Learn Hadoop to Manage Big Data

Learn Hadoop Networks are evolving rapidly, and that includes the Internet.  Therefore, HTML has become almost passé.  Users demand a media rich experience, but way beyond that they want to know everything instantly.  This calls for learning new tools.

Learn Hadoop for the Information Age

Travel sites not only let you find and book a trip, now they compare various sites to let you know which travel site has the best deals.  On-line retail and auction conglomerates let visitors quickly search hundreds of thousands of items and almost instantly find what they want.  Welcome to the world of big data.

Trying to quickly deal with a ton of a data to get complex yet fast results has been a primary mission for networks over the decades, but it has been a difficult task.  Storage, processing, and connectivity bandwidth limitations caused very complicated applications and structures to evolve, along with IT programming specialists to build and maintain them.

As worldwide connectivity and cloud computing has developed, the data paradigm has also shifted.  Businesses and organizations can not only buy exactly the amount of storage it needs (that includes backup), it can also pay for only the processing power it needs when it needs it.  How to manage data in the age of distributed computing has also evolved, and one of the most important big data tools to come along is Hadoop.

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How Hadoop is Changing Data Management

Hadoop is a data management framework geared to using distributed commodity hardware.  Issues relating to processing and storage are almost eliminated, and the bandwidth issues are minimized using a “process close to the data” approach.  Hadoop has become a standard big data tool.

While big data and Hadoop may be most recognizable as employed by big commerce, service, and social media companies, but it can benefit even small companies by delivering great customer experiences whether they connect on-line, with a call to customer service, or a visit from the sales staff.  Better data management can also drive business intelligence, providing insight and resolution into critical performance areas.

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Building Blocks to Learning Hadoop

Whether you want to build your career or build your business, becoming a competent Hadoop programmer can have big benefits.  Knowing Hadoop means now you have the tools to harness big data in your hands.

Hadoop, however, is built on two other technologies; the Java programming language and the Linux operating system.  If you are not familiar with Java or Linux then you may need to build that foundation before learning Hadoop.  Linux, in particular, should not be difficult since most of us are already familiar with how an OS works.  If you also already know a programming language, Java should be easy to pick up.

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There is a virtual machine adaptation that allows Hadoop to run on a Windows machine, but officially it is for “development only.”  The Hadoop framework generally supported for Linux based machines, which includes OS X for Macs.

The Hadoop framework model combines two approaches to allow the distributed processing of huge sets of data across clusters of commodity computing.  The first is the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), which splits large data files into chunks to be managed by different processors.  The second is the programming model called MapReduce.  Basically, the map portion is the filtering and sorting of data out, and reduce has to do with assimilating the results.  One of the most powerful features of MapReduce is the ability through redundancy to detect and resolve the inevitable errors or return failures that will occur when you invoke lots of separate processes across numerous machines.

How to Learn Hadoop

If you want to learn Hadoop, your approach will depend on your current knowledge.  Consider your options:

Learn on Your Own: You can try to learn Hadoop on your own by reading books or checking out on-line articles and tutorials.  This approach might work if you are already a skilled programmer, and perhaps perusing a book or checking out some on-line materials may give you enough information to get started.  This approach can also be done quickly and inexpensively.  However, reading a book, especially one written by a programmer or IT expert, can be a dry, un-engaging experience that may even interfere with your ability to understand and retain the information.  On the other hand, free information on the Internet can be broad or sketchy.  How do you know if the person who posted the paper or created the tutorial really knows what they are talking about?  Another issue is that less experienced programmers may not be able to comprehend the information presented in a book or tutorial.

Take College Classes:  A local community college may the best place to take on site classes.  Most areas in the U.S. have a nearby by community college that likely offers a range of IT and programming classes.  For extreme novices that know little about computers or programming, this may be the best option.  Build some knowledge and confidence in a classroom with an instructor and other students.  On the downside, even classes at community college can be expensive, and it may be difficult if not impossible to fit the classes you want into your schedule.  Plus, if you already have decent technical skills, the classes at community college may seem to go excruciating slow or don’t address some specific real world situations you want to learn about.

Take On-line Training Classes:  Reputable on-line training sites like Udemy provide a great learning option.  Information is clearly explained by a knowledgeable expert, plus you can ask questions and even discuss projects with other students.  You are not left on your own to figure it out as with books and tutorials.  While you get expert instruction, there is also a wider range of course options and you have to flexibility to do class work according to your schedule. That means you can take exactly the class you want when you want.  Plus, on-line training can be a fraction of the cost of classes at community college.   You can even gain certifications with on-line training.

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Whatever option you choose, learning Hadoop can be a boon to your business or your career.