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What’s Driving Global Hadoop Market Growth?


According to market research firm Technavio, the global Hadoop market is slated to grow at a CAGR of more than 53 percent over the next four years, reaching a value of $27.84 billion in 2019. The big data that enterprises must handle is creating a growing demand for cost-effective solutions to handle and analyze it. As data management and analysis needs become increasingly complex over the coming years, more enterprises are expected to shift to software as a service (SaaS) based Hadoop solutions to handle data effectively while still keeping costs under control.

There are several key drivers behind Hadoop’s predicted major growth:

Hadoop Market Growth

Data explosion: Enterprises in every field are learning that they must effectively manage huge amounts of data; however, the software and systems they’ve been using often aren’t up to the task. As such, SaaS models represent an attractive way to gain the scalability and performance enterprises need without breaking the bank.

Increasing adoption at the enterprise level: Enterprises are looking to Hadoop to provide the agile, cost-effective data analytics they need. Enterprise adoption fueled by an increasing need for big data analytics will continue to drive Hadoop market growth for the foreseeable future.

Budget concerns: Hadoop is an open-source Apache Foundation project. This makes it a viable option for companies that need to find more effective ways to handle Big Data, but that aren’t looking to spend a large portion of their budget on an unwieldy and expensive proprietary solution.

The expected market growth of Hadoop is yet more proof that open source software is disrupting the enterprise. Open source offers significant advantages over proprietary software in terms of cost, agility, and data analytics. Open source is no longer just appealing to coders or small enterpreneurs. Instead, it is taking its place in the enterprise as big data becomes increasingly important.

Want To Contribute to Open Source But Aren’t a Coder? No Problem


You might not be a coder, but that does not mean you can’t make valuable contributions to the open source community. Contributing to open source is a great opportunity both for you as an individual and for the community as a whole. It can be extremely satisfying to work with open source, as well as being a valuable skill to add to your arsenal. Open source thrives on a wide spectrum of talents and skills. It takes all kinds of effort to make for a vibrant and useful community and create successful open source projects.


As a non-coder, you can still take an active role in open source. Here are a few ways to get involved:

Evangelize for the community on behalf of specific projects. Sharing your experiences with using open source can boost your own credibility within the community as well as recruit more users to your favorite projects.

Report bugs that help coders fix their software more quickly. Bugs are often found once “real people” start using the software on a regular basis. Report what works and what doesn’t to the community—your input can help create better code.

Write content about open source and raise awareness. Writing about open source, how you use it, your favorite projects, and your own experiences can help build a stronger and more vital community that contains a multitude of voices. Technical and coding expertise is needed to help open source projects move forward, but the support of others who use and contribute in other ways is important as well.

The open source community needs your support, whether or not you can code. Raising awareness and becoming an active contributor to the open source community are just as important to the cause.

First Open Source GPU Could Change Future of Computing


Researchers at Binghamton University recently became the first to create an open source graphics processor unit (GPU). The GPU they created, called Nyami, is appropriate for general purposes as well as graphics-specific work.

Nyami is significant in the research, computing and open source communities because it marks the first time open source has been used to design a GPU, as well as the first time a research team was able to test how different hardware and software configurations affect GPU performance. The results of the experiments the researchers performed are now part of the open source community, and that work will help others follow in the original research team’s footsteps. According to Timothy Miller, a computer science assistant professor at Binghamton, as others create their own GPUs using open source, it will push computing power to the next level.

GPUs aren’t new—they have been around for decades, and are typically located on the graphics cards found inside computers and gaming consoles. GPUs are specially designed to smooth out graphics and images and make them look more vibrant and realistic on the screen. Computer scientists today are experimenting with other uses for GPUs, including non-graphic processes, such as processing large amounts of data and running algorithms. The goal of the Binghamton researchers was to use open source to create a new tool, proving that the ability to experiment and test can push something long established to an entirely new level.

Open source software is particularly suited to fueling the kind of testing, creativity and experimentation required to push the boundaries in computing. In this case, researchers took something familiar and often-used, a GPU, and created something new. The modifications and experiments future hobbyists and researchers perform using open source will show how changes will act upon mainstream computer chips, and will ultimately result in advances for the greater good.

NASA Takes Open Source to Mars


Just last year, NASA took its first steps towards a new frontier—not space, but open source. Today, NASA is more involved with open source than ever before. It is even using the power of open source to power its Mars VR project, a huge step both for the organization and the open source community.

Open Source in Space

NASA software engineer Parker Abercrombie is using open source to create a virtual workspace. The benefit of this open source project is that scientists and engineers can visit Mars in a virtual reality environment. While NASA hasn’t yet sent a manned mission to Mars, the virtual environment Abercrombie has made possible using open source is the next best thing.

The project, called OnSight, enables scientists and engineers to work on Mars using what is known as “mixed reality.” Special headsets equipped with the OnSight software download the latest 3D maps of Mars’ terrain, giving the user a first-person view of the planet, much as if they had landed in a spaceship and were exploring on the ground.

To make this happen, 3D reconstructions of the terrain are produced by the Curiosity rover and sent back to Earth daily. Software engineers produced a custom image processing method that produces these images and constantly updates and produces new reconstructions as new information becomes available.

This exciting project was created using open source tools like MeshLab and Blender, which helps the developers create the 3D models used in the virtual environment. The pipeline that processes the terrain images was also implemented using open source tools and frameworks, as was the cloud build system that enables the headsets to receive continually updated images and information.

When creating OnSight, Abercrombie and his team recognized that the most appropriate tools for the job were open source, pointing to the future of open source at NASA and in space exploration at large.

Defining ‘Freedom’ in the Open Source Software Space


Recently, Forbes contributing writer and enterprise software, application development, and data management expert Adrian Bridgwater discussed how important it is to understand what freedom really means in the open source world. In open source, the word “free” refers to the liberty that users have in running, distributing, changing and improving the software, rather than its price.

Open Source Adoption

In fact, while “free” is an appealing word to many C-suite executives, it’s of prime importance that those who are just now considering implementing open source software in their organization understand that it’s the liberty that open source allows that benefits the enterprise, not necessarily the price tag. Open source allows for great freedom for how software is modified, used and shared within an organization, which can lead to greater creativity, innovation, and productivity free from licensing or functionality concerns.

The Bridgwater stressed that open source must be kept “open” in order for it to provide the most benefits to an enterprise. Developers both inside and outside of the organization should all be able to participate contribute to design and development of open source projects. What this means for an enterprise is keeping the technical aspects of the open source product, the improvements and changes being made, and other contributions in the public eye, rather than hiding them or thinking of them as “proprietary.” This is one way that open source remains a thriving and vital community, but it can also go against the way C-suite executives usually think about their business and their assets.

A few more points to consider when using open source software on the corporate level:

Find ways to give back: The way enterprises “pay” for open source software isn’t necessarily in dollars. Providing user feedback on the product, contributing new code, and providing documentation updates all help support the community and keep the open source application thriving.

Keep it open: Understand that the strength of open source is the community of people who collaborate on and contribute to it. Think of your organization’s contributions to open source as part of your “payment,” as well as a way to keep it truly free.

Find the freedom in the functionality: Since open source can be manipulated, changed and modified to fit a variety of unique needs and applications, it can represent a great benefit to the enterprise. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the true freedom in open source is about liberty and inclusiveness, rather than the bottom line.

Open source is changing the way that software is developed and used at every level of the organization. Embracing the meaning behind open source opens up new avenues of possibility for software use and development within the enterprise, as well as a chance to become part of a thriving and vital community. The more you give back to open source, the more you get. Open source is all about sharing, and although the price tag might be attractive, it’s not where the true freedom lies.

The Latest on Openstack Adoption


According to a recent press release, 81 percent of senior IT professionals are planning to move or are already moving to Openstack private cloud. With that said, many customers are also coming forth with concerns about how their cloud infrastructure should be integrated and managed.


For example, respondents to the study conducted by Linux, cloud and storage infrastructure provider SUSE have installation challenges, possible vendor lock-in, and a lack of Openstack skills in the market on their list of concerns about moving to the Openstack private cloud. While Openstack has many advantages that appeal to senior IT people in the enterprise and which inspire confidence, the specifics are still a sticking point for many. For example, customers worry about the training and support available and the skill set necessary to integrate and manage the private cloud successfully.

The study also revealed the preferences, adoption levels and challenges of large companies moving to the private cloud, revealing that:

• 90 percent of large companies say they have already implemented at least one private cloud
• 96 percent of respondents said they would use a cloud solution for business-critical workloads
• 96 percent of respondents believe there are business advantages to implementing an open source private cloud

These responses show that the Openstack private cloud has gained tremendous ground in trustworthiness and adoption, and that open source solutions are particularly appealing to enterprises looking for agility and cost effectiveness in their private cloud solutions.

The concerns that the above mentioned study brought to light included degree of difficulty, vendor lock-in constraints, and a shortage of skills. Half of all enterprise implementations of Openstack have failed, and 86 percent of respondents said that the lack of skills in the market hinders them from considering the private cloud. Enterprises will likely choose to partner with cloud service providers to reduce the difficulties posed by a do-it-yourself private cloud deployment.

A Few Pointers for Companies Going Open Source in 2016


2016 is still in the beginning stages, and many companies and developers are considering going open source to maintain relevancy. If you’re an open source novice and are thinking of making the leap, it’s important to understand the boundaries and regulations before you get in too deep. Consider the tips below your beginner’s guide to open source:

Open Source Adoption

Consider your first installation a practice run: Think of the first time you install an open source project as a chance to get all the bugs worked out and try different things before you take it live. It’s a good idea to create a throw-away or virtual environment for first-time installations. This way, you can test the software and even start over with no harm done.

Start out safe and isolated: Avoid downloading your new open source package to a server or machine, particularly one that’s connected to a network or that runs other important software and systems. Take time to figure out how your new open source application works and behaves with other running applications before you create dependencies and, thereby, conflicts you can’t reverse.

Use your information resources: Read and understand the regulations before you start. The open source community can be a good resource for getting questions answered, so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Spending a little bit of time reading through discussion forums can often provide answers to your questions. After all, chances are others have encountered similar issues.

Manage your code: Ensure that responsible code management is top of mind and that you use a structured approach when building your software being sure to manage licences, copyrights, vulnerabilities and any obligations.

Join the community: Some of the biggest advantages of open source are networking and collaboration. Keep in mind that, in many cases, you’re a novice walking in to an established and experienced community. Enjoy the social aspect of open source, just respect the established members and their boundaries. 


Code Management: The eHealth Software Challenge


As software complexity increases so does its management. The healthcare field is no exception, and by its nature is driven by large amounts of data which require complex IT systems to manage it. Historically, organizations would have purchased platforms to manage these solutions they are expensive and lock users into solutions. Increasingly, organizations are turning to commercial third party code, code brought in from outsourcers and contractors, and open source software (OSS) to accelerate development and reduce costs.

Healthcare and Open Source

Clearly, there are huge benefits to be gained from this approach but it is not without its risks. Governing the quality, security, licensing and intellectual property (IP) ownership attributes are imperative in avoiding risks and potential downstream costs of using third party software.

The process of managing third party content in a code base can be time-consuming and resource intensive. This highlights a need for a governance program to underpin Open Source initiatives. A study of common practices deployed at software organizations has revealed a pattern consisting of a number of necessary steps. Originally coined as an Open Source Software Adoption Process (OSSAP), this process is equally applicable to any third party software that is deployed and used in a project within any organization.  Eight steps are identified in a structured open source adoption process.

1) Establishing a Licensing Policy - identifying acceptable attributes of a third party software, and highlighting remedial actions that should be taken.

2) Software Package Pre-Approval – this is a workflow process that allows technology teams to request open source and other external packages to be approved for use on a certain project. 

3) Existing Portfolio Assessment – this establishes a baseline and is performed using automated tools to create a detailed view of the code already present in the software organization.

4) 3rd Party Software Assessment – an inventory of all code delivered to the project by contractors and outsourcing suppliers.

5) Scheduled Software Scan - regular scanning and examination of the project code library.

6) Real Time Library Check-In - optional real-time assessment of code as it is checked into the organization’s Source Control Management (SCM) system.

7) Real Time Automated Scan - optional real-time automated scanner residing on the developer’s workstation. 

8) Pre-Shipment Software Assessment – the final build assessment, usually through an automated process tied into the build process.

By adopting an Open Source Software Adoption Process for code management, there is a significant opportunity to advance the caliber of healthcare by applying intelligent software solutions to electronic health records, delivery of consumer health information, and the provision of mobile and virtual health services. Leveraging open source software accelerates the identification and development of healthcare applications, creates a level playing field for all ecosystem communities, and allows the sharing and re-use of efforts across a wide range of healthcare domains and geographies. 

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Microsoft Continues To Make Everything Open Source


It appears as though more big names in the technology industry are looking to make the majority of their products open source. Just recently, Microsoft made Chakra, the JavaScript engine used in its Edge Web browser, open source. Even more recently, the company did the same for Live Writer, its blogging application.

Microsoft Open Source

Live Writer allows users to write posts offline and publish them later. The application comes equipped with a variety of tools and features—such as, spell check, image manipulation, maps from virtual earth and improved category management. For bloggers, Live Writer has almost everything they could want to craft the perfect blog post and make it a multimedia experience by adding video, audio and visuals. However, users that aren’t satisfied with all of the options that Live Writer offers can write their own, as the app’s code is now open source. The code is available on Github—the open source coding platform where most major projects live—and, going forward, can be developed by the open source community.

This isn’t Microsoft’s first experience using Open Source; as mentioned, Chakra—the heart of the company’s Internet browser, Microsoft Edge—was made open source just recently on Dec. 5, 2015. In an effort to differentiate the non-open source version of Chakra from the new open sourced version, Microsoft has renamed it ChakraCore.

There are a few small differences between Chakra and ChakraCore. Most notably, Chakra has diagnostic APIs that use Microsoft component object model (COM) technology and, hence, are Windows-specific. These won't be in ChakraCore, however. Instead, a new set of diagnostic APIs will be developed and eventually integrated into the full Chakra.

Bigger companies, such as Microsoft, fully understand the benefits that come from making their software products open source. Using open source allows projects to be completed faster and more efficiently, as well as allows for more developers to share their ideas and make changes. The open source community certainly follows a pay-it-forward model. Microsoft, along with other big name brands in the technology space, Google, IBM and Netflix for example, are capitalizing on it.

The result? More innovative software and a chance for everyone to contribute. 

Facebook and Google Use Open Source To Recruit Developers


Artificial Intelligence (AI)—technology that is adept at identifying images, recognizing spoken words and translating information from one language to another—is the hottest new topic in Silicon Valley. In fact, as of late, both Google and Facebook have found themselves in a race to secure the most brilliant software engineers to continuously improve upon this technology for their own purposes. Specifically, in an attempt to get a leg up on Google, Facebook recently opened sourced its AI software in an effort to draw in top-level developers.

Google Facebook

Facebook’s recent software development is in response to Google’s decision to open source its AI software about a month ago. To many, it may seem odd that both tech giants are so willing to part with the secrets of their AI software; however, their decisions are not without reason. By choosing to make their software open source, their pool of available developers now grows by leaps and bounds. In other words, the more developers that choose to rally behind a particular platform, the better that platform can become. In the end, more minds are working in an effort to better the software’s development.

While both companies are striving to make significant change in the AI space thanks to open source, it’s worth noting that the importance of AI is different for Google and Facebook. On one hand, Google utilizes the technology to help recognize the commands a user speaks to its Android smartphones. The technology is also a main driver behind the company’s world-famous search engine, which is at the heart of its empire.

For Facebook, however, AI can help identify faces in photos and assist in choosing the right content for users’ social newsfeeds. While the needs for both companies are different, the race is still on as the amount of developers who are able to work on AI—a very new piece of technology—is few and far between.

What was once seen as a tool to allow developers to bring their innovations and ideas to life is now being used by the biggest names in the tech industry as a way to compete with one another. To say open source is the future of software development would be an understatement, as it is quite clear that that time has come. Open source is surely changing the way that software development is being done. 

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