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10/17/2016
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Hadoop: Pros And Cons For Enterprise Users

There's been plenty of buzz about how Hadoop can store, process, and analyze huge files and large volumes of files like no other technology before it. But is this open source distributed big data system really suited for enterprises? We look at the pros and cons.
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(Image: Sergey Nivens/iStockphoto)

(Image: Sergey Nivens/iStockphoto)

Hadoop celebrated a big birthday this year. The technology that was incubated inside Yahoo to handle and analyze large volumes of data in an economical, distributed way is now 10 years old, and an entire ecosystem of complementary technologies has grown around Hadoop, enabling faster processing, real-time data, and more.

Hadoop emerged as a way to fill a real need that arose in organizations -- to collect, process, and analyze large volumes of unstructured data. But enterprises are always rightfully cautious in their adoption of new technologies, and Hadoop adoption is no exception to this rule.

A 2015 survey by Gartner showed that enterprise investment in Hadoop remains tentative as organizations grapple with the business value of the technology and the lack of skills available in the market.

A more recent research report, Hadoop in Transition: From Proof-of-Concept to Production, released by DecisionWorx in July 2016, along with an accompanying webinar, cites some early enterprise success stories with Hadoop, but notes that "we are still in the early stages of Hadoop adoption."

[See Hadoop Ecosystem Evolves: 10 Cool Big Data Projects.]

Yet that adoption may prove to be a competitive edge for enterprises that embrace Hadoop.  Forrester Wave: Big Data Hadoop report released in Jan. 2015 states that Hadoop "thoroughly disrupts the economics of data, analytics, and data driven applications. Enterprise adoption is mandatory for firms that wish to double-down on advanced analytics and create insights-driven applications to help them succeed in the age of the customer."

Those are strong words.

But the DecisionWorx survey of approximately 260 individuals with job titles including IT pros, consultants, analysts, and engineers, revealed that only 140 of their organizations had some level of involvement with Hadoop. More than one-third of respondents said that their organizations did not use Hadoop and had no plans to do so.

For enterprises that may be evaluating a pilot of Hadoop, what are some of the pros and cons of the technology? We take a look at some important ones to consider.  

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio

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