The quiet before the Strata storm

Next week is Strata + Hadoop World in New York, and there will be a huge slate of news from Big Data and analytics companies of all stripes. It will be exciting, and very busy, and likely quite exhausting. For the first time, the conference will be held at Jacob Javits Convention Center and not at Midtown hotels. In fact, the O’Reilly folks announced the show has sold out, and Cloudera told me that means it will have twice as many people as last year. O’Reilly and Cloudera, if you didn’t know, co-present the event.

It’s hard to believe that only two years ago, Cloudera used this show to launch its Impala SQL-on-Hadoop engine. While many other vendors now have their own such engines, Impala was the first interactive (non-batch) one with industry-wide impact. Before Impala, Hadoop was unusable for data discovery and it was still a laboratory technology. Two years later Hadoop can manage both interactive and batch workloads, and is rapidly gaining Enterprise credibility and presence. So perhaps it’s not a coincidence that this is the year the show moves to the same venue that hosts Cloud Expo now and used to host PC Expo.

With Big Data, and Strata, hitting the “big time,” what does that mean for the event? It’s probably going to mean fewer breakthroughs and more doubling-down. New versions of products, new partnerships between vendors, tighter integration into Hadoop distros of the latest ecosystem components, and more Enterprise features will likely materialize. While we might get one or two announcements of game-changing technologies, it’s more likely that the usability of existing technologies will increase, that their fit and finish will be pronounced and that, in general, a priority will be placed on getting Big Data and analytics technologies significant adoption, by serious customers, to earn substantial revenue.

That’s the hope, anyway. Next Wednesday morning, I should have some Strata-synchronized news to report here. That evening, I’ll be moderating a Gigaom Research/New York Technology Council-sponsored panel event on Enterprise Hadoop, and next Thursday and Friday I’ll be taking an array of vendor briefings. That should provide plenty of food for thought about what’s coming up in the data space.

In the meantime, if you’re hungry for some analysis of the last quarter, check out our new report “Big data and analytics third quarter 2014: analysis and outlook.”