Feeds

Hadoop takes Big Data beyond Java

Stuffed elephant mates with Python

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Apache Hadoop, the open-source version of Google's MapReduce architecture named after a kid's stuffed elephant, is still working to tame the 1.0 beast.

Only a year ago, Hadoop hit its first stable release, a release that - in true open-source fashion - couldn't be called version 1.0 but contained two decimal points: version 0.20.0.

Despite that, Hadoop is running search on some of the internet's largest sites. Lovers on eHarmony, job seekers on LinkedIn and social networkers on Fox Interactive Media - Rupert Murdoch's media arm running MySpace, Photobucket, and Rotten Tomatoes - are getting their queries answered thanks to Hadoop.

During a recent interview with The Reg, Hadoop co-founder Doug Cutting confessed his surprise at Hadoop's level of uptake and success. "I started Nutch [Hadoop's precursor] trying to think about web search ... I was trying to be provocative," he said.

"I didn't see us outside the production environment of building these big web indexes."

And yet, a year since that first stable version and months after Cutting discussed Hadoop 1.0 at ApacheCon last year, version 1.0 - promised for 2010 - is proving elusive.

The project is working towards a goal that's a must for any piece of technology that wants to be taken seriously in business: the ability to upgrade without injecting breaking changes, changes that force users to re-install their software or cause data loss. In Hadoop's case, the goal is to let users upgrade parts of a data center cluster without uprooting the whole thing.

Different priorities

Cutting says that his former employer, Yahoo!, a huge sponsor and early fan whose support made Hadoop possible for others, isn't helping. Yahoo! remains Hadoop's single largest contributor, and that's a challenge, Cutting says, because Yahoo! has a slightly different focus than the rest of the project.

The web's second largest search property, he says, has been working on security updates so people can share large clusters in private, without others knowing what they're doing.

While security is a goal of Hadoop. 1.0, Cutting says that Yahoo!'s focus comes at the expense of work on a broader front. "That's taken some of the steam of the 1.0 efforts," Cutting said. "Hadoop 1.0 has not made as much progress as we'd have hoped."

It's an interesting twist.

Yahoo!'s intervention in Hadoop proved decisive in the early days, helping boost the project to success. With Google thrashing the company in the 2000s, Yahoo! clearly saw something in Hadoop that few others had noticed. Yahoo! saw it not just as web search indexing project, but as an architecture that could handle distributed number crunching for all sorts of services.

That architecture is based on Google's own distributed file system (GFS) and MapReduce. Before GFS and MapReduce, Cutting had built a full-scale web search engine called Nutch, something that started in 2002. However, things hit a wall. "We had something that kind of worked and was in theory scalable to the entire web, but was very painful to use on anything more than 100 million web pages," Cutting said.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Apple's OS X Yosemite slurps UNSAVED docs into iCloud
Docs, email contacts... shhhlooop, up it goes
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.