Several colleagues and I attended Hadoop Summit in San Jose last week. Here are six things I learned:

1. Simba gets around.
No, that’s not our new marketing slogan. It’s just fact: Simba is now the de facto standard for Hadoop connectivity, whatever the protocol (ODBC, JDBC), format (structured, unstructured), or data source (Hive, Impala, Mongo, Cassandra). We proudly posted a banner featuring seventeen partners—including major Hadoop leaders like Hortonworks, Cloudera, and MapR—who embed or offer Simba connectivity code. And it was out of date by the middle of conference day #1 as our sales team closed the first of several new deals.

2. Hadoop is becoming increasingly SQLized.
My colleague Tom Newton notes that inhabitants of the Hadoop universe are barrelling at light speed toward RDBMS. Nearly all of the Hadoop Summit exhibiting vendors (present company included, of course!) were pitching technologies and solutions that offer at least some level of conformity to SQL on Hadoop.

3. Cloudera employs some clever folks in its marketing department.
It’s not new, but still the best tagline of the show? Cloudera’s “Data is the new bacon.” A Cloudera sales guy noted that it was his company’s effort to “be as hip as possible.” (All I can say is well played, Cloudera. Well played.) Of course, this begs the question: If data is the new bacon, where does that leave bacon? (Is bacon the new data? Where’s the data warehouse?)

SimbaInHortonworks

4. The big guys and gals trust Simba (especially when it comes to connectivity in demos).
“Hey, that’s us!” Hortonworks VP of Corporate Strategy Shaun Connolly featured a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it demo of the Simba Hortonworks ODBC driver for Hive. Yes, it’s just that fast. Well, that and it’s embedded in the Hortonworks solution. In the pic (taken at approximately ten minutes into the presentation) a Simba sample DSN is shown, and then when he picks a table, you can see another Simba sample table.

5. YARN’ll run anything.
Another attending colleague points to the innovation that YARN provides, noting “You can run anything using the platform.” It’s YARN’s ability to abstract the resource negotiation in Hadoop that moves it beyond Map-reduce terrain. That same co-worker cited the example of a cool distributed webserver implemented using YARN.

Actian Flash Mob6. Flash mobs are the new bacon.
Words can’t do justice to Actian’s marketing efforts: http://youtu.be/D6BKOj5xMCU.

I can’t wait next year’s Hadoop Summit (and this fall’s Strata/Hadoop World event in NYC). In the meantime, I’ll work on a new, hipper slogan. (“Simba Connects…to Bacon!”)