Do you speak Hadoop? What you need to know to get started

It’s a funny word. You have only a vague notion of what it is. You’ve heard that it takes a lot of work but is potentially beneficial. Maybe if you learned more about it you too could enjoy its benefits. But even if you wanted to try it, you wouldn’t even know where to start.

If it isn’t obvious, I’m talking about Hadoop. Not Zumba.

Google first described Hadoop 10 years ago—an eternity in technology—but it is only recently that the rest of us have begun to explore its potential. Even as businesses and government agencies have built Hadoop solutions, it remains a source of confusion to many. In order to assess its potential, IT managers must first understand what Hadoop is.

Why Hadoop?

Hadoop is not just one thing. It is a combination of components that work together to facilitate cloud-scale analytics.

Hadoop provides an abstraction for running analytics on a cluster of commodity hardware when there is too much data for a single machine. The analytics program need not know about the cluster, how work is divided across it, nor the vagaries of cluster management. If a machine fails, Hadoop handles that.

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