Home » Author Archives: Brian ONeill

Author Archives: Brian ONeill

Delta Architectures: Unifying the Lambda Architecture and leveraging Storm from Hadoop/REST

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Recently, I’ve been asked by a bunch of people to go into more detail on the Druid/Storm integration that I wrote for our book: Storm Blueprints for Distributed Real-time Computation.  Druid is great. Storm is great. And the two together appear to solve the real-time dimensional query/aggregations problem. In fact, it looks like people are taking it mainstream, calling it ...

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Diction in Software Development (i.e. Don’t be a d1ck!)

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Over the years, I’ve come to realize how important diction is in software development (and life in general). It may mean the difference between a 15 minute meeting where everyone nods their heads, and a day long battle of egos (especially when you have a room full of passionate people). Here are a couple key words and phrases, I’ve incorporated into ...

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The Life(Cycles) of UX/UI Development

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It recently occurred to me that not one of the dozens and dozens of user interfaces I’ve worked on over the years, had the same methodology/lifecycle.  Many of those were results of the environments under which they were constructed: startup, BIG company, government contract, side-project, open-source, freelance, etc. But the technology also played a part in choosing the methodology we ...

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Applied Big Data : The Freakonomics of Healthcare

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I went with a less provocative title this time because my last blog post (http://brianoneill.blogspot.com/2014/04/big-data-fixes-obamacare.html) evidently incited political flame wars. In this post, I hope to avoid that by detailing exactly how Big Data can help our healthcare system in a nonpartisan way. First, let’s decompose the problem a bit. Economics Our healthcare system is still (mostly) based on capitalism: ...

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Looking for your aaS? (IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS vs. BaaS)

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Our API is getting a lot of traction these days.  We enable our customers to perform lookups against our masterfile via a REST API.  Recently, we’ve also started exposing our Master Data Management (MDM) capabilities via our REST API.  This includes matching/linking, analysis, and consolidation functionality.  A customer can send us their data, we will run a sophisticated set of ...

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WTF is an architect anyway?

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In full disclosure, I’m writing this as a “Chief” Architect (I can’t help but picture a big headdress), and I’ve spent the majority of my career as an “architect” (note the air quotes).  And honestly, I’ve always sought out opportunities that came with this title.  I think my fixation came largely from the deification of term in the Matrix movies. ...

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Crawling the Web with Cassandra and Nutch

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So, you want to harvest a massive amount of data from the internet?  What better storage mechanism than Cassandra?  This is easy to do with Nutch. Often people use Hbase behind Nutch.  This works, but it may not be an ideal solution if you are (or want to be) a Cassandra shop.   Fortunately, Nutch 2+ uses the Gora abstraction layer ...

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The Economics of Open Source : Seek Free Code. Find Innovation.

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In the past, many technologists had to evangelize open source within the enterprise. We had to justify its use, reassure executives about security, ability to support, etc.  Recently,  I believe those tables have turned.  More and more, businesses are asking the question, “Isn’t there an open-source solution for this?”. Not only has open-source been accepted, but its become the preferred ...

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Broken Glass : Diagnosing Production Cassandra Issues

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I just past my second year anniversary at Health Market Science (HMS), and we’ve been working with Cassandra for almost the entirety of my career here.   In that time, we have had remarkably few problems with it.  Like few other technologies I’ve worked with, Cassandra “just works”. But, as with *every* technology I’ve ever worked with, you eventually have ...

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Zen and the Art of Collaborative Software Development

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Conway’s law suggests that designs are constrained by organizational communication structures.  I’ve seen that law manifest itself over and over again and I’d assert that it is impossible to develop a cohesive software platform unless the proper collaborative dynamics exist.  Specifically, to develop a software platform that can satisfy the needs of many different product-lines, consumers, and/or dependent projects, you ...

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