish to truly make headway selling SQL Server “Madison” appliances into the vast small-to-midsized business market.

  • Interesting flanking maneuver: vendor positioning of next-gen EDW as something more: OLTP/analytic app server. Exadata v2? Maybe, sorta.8:45 AM Oct 22nd from TweetDeck

JK2---I figure that Oracle will deepen their focus on this theme as they integrate their huge application portfolio with their hugely powerful new EDW platform.

  • In DW market, only deep-pocketed lo-cost players can survive $/TB trench war. Marketing blitzes can work. As can innovation-driven flanking8:40 AM Oct 22nd from TweetDeck

JK2---Deep-pocketed? Reasonably, that term can only apply to those huge vendors with significant scale economies and lucrative cash-cow products. It fits Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and HP. Who else?

  • In mature markets with huge legacies, competitive warfare mixes WW1 (trench), WW2 (blitz), Vietnam (guerilla), & Gulf (laser-guided) tactics8:32 AM Oct 22nd from TweetDeck

JK2---Guerilla tactics in the DW space? That’s FUD, right? Scaring the competitor’s legacy customers with end-of-life threats when a vendor rolls out a shiny new platform, and encouraging them (through special price breaks etc.) to migrate to your own product. Scaring an acquired vendor’s legacy customer with that same end-of-life bogeyman. Laser-guided? Acquiring the DW appliance competitor’s main hardware platform provider.

  • DW is a mature market. Even with all the startup activity and innovation, I'm struck by how many vendors & analysts have been at it forever.8:22 AM Oct 22nd from TweetDeck

JK2---Reading up on DW discussions from the 90s (Kimball vs. Inmon; OLAP best practices, etc.). Doesn’t feel all that different from today. And that’s good: stable body of time-proven practices that work for enterprise IT pros. Diverse schools of thought that debate perennial issues.

  • Another morning of glancing at my physical copies of WashPost & WSJ. Great journalism that can only be read in depth at night when exhausted6:38 AM Oct 22nd from TweetDeck

JK2---Old-style newspapers are becoming a bit like magazines: digests we read at leisure, rather than on the run. Most of the on-the-run consumption of news is online, mobile, social.

  • A week's delayed pondering on #OOW09. Oracle needs to ramp data mining strategy bigtime. Exadata v2's great promise is in-database analytics9:47 PM Oct 21st from TweetDeck

JK2---Oracle paid very little attention to data mining at OOW09. That’s unfortunate. They have a strong tool and a strong EDW for in-database analytics.

  • I prefer "business analytics" for its mouth feel: penultimate stress, saucy tongue-roll, redoubled short-i echoes, crunchy end-click.9:43 PM Oct 21st from TweetDeck

JK2---Reminds me. Here’s a triple-haiku I wrote extemporaneously for Kristina Kerr of Microsoft’s BI team last year at their show in downtown Seattle, over dinner, in response to my challenge to her to give me the seed word. She said “crunchy”:


Thought is optional.
Have to have hands to grasp and
tear the text to bits.

Pulp's preferable.
Its immolation is a
blazing face of fire.

An unlocking of
energies that only hard
tedium can free.

Also reminds me, here, from 2000, is my first triple-haiku, which I wrote extemporaneously for no one, in my head, at an industry conference in downtown Atlanta, during my Burton Group days:


A hand on an arm
in the din of a disco
is without a doubt.

A gesture can close
the years and odd continents
we let intervene.

The touch of a hand
is a dove come home and
a world encircled.

BTW, I'll be in LV next week: Mon (IBM IOD), Tues (SAS M2009), Wed (SAP Inside Rpting). Will the roam the halls, meet you all, tweet it all.9:29 PM Oct 21st from TweetDeck

JK2---Tweeting has replaced versifying as my preferred mode of capturing the moment.

  • A day's delayed pondering on #TDPUG. Teradata needs to tout its innovations more forcefully. And go aggressive in industry price wars.9:25 PM Oct 21st from TweetDeck

JK2---Teradata continues to face account-erosion pressures. Their technical innovations are certainly impressive, especially those announced this past week. But that doesn’t change the DW industry competitive dynamic: a trench war over price-performance. They can lob these performance-related salvos all they want (cloud, all-SSD, virtual storage, etc.), but if they don’t withstand the steady attrition by neutralizing their opponents’ price advantages, they’ll be at a long-term strategic disadvantage.

JK2---Sure, the blogosphere has Wikipedia, Google, and the like. But it doesn’t have a multi-decade, uninterrupted, pre-aggregated, institutionally governed and brokered repository reportage and commentary.

JK2---I’m not much into co-presenting on topics not in my core coverage areas, or presenting virtually by teleconference to faceless throngs who don’t ask questions, or whom I can’t have drinks with afterward. I do love speaking in person and up close, in large rooms full of professionals who pay attention, have a keen interest in my research, and are not shy about engaging me afterward. This Teradata preso was me at my best, and the audience responded with great Q&A. One fellow (forgot his name, sorry) engaged me in an extended hallway conversation after the preso. I live for that stuff.

  • I like to use all my msging, social ntwking, and Web 2.0 media as notepads: recording my thoughts for later reference (by myself & others).5:54 AM Oct 20th from TweetDeck

JK2---This is a great medium for sharing and validating my thinking in real-time with interested parties.

  • Managing today's hypersaturated media diet requires knowing when your cup runneth over, recognizing superfluous commentary and not refilling5:49 AM Oct 20th from TweetDeck

JK2---Distinguishing astute from stupid commentary is a never-ending job. The former is like a magic elixir. The latter is the intellectual equivalent of second-hand smoke. Just because everybody smokes something and says it makes them smart, sexy, and with-it doesn’t make it so. Standing apart, you feel your innocent bystander lungs fill with fluid.

JK2---Every medium can be a burden if you don’t retool your life to make the most of it. Which reminds me, someone sent me a cool link to a YouTube video that’s a joke: Google Wave meets Pulp Fiction It’s the profanity-laced homicidal-screaming Samuel L. Jackson audio from that Tarantino film, but rendered in Google Wave with full utilization of text, fonts, pics, video, etc. Not only is it incredibly funny, but it’s an awesomely powerful adaptation of that scene for the new comms medium called Google Wave. Stretching the expressive possibilities of any medium or genre is the greatest thrill. E-mail isn’t dead. But the muscular infant called Google Wave hasn’t even begun to emerge fully from its promising cradle.

  • Microsoft has new name for forthcoming BI mashup solution (fka "Project Gemini")": Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel. A bit wordy.4:52 PM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---“PowerPivot” is s cool name, by itself, uninflected, though.

JK2---What’s most interesting about their MapReduce/Hadoop implementation is how well they’re defining alternative deployment scenarios, in order to optimize MapReduce/Hadoop for diverse customer apps across the Teradata DW product family. Also, they’re not treating this as some big trade secret. This is a link to a published set of docs on their website.

  • Teradata has a strong MapReduce and Hadoop story. They haven't emphasized it at Partners, but it's deep. Stay tuned. #tdpug4:48 PM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Teradata’s in-database analytics story is much more than simply the SAS partnership.

  • Teradata nu all-SSD "Blur" DW racks consume much less power/floorspace than rotating-disk DWs. SSD more expensive upfront, but excellent TCO3:38 PM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Potentially, that is. Excellent TCO potentially. Talk about price-performance shooting wars. As soon as SSD prices drop by 50% or more, in the next 1-2 years, expect to see every DW appliance product everywhere incorporate them, and quickly obsolete and end-of-life the legacy rotating-disk DW platforms.

  • Teradata public (Amazon EC2) and private (VMWare) DW cloud offerings in beta. Their private (Agile Analytic) cloud DW available now. #TDPUG3:33 PM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Teradata Agile Analytic Cloud (private cloud) similar in high-level respects to Greenplum Enterprise Data Cloud. Teradata’s entire cloud offerings/strategy (private and public) similar in high-level respects to Aster Data’s offerings/direction. Of the seven vendors in my Feb 2009 Forrester EDW Platforms Wave, Teradata’s the only one (so far) with a (more than) credible cloud story. But t hey certainly won’t be the last.

  • McDonald says Teradata has customer wins on very-hi-scale 1555 platform, and will discuss later. But 5555 remains core DW platform. #TDPUG11:58 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---I’m still waiting to hear how Teradata will position the (40 petabytes max! count ‘em) 1555 going forward. As a massively parallel EDW cloud platform for deployment by public cloud partners? By Web 2.0 pure-play app/service providers?

  • Asked Teradata re response to ORCL/NZ in DW price war. McDonald ackn price-perf weakness, but confident innovation will drive customer wins11:57 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---That’s assuming, of course, that competitors won’t be announcing and rolling out similar innovations in the coming 6-12 months. Teradata needs to get aggressive with first-mover (or close to first mover) value prop in DW cloud, SSD, virtual storage, and the like.

  • Gnau: new Teradata all-SSD 4555 "Blur" DW appli. #TDPUG. Alternative to in-mem & CEP engines. Loads 7TB/hr. Hyper-analytics. Demo on floor.11:49 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---I’m surprised they didn’t announce a petabyte-scale distributed in-memory offering as well. That would make perfect sense as the next generation of their Active Enterprise Intelligence strategy.

JK2---But Oracle Exadata v2, announced a few weeks prior to OOW09, was substantial enough for now. Considering that it is now in primary upgrade path for DW/BI deployments of Oracle market-leading RDBMS, and considering how scaleable and flexible it is to support OLTP/DW integration, we should not underestimate its impact.

JK2---Virtualization of the DW into the “cloud” (public and/or private). Plan to do a Forrester report on that topic in early 2010.

  • Teradata Agile Analytic Cloud. #TDPUG. Internal priv cloud, ease of mart provis, Elastic Mart Builder w actv wkld mg, prof svcs: free/GA now11:40 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Elastic Mart Builder. That tool is the most noteworthy new element in Teradata’s cloud/virtualization story. The underlying self-service mart provisioning capabilities have been in the vendor’s DW platform(s) for some time.

  • Teradata's Scott Gnau on cloud. #TDPUG. Internal analytic clouds for POC, power user sandbox, testing, dependent virtual marts.11:37 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Teradata’s now in major POC mode with customers on its Agile Analytic Cloud capabilities leveraging Elastic Mart Builder. A big ongoing customer outreach, education, and demonstration exercise. Energizing the sales force in this direction.

  • Teradata Virtual Storage: automated data placement on disk with multi-temperature storage. #TDPUG. Key DW cost-reduction tools for customers11:34 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---This is the most fundamental bread-and-butter enhancement announced at Teradata Partners this year: controlling and reducing storage costs. Teradata customers are always looking to make their deployments more efficient on the storage side.

JK2---Teradata could easily take a more thorough solution-oriented packaging focus, a la IBM Smart Analytic Systems, if they wished.

  • Teradata/SAS "350" claim reference engagements where in-db analytics "rising business priority." #TDPUG. Yeah, vague, but clear implication11:31 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---The fact is: most joint Teradata-SAS customers have made significant investments in a DW (Teradata) and predictive analytics and data mining suite (SAS). Hence, it’s safe to assume the majority of those 350 joint customers are looking to leverage, extend, and integrate those investments. Hence, in-database analytics (for which there are many ROI points to consider, per my upcoming Forrester report: “In-Database Analytics: Heart of the Predictive Enterprise.”

  • Teradata CMO Darryl McDonald: alluded to competitor 10x claims re their respective new platforms: "as if we all don't do that."11:28 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Yeah. DW appliance vendors’ default “10x” claims are as meaningful as detergent vendors’ tendency to slap ‘new and improved” on their boxes. They all claim it. Let the customer decide whether in fact their queries indeed come out faster, and whether their whites come out whiter than white.

JK2---BTW, I plan to update the Forrester EDW Platforms Wave in 2010. There have been so many new products and announcements in the EDW market since I published that one (just 8 months ago), that it will be high time by this time next year.

JK2---Hmmm....maybe we need to distinguish between a database server, cluster, grid, and cloud in terms of number of distinct (physical and/or logical, processing and storage) nodes in a massively parallel deployment. Maybe the term “cluster” can max at 64 nodes, grid at 1000 nodes, and cloud for more than 1000 nodes. In that case, it makes no sense to refer to a single node of anything as a “cloud.” I can’t see any scenario in which a dataset as small as 1TB would be persisted and managed by 1000 or more server nodes (unless we’re talking virtual servers, and, even then, the overhead of maintaining that many virtual servers to manage the processing of so little data would be cost-prohibitive).

JK2---Vertica has many innovative approaches in R&D from what I can see.

  • Teradata CEO said "lowest cost possible" customer DW requirement. But didn't say if/how they'll match Oracle/Netezza $20K/TB pricing. #TDPUG10:34 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Clearly, Teradata is aware of what they’re up against.

JK2---This is the most important groundbreaking announcement from Teradata this fall, just as Exadata v2 was from Oracle and TwinFin was from Netezza. Big difference among these announcements though: Netezza’s new platform is GA and shipping; Oracle’s is on the verge; Teradata’s is coming in a few months (see next Aweekstweet item).

  • Teradata's new all-SSD DW platform, "Blur" (aka "4555"), available Q1 10, one-ups Oracle Exadata (SAS/SATA) on storage. At what price?#tdpug9:59 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Yes, inquiring analysts want to know. Oracle says Exadata v2 at $20K/TB. Teradata hasn’t indicated what multiple of that they’ll sell the 4555 at.

JK2---But Greenplum has a more mature MapReduce implementation.

JK2—Of course, this is just for POCs. As Teradata proves out its cloud offerings with actual customers, that capacity limit will surely grow.

  • Found Koehler's keynote at #tdpug disappointing. He rushed out actual news at tail-end. Spent too much time on EDW applepie/motherhood.9:35 AM Oct 19th from TweetDeck

JK2---Why is Teradata so shy about making bold announcements? This market is full of companies that have innovative stories being sold by brash, visionary product teams.

JK2---All of these announcements were for products that are either available now, or in GA in the next 3 months or so.

  • MapReduce is all about mining data/info at rest. Need a superset to mine info at rest and in motion. In other words, in-stream CEP mining.2:57 PM Oct 18th from TweetDeck

JK2---See my Teradata conf preso on in-database/inline analytics; my recent Forrester teleconference on same, and my soon-to-publish Forrester doc on same. I call this new paradigm “comprehensive cloud analytics.” Check out IBM’s InfoSphere Streams as key pioneer in in-stream CEP mining.

JK2---Check out Curt’s recent webinar with Aster Data. Good discussion.

  • Microsoft's first live Windows Azure SQL Data Services won't support cloud DW. Not for another 1-2 years they say. They'll be late to market1:50 PM Oct 18th from TweetDeck

JK2---I’m dismayed that Microsoft is totally dropping the ball on this. I’m hopeful for SQL Server “Madison,” but don’t understand what that and Azure SQL Data Services are stovepipe efforts. Clearly, Teradata isn’t stovepiping any of this.

  • Press release headlines, viewed in chronological sequence, tell interesting story: ratio of vendor meaty accomplishments to empty boasts.9:17 PM Oct 17th from TweetDeck

JK2---Each individual press release is a concoction of marketing communications and product management pros. But the sequence of press releases, and the number of fluff releases (e.g., our CEO spoke at this or that forum) shows whether the individual announcements add up to a significant strategic thrust or just scattered efforts without clear corporate-driven business direction.

  • A social network without a core of true friends is just anomie exacerbated via anonymity afforded by excessive connectivity. Not a community8:44 PM Oct 17th from TweetDeck

JK2---Social networks can be a very lonely crowd.

  • When vendor enhances platform more than once a year, don't know whether to laud them for innovation or dis 'em for ditching legacy customers1:08 PM Oct 16th from TweetDeck

JK2---Or dis ‘em, if they’re new, for innovating so desperately that potential customers never get a clear sense of who they are, where they’re going, whether they will last.

  • When vendor says haven't enhanced their platform for several years, don't know whether to laud them for stability or dis 'em for stagnating12:48 PM Oct 16th from TweetDeck

JK2---Or dis’ em, if they’re established, for resting on their laurels long after anybody cares. “We were pioneers 20 years ago in this market.” Yeah, but what have you done for customers lately?

  • Social media users segmenting: those nailed to single community vs. ones toggling btwn several vs. ones who aggregate for single experience12:12 PM Oct 16th from TweetDeck

JK2---No, I haven’t yet tried Google Wave. Sitting on the fence. Perhaps some Tarantino-esque cold-blooded threats from Samuel L. Jackson might be necessary to convince me.