DataWorks Summit Launches Demopalooza with a Bang


One of the most exciting additions to DataWorks Summit was a new event called Demopalooza. Now, I might be slightly biased as one of the hosts, but it sure seemed like attendees really enjoyed themselves. There could be few reasons for this, not least of which was my awesome t-shirt launcher with Demopalooza branded shirts, popcorn, pretzels and, of course, beer to kickstart evening social. More importantly, the event brought us back to the roots of our first conferences of pure, bleeding edge tech demos covering blockchain, IoT, cybersecurity, multi-cloud and hybrid data center architectures, new devops and query optimization tools.

To sow a bit of confusion my co-host, Rafael Coss, started off with a formal welcome, sharply dressed, that seemed like nothing out of ordinary and could have passed for yet another keynote. But not for long. Three minutes in and the whole scene shifted, with a cool dark theme, and pumped music, more resembling a rockstar concert than anything else. After Rafael ditched his suit and I fired a few t-shirts into the crowd, we introduced the first demo team and continued getting the crowd pumped up throughout the evening until we were done with all the demos and I was empty on t-shirts. If you are curious what the five demos were, read on.

The 5 Demos at Demopalooza

The first demo started off with a multi-cloud, hybrid environment – a multiple data center journey — presented by Srikanth Venkat and Ram Venkatesh. They covered how companies can go from storing and analyzing their data within data centers to implementing an open source hybrid architecture that takes advantage of cloud’s elasticity and new use cases. They gave a personal view of the challenges faced in safely moving data from on-premises data centers into multiple public clouds, safeguarding it through replication, and then applying consistent security and governance policies across diverse environments to deliver trusted data and insights to the business. (Learn more here.)

In the second demo, Will Xu focused on answering the age-old question: Why is my query running so slow? He began with how the promise of Apache Hadoop to businesses has been its ability to store and analyze big data at scale and that Apache Hive has been an important part of that promise. (With its SQL-like interface, Hive is extensively used by analysts to extract insights from big data.) In the demo, Will showed how to optimize query performance by quickly identifying resource-intensive queries and determining what part of a cluster is being utilized beyond its capacity. The focus of this demo was how Hortonworks Data Analytics Studio can provide automatic recommendations and reports to business analysts and infrastructure administrators so that they can get the most out of Hive. (Learn more here.)

The third demo was one my favorites. Timothy Leonard covered how Trimble Transportation Enterprise Solutions developed several blockchain-based applications to give its customers a better platform experience. He unveiled a really cool demo of Harmony, a Transportation Management System as a Service, built on a blockchain architecture powered by Apache Kafka and Apache NiFi. The platform provides visibility for all participants across the entire Pick-Pack-Ship and Order-to-Cash processes. And NiFi acts as the key data ingestion/management layer that determines which data stays off-chain for advanced analytics and which data goes on-chain for complete immutability and auditability. The crowd was definitely wowed by this demo! (More info here.)

The fourth demo, by George Vetticaden, was all about curing the Kafka blindness. Specifically, how companies who use Kafka today struggle with monitoring and managing Kafka clusters. (Kafka is a key backbone of IoT streaming analytics applications and the challenge is understanding what is going on overall in the Kafka cluster including performance, issues and message flows.) George continued on how no open source tool caters to needs of different users that work with Kafka, from devops/developers to platform and security/governance teams. The core of George’s demo was how the new Hortonworks Streams Messaging Manager enables users to visualize their entire Kafka environment end-to-end and simplifies Kafka operations. (More info here.)

Last but not least, Simon Elliston Ball together with Justin Langseth, did a neat cybersecurity demo titled Big Traffic, Big Trouble: Big Data. The focus of this demo was how given the rise of IoT, protection against botnets was ever more important with recent attacks having bad actors rent out networks of hundreds of thousands of compromised devices and send over a terabyte of traffic a second. The big question was: With botnets as a service, and cloud-like technology being used against us, how can we keep up, find the compromised devices, and stop them, before they stop our networks? And the answer: highly scalable, high speed streaming platforms, and human-in-the-loop analytics supported by state of the art real-time visualization. (More info here.)

More to Come

With a total of five demos in just over an hour mixed with entertainment pieces, popcorn, beer, and of course lots of t-shirts, we figured that was a perfect formula to kickstart the unforgettable DataWorks sponsor reception. Hopefully Demopalooza brought pure joy to all the techies attending our conference! Expect more cutting edge demos in the future with unique entertainment brought to you by the one and only Hortonworks Community Team!

Learn more about the upcoming DataWorks Summits near you!

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