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School leaders can resist the urge to micromanage by focusing on the most important goal: helping students and teachers succeed.
I was restless the night before the information was released, imagining scenarios from the most glorious to the most grave.
When I arrived at my office the following day, I closed the door and dove into an hours-long data analysis session, coming up for air only intermittently.
Getting my school’s standardized test scores after my rookie year as a principal was a nerve-racking experience I won’t soon forget. While I never overemphasized test data as a metric for my own performance—or the performance of my colleagues, teachers, and students—I was well aware of the importance placed on these reports by others, including my superintendent and members of our community at large.
The results were neither dire nor amazing; in fact, they were just what I thought they would be. They were, after all, just small pieces of a bigger picture. And yet I found myself worrying about the scores for weeks on end. I wanted the data to look better. I was worried about how it would reflect on my school.
In the end, the conversations about scores came and went, but my responsibilities as a leader—to help students and teachers succeed—remained consistent. In hindsight, I realized that I should have kept this—and not the test results—at the forefront of my mind all along.
Letting Go Is Essential for Success
The need to let go of outcomes is one of the most difficult—and necessary—lessons I have learned as a leader. The act of surrendering control over both large and small aspects of my school’s work has been frightening and exhilarating. While letting go is challenging, I’ve found that it’s necessary for both professional growth and the success of the school as a whole.
School leaders must design and oversee numerous programs, committees, assessment structures, and schedules: The list of essential tasks is endless. Each professional responsibility has the potential to mire a leader in overanalysis and micromanagement. However, over-attachment to outcome, while normal, is counterproductive as it can stifle a leader’s growth and impede a school’s progress. Schools are organic environments in which a host of factors interplay with and build on one another. If a leader wishes to create a school that is harmonious, energized, and productive, they must embrace this.
The Power of Surrender
Learning to manage internal and external expectations so you can stay focused on the overall mission is key to letting go of the urge to fret and micromanage. School leaders should keep in mind that the heart of our job as educators is to help students fully realize their potential—and schools’ culture and instruction are what we use to get them there.
Some things we try will exceed expectations, while others will leave us disappointed. It is imperative that we keep the big picture in mind and adopt an attitude that supports thoughtful exploration and celebrates continuous progression rather than one preconceived outcome.
Trust is a key ingredient in this process. As a leader, you must have faith in those around you. If you trust that everyone is working hard and is invested in a shared mission, you will be much more prepared to let go.
We must always bear in mind the things we shouldn’t let go of: professional pride, collaborative engagement, and integrity. Additionally, we should never mistake letting go for apathy or carelessness, since letting go allows us to engage in critical tasks and conversations.
It is also important to note that there are innumerable areas that require a dogged relentlessness if we wish to have a great school. If, for example, students are not meeting targets for growth in language arts, it’s essential to address this through data analysis, collaboration, instructional planning, and curricular initiatives. The same can be said if technology integration is missing the mark or the school culture does not foster a love of learning.
Keep the End Goal in Mind
In the novel Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace wrote, “Everything I ever let go of has claw marks on it.” I can certainly relate to this sentiment. Letting go is never easy, but trying to holding on is even more difficult—and, in the end, is impossible anyway.
The naysayers will always be there. The internal voice of self-doubt will certainly scream out for attention. Let them go too.
In the end, one true question will remain for all educators: Did you give your best effort for the students you serve? If the answer is a resounding yes, you have hit the bull’s-eye dead on. Relax and let the rest of it go.
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Just before 9 a.m. on a blue-sky Louisiana morning, a giant gray B-52 bomber gradually lifts off the tarmac with some 190,000 pounds of fuel on board, a trail of dark exhaust behind it.
A few seconds later, there’s a small glitch: One of the aircraft’s landing gear legs—the rear one on the left—decides to stay down. The rest fold up, as they should. The pilots determine that the problem isn’t big enough to scrub the day’s flight, so the bomber pushes on with its training mission, two big wheels hanging down for five hours like an incomplete thought, limiting the plane’s speed and reducing its fuel efficiency. At some point, as planned, the crew refuels from behind an airborne tanker, taking on thousands of more pounds of gas.
That’s the B-52—a beefy old bomber that dates back to the post-World War II years. Though the US military has incorporated sleeker flying machines in recent decades, it’s not retiring what’s known as the “BUFF,” or Big Ugly Fat Fucker, anytime soon. The aircraft that lifted off that March morning from Barksdale Air Force Base in northwestern Louisiana was built by Boeing in Wichita, Kansas, and delivered to the Air Force in early March of 1962. The Cold War-era ship is far older than its two pilots that day: Carlos Espino (call sign “Loko”), 27, and Clint Scott (call sign “Silver”), 34.
Operating the B-52 is like “flying a museum,” Espino says from the left-hand seat in the cockpit just before the mission. “It’s a brick—I would say it’s like wrestling.” He’s a friendly, burly guy, and his squadron, the 20th, are known as the Buccaneers. The patch on his right shoulder shows a pirate throwing a bomb.
Capt. Carlos Espino (call sign “Loko”), foreground, walks towards a B-52 for a training flight out of Barksdale Air Force Base on March 10th. Rob Verger
“It has a lot of redundant systems,” Espino adds. “So if one system fails, there’s plenty of other systems to back it up.” The most challenging maneuver, he says, is precisely lining the aircraft up with a tanker in the sky to accept more fuel. “At the end of air refueling, you’re literally sweating.”
The plane may be large—its 185-foot wingspan and 159-foot length make it bigger than a 737, and smaller than a 747—but the space for the crew is cozy. Behind and below the cockpit is a small submarine-like compartment, sometimes illuminated in red, where two others sit: radar navigator Rebecca “Ripper” Ronkainen, and aircraft navigator Jacob Tejada, both 28. If anything happens that requires an airborne evacuation from the jet, Ronkainen and Tejada’s ejection seats blast downwards rather than upwards, which is only safe if the plane is more than 250 feet off the deck. Also on board that day is an instructor and weapons systems officer, call sign “Pibber.”
Right behind where Tejada and Ripper work is a urinal. Ideally, no one poops on a B-52, even if the mission drags on for hours. Imodium can help.
Officially called the Stratofortress, or less officially, the Stratosaurus, the B-52 sports a wealth of engines hanging from its big wings. While most airliners rely on two or four engines, the BUFF has eight TF-33 turbofan thrusters. The Air Force is set to replace those engines with new ones, an improvement that could boost the jet’s efficiency by at least 20 percent.
Upgrades like that should help the B-52 fit in a little better with the Air Force’s more modern lineup. Many of the bombers have also been outfitted with a new digital system, though the craft’s cockpit is still very much awash in traditional analog dials. Plus, each BUFF goes through an exhaustive maintenance process every four years that involves some 40,000 hours of labor and around 3,000 swapped parts. The Air Force says it would like to keep the BUFF flying until 2050; it’s a plane they keep investing in because they have it, and because it can do, and has done, a lot.
Rebecca “Ripper” Ronkainen tests her oxygen mask and communications equipment before the day’s flight. Rob VergerB is for bomber
The Air Force’s fleet of bombers is an alphabet soup of “Bs” and numbers. There’s the B-1 Lancer, which now only carries conventional bombs, due to a treaty called New START. There’s the B-2 Spirit, a stealthy wing that can deliver either conventional or nuclear weapons. There’s the B-52. And finally, there’s the B-21 Raider, the Air Force’s forthcoming stealth bomber, which is still in the works.
Currently, the military owns 20 B-2s, 62 B-1s (that number may decrease to 45 next year), and 76 B-52s. That makes the BUFF, with its long, swept-back wings and narrow body, the most abundant.
“The B-52 has been a workhorse of the Air Force for decades,” says Todd Harrison, who directs the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). “It’s a remarkable aircraft, and I think it has really proven out the concept that your major platforms can stay relevant, long after their design life, by upgrading the components and the technologies that go on them.”
What makes the BUFF so enduring is the way it was first designed, says General Timothy Ray, the head of Air Force Global Strike Command. When they built the B-52 in the early 1960s, “you could do some precision engineering and precision manufacturing, but back then the efficiency wasn’t the driver,” he explains. “Today, you have the technical means to plan and manufacture to the finest of requirements.” In other words, they don’t build bombers like they used to.
Ray also notes that there’s more than one way to measure a plane’s age. “When you look at the life remaining in the air frame, the B-52 is the youngest,” he says.
Over the next decades, the Air Force might slim its bomber fleet down to just the futuristic B-21s and the old-school B-52s. Ray describes a fleet on the order of 75 BUFFs and 100 Raiders, or ideally even more: 220 bombers in total.
The costs involved with aircraft like these are astronomical. Giving each B-52 eight new engines and other upgrades requires a budget of about $130 million per plane, Ray says. The new B-21 Raider will be even pricier to buy, which is why the fleet of tomorrow would be a mix of vintage and new. What’s more, the B-52 is a metal bird that’s already in the hand, which is another reason to keep it running. “This is real,” Ray says, “whereas the B-21 is in parts getting put together right now.”
On a per-plane basis, the B-52 is less expensive for the Air Force to own and fly than the other bombers. The BUFF fleet costs the Air Force $1.4 billion per year, according to Harrison, which translates to around $18 million for a single aircraft annually. The B-1, meanwhile, clocks in at $23 million per plane each year, and the B-2 a whopping $43 million. Part of the reason for the difference is that because the Air Force has so many B-52s compared to the others, the operational costs per aircraft are much lower. But no matter how you slice it, bombers don’t come cheap.
A crew member enters the aircraft through the hatch in its belly. Rob VergerSending a message
The US has three different ways of deploying nuclear weapons: intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), nuclear missile-outfitted submarines, and those B-52 and B-2 bombers. The Air Force calls this apocalyptic arsenal the “nuclear triad.”
Meanwhile, ICBMs, Ray says, are difficult to “message” with because the missile silos themselves are static. “Bombers, though, are flexible. And you can recall a bomber,” he says. “When I launch an ICBM—that’s it. Thirty minutes later, things are going down.”
Having BUFFs and other aircraft on hand also allows the military to conduct what it calls bomber task forces. Ray notes that they’ve sent bombers into the Black Sea, “which drives the Russians crazy, and it makes our day.” The same goes for flights into the Baltic Sea.
Russia performs similar operations with their fleet. Just this month, NORAD reported that that country flew bombers within 37 miles of Alaska.
Clint “Silver” Scott in the cockpit before the day’s flight. Rob VergerWheels down
As useful as the BUFF has been, though, CSIS’s Harrison wonders about the aircraft’s ongoing effectiveness against any country with modern safeguards. “If we have a conventional fight against Russia or China, the B-52 is a sitting duck to air defense systems and to Chinese and Russian fighter jets,” he says. In that case, the plane would have to operate at a safe distance from those countries, where its only effective weapons would be pricey cruise missiles. In a scenario like that, a stealthy B-2 or the forthcoming B-21 bomber might be more useful.
“At some point, you have to let important aircraft go,” Harrison says. “Is it really worth it to keep these planes in the air, or for the same amount of money, could we buy something else that’s more useful to us?” On that note, Harrison brings up a Navy aircraft called the P-8 Poseidon, which is like a 737 but can carry weapons such as cruise missiles. When asked if the military was thinking about a B-52 alternative like the Poseidon, an Air Force spokesperson said by email: “The Pentagon is carefully considering options and planning experiments toward the prospect of fielding such a plane.” A related idea is something called an arsenal aircraft, which could deploy what’s known as “standoff” weapons from afar.
Ultimately, the BUFF has its quirks—one of which was on full display during that March training mission out of Louisiana. The issue with the stubborn stay-down wheels stemmed from a fascinating design feature on the aircraft that allows the plane to pivot its main landing gear, so that if it’s landing in a cross wind, the nose of the beast can face into the wind while its wheels line up with the runway. Those landing gear legs can’t fold up into the belly, though, unless the switches say they’re centered. And sometimes the switches that control the wheels just “get out of rig,” an Air Force spokesperson wrote via email.
In fact, after that five-hour flight, another team quickly hopped into the same B-52 and took off again with the landing gear issue still unresolved, its crew said. That’s the BUFF. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good, and it gets a lot done. That should be enough to keep it cruising onward, punching through the sky for maybe the next three decades, perhaps with the occasional part out of place.
In this modern economy, apparently nothing is sacred — not even the space shuttle is spared the indignity of training its younger replacement. During what is planned to be the last shuttle flight ever, astronauts onboard space shuttle Endeavour next February will test a new docking system designed for the Orion spacecraft. The system provides real-time 3-D images to the crew and is more streamlined and more accurate than the shuttle’s docking sensors.
Last week, the STS-134 crew got a preview of the technology from Ball Aerospace, whose engineers designed the system with workers from Lockheed Martin, NASA’s primary contractor on the Orion project. The new docking system involves an eye-safe flash Lidar Vision Navigation System and a high-definition docking camera. The system’s resolution is 16 times that of the shuttle’s, and it provides data from as far away as three miles, triple the shuttle’s ability.
It’s not often that engineers can test future spaceflight systems in space, notes Jeanette Domber, the project lead for the shuttle test, called “Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation” (STORMM).
“There’s nothing like collecting data in this environment, compared to the testing we can do on the ground,” she said.
On the 11th day of the last shuttle mission, astronauts will make a penultimate departure from the International Space Station and move about 3.5 miles away. As the shuttle slowly returns to the ISS, the Orion docking system will switch on. The shuttle will approach the station the way Orion would, and engineers at Ball, Lockheed and NASA will gather streams of data to improve their system’s algorithms.
Astronauts will really be using the shuttle’s existing docking system, but astronaut Andrew Feustel (currently co-starring in the Hubble IMAX movie) will take the new one for a test drive.
The tests will improve spacecraft docking capability regardless of what Congress and the White House decide to do with the Constellation program. It could be used by pilots or in unmanned craft, says Lisa Hardaway, Ball’s chief engineer for the Orion project. If the Obama administration decides to send a vehicle to an asteroid, for instance, a system like this could simplify the rendezvous.
“The beauty of our instruments is that they can be used on any vehicle for any application. For any incarnation that Orion ends up in, our vehicle is still applicable,” Hardaway says.
Befitting the space program’s legacy, the system might also be useful for Earth applications — its capability to determine shapes, intensity, and distance could improve terrain mapping, deforestation monitoring and hazard-avoidance systems in transportation.
The space shuttle uses different sensors as it approaches the ISS. At far distances, astronauts track their target with radar. As they approach the station, they use a trajectory control system and a laser.
The new system integrates everything, Domber says. The Lidar system sends out a laser pulse, which is reflected to a sensor and translated into computer data. The astronauts will know exactly where their spacecraft is relative to its docking target, and the high-def camera shows them a real-time view.
Lidar systems can be dangerous, especially for astronauts peering out the space station’s cupola to catch a view of the action. Engineers had to build a small but powerful Lidar laser that wouldn’t hurt astronauts’ eyes, Domber says: “We have done eye-safe lasers that require much more power, and are larger, and we have done not-eye-safe lasers in a small package. We needed to combine the two to make it safe.”
The laser fits in the palm of your hand, and the whole package is about the size of a bread box. It is the latest in a suite of new technologies meant to further NASA’s goal — if not Obama’s — to see Orion fly in 2013.
And the latest to help shepherd the shuttle into the annals of history. Learn more about it in this video.
When I entered the ninth-grade English classroom, I had a clear vision of the first-year teacher I wanted to be: a strict, but thoughtful, educator who held students accountable for their behavior in the classroom. While my intentions were not flawed, the execution of this teaching style was poor, and left my students with a different impression of me: apathetic.
Rather than showing my students I was attempting to serve both their needs and my own with my classroom rules and expectations, I introduced my classroom management strategies as a series of consequences. I expressed no compassion for my students, and did not address them as trustworthy young adults.
As the school year progressed, my interactions with my students changed. I became more comfortable with demonstrating my love and respect for them, and my classroom management strategies became centered on compassion instead of consequences. When my students could see that I cared about their lives and well-being, they were better able to trust me. And that meant I could request more of them, and expect more in return.
All of the pre-service pedagogy and theory I had learned about wrangling a class of twenty-three 14-year-olds for 90 minutes became infinitely more applicable once my students knew I had compassion for them. Here are some things I learned that first year.Show You Care
I began teaching under the incorrect assumption that my students would somehow naturally know that I cared deeply about their success and livelihood. Many students, especially ones who are prone to behavioral issues, expect the exact opposite from teachers, and it’s important to establish that you’re different from their expectations.
The simplest way to demonstrate to your students you care and have compassion for them is to tell them often and in different ways. Genuine praise for tasks, asking questions about their day, and sharing with them tidbits from your life are excellent ways to show students you care.
Another way to do this is by attending extracurricular events when your students are involved. Making the effort to support your students in a non-classroom environment can be extraordinarily meaningful.Assume Students’ Lives Are Complicated
When a student acts out, it’s often a reflection of problems in their lives outside of the classroom. It’s key to be compassionate to these students as they learn to face tumultuous issues in their everyday life.
Teachers can show compassion by avoiding classroom management techniques that humiliate students or force them to address their behavior in a public setting. Speak to students in private, and always ask them how things are going.
Behavioral issues in the classroom should cause teachers concern for their students’ well-being, and we should work to understand what’s going on in their lives. Even as adults, when we have disruptive life events it’s challenging to maintain a cheerful attitude at all times.Each Day Is a Clean Slate
Forgiveness is critical to classroom management through compassion. If a student feels as though they’re constantly reminded of their past errors, they’ll feel as though they are permanently labeled a “bad kid.”
When we forgive students for making mistakes, realizing that there are many factors in their lives that lie outside the school, we can make each day a little better than the one before.
And holding grudges against students who have made poor or hurtful decisions is tiring and wastes time. For the sake of your own happiness, it’s crucial to forgive and forget student behavioral issues.The Difference Between Compassion and Friendship
Demonstrating compassion for your students is not the same as wanting your students to like you. Many new teachers fall into the trap of desiring their students’ approval, especially when teaching older students who are close to the teacher in age, but that can lead to a lack of mutual respect.
To show compassion to students is to take the time and effort to understand their perspective, while continuing to make choices that are best for their learning experience. Showing compassion does not mean you’re a student’s friend—it means you care about their progress and are invested in their future.
By itself, compassion is an important life skill. As a part of classroom management, compassion can enhance the effectiveness of any strategies you would normally put in place. Compassion gives students an opportunity to trust your choices and have faith in the requests you make of them. Classroom management procedures and explicit instruction are important, but students who know you’re invested in them are more inclined to respect you and follow your lead.
Farrah Fawcett was known for her signature blonde hair and iconic smile. Fawcett was also considered a fashion icon of her time, known for her effortless style and chic, bohemian aesthetic. Fawcett’s signature style was known for its bohemian, carefree vibe
She was often seen in flowy, breezy dresses, wide-leg pants, and oversized sunglasses. She was also known for her love of denim, and she often wore denim jackets, shorts, and jeans. Her hair was her most famous feature.Personal Life
Farrah Fawcett was born on February 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was an American actress and fashion model who rose to fame in the 1970s. She began her career as a model before transitioning to acting, and she quickly became a household name thanks to her role as Jill Munroe on the popular TV series “Charlie’s Angels.” She was also known for her role in the film “Logan’s Run.” Fawcett was married to actor Lee Majors from 1973 to 1982. She was also in a long-term relationship with actor Ryan O’Neal.
As a fashion icon, Farrah Fawcett was known for her effortless, bohemian style. She was one of the most recognizable faces of the 1970s, and her signature blonde hair and iconic smile made her a fashion icon. Her style was characterised by flowy, breezy dresses, wide-leg pants, and oversized sunglasses, which helped to popularized a more relaxed and natural approach to fashion. She was also known for her love of denim, and she often wore denim jackets, shorts, and jeans, which helped to popularized these trends. Her hairstyle, known as the “Farrah Flip,” was extremely popular, and many women sought to emulate her look. She was known for her simplicity, femininity, and natural beauty, which made her stand out and be admired by many.Signature Style
Farrah Fawcett’s signature style was known for its bohemian, carefree vibe. She was often seen in flowy, breezy dresses, wide-leg pants, and oversized sunglasses. She was also known for her love of denim, and she often wore denim jackets, shorts, and jeans. Her hair was her most famous feature, and she became the face of the famous Farrah Fawcett hair, a layered and feathered shag hairstyle that was very popular in the 1970s. Fawcett’s fashion choices often reflected her laid-back, natural approach to beauty and fashion. She was known for her simplicity and her ability to make even the most basic pieces look stylish and effortless. She was often seen in neutral colours and natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen, which helped to create a relaxed and easygoing vibe.
Fawcett’s signature hairstyle, the “Farrah Flip,” was a layered and feathered shag that was cut to frame her face and enhance her features. The style was very popular in the 1970s, and many women sought to emulate it. Her hairstyle was considered a defining feature of her signature look and became one of the most iconic hairstyles of the decade. Farrah Fawcett’s signature style was characterised by her bohemian, carefree vibe; flowy, breezy dresses; wide-leg pants; oversized sunglasses; love of denim; and her iconic hairstyle known as the “Farrah Flip.”Her Influence on The Fashion Industry
Farrah Fawcett had a significant influence on the fashion industry during the 1970s. Her laid-back, natural approach to beauty and fashion helped popularize a more relaxed and effortless style. Her bohemian style, which was characterised by flowy, breezy dresses, wide-leg pants, and oversized sunglasses, helped to popularize a more relaxed and natural approach to fashion. Her use of neutral colours and natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen, helped to create a relaxed and easygoing vibe. Her love of denim and the fact that she was often seen in denim jackets, shorts, and jeans helped to popularize denim as a versatile and stylish fabric. Farrah Fawcett’s hairstyle, the “Farrah Flip,” was extremely popular, and many women sought to emulate her look. Her hairstyle was considered a defining feature of her signature look and became one of the most iconic hairstyles of the decade.
Fawcett’s influence on fashion also extends to her role as a fashion model. She was one of the most recognizable faces of the 1970s and helped to popularize a more natural and relaxed approach to beauty and fashion. Fawcett’s fashion choices also reflected her laid-back, natural approach to beauty and fashion, which was embraced by many women in the 1970s. Her influence on fashion helped to popularize a more relaxed, natural, and effortless approach to beauty and fashion, which continues to be a key trend in the fashion industry today.Her Famous Outfits
Farrah Fawcett was known for her laid-back, natural approach to fashion, and her iconic outfits were often simple and effortless yet stylish. Some of her famous outfits include
The iconic red swimsuit she wore in her famous poster, which sold millions of copies and made her a cultural icon
The white sundress she wore in the “Charlie’s Angels” opening credits The dress featured a plunging neckline and a billowy, flowy skirt, which became one of the most iconic outfits of the 1970s.
the denim shorts and denim jacket she often wore on the set of “Charlie’s Angels.” This outfit helped to popularize denim as a versatile and stylish fabric.
the white, wide-leg pants and oversized sunglasses she often wore on the set of “Charlie’s Angels.” This outfit helped to popularize a more relaxed and natural approach to fashion.
The flowy sundresses and flowy pants she often wore in her personal life helped popularize a more relaxed and natural approach to fashion.
The iconic “Farrah Flip” hairstyle she made famous, which was characterised by its layered and feathered shag cut, was one of the most iconic hairstyles of the 1970s
In summary, Farrah Fawcett’s famous outfits were characterised by their simplicity and effortless style and included the iconic red swimsuit, white sundress, denim shorts and denim jacket, white wide-leg pants, flowy sundresses and flowy pants, and her iconic hairstyle known as the “Farrah Flip.”Conclusion
In conclusion, Farrah Fawcett was a fashion icon of the 1970s known for her laid-back, natural approach to fashion. Her iconic outfits, such as the red swimsuit, white sundress, denim shorts and denim jacket, white wide-leg pants, flowy sundresses and flowy pants, and the “Farrah Flip” hairstyle, helped to popularize a more relaxed and natural approach to fashion. She continues to be an inspiration to many, and her influence on the fashion industry still resonates today.
Apache Hadoop is an open source software framework that enables high throughput processing of big data sets across distributed clusters. Apache modules include Hadoop Common, a set of common utilities that run through the modules. These include Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), Hadoop YARN for scheduling jobs and managing cluster resources, and Hadoop MapReduce, a system based on YARN that enables parallel processing of large data sets.
Apache also offers additional open source software that runs atop Hadoop, such as analysis engine Spark (which can also run independently) and programming language Pig (whose name is a play on Pig Latin).Cloud Storage and Backup Benefits
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Hadoop is popular because it provides a nearly limitless environment for big data processing using commodity hardware. Adding nodes is a simple process with no negative impact on the framework. Hadoop is highly scalable from a single server to thousands of servers with each cluster running its own compute and storage. Hadoop provides high availability at the application layer so cluster hardware can be off-the-shelf.
Real-life usage cases include online travel (Hadoop claims to be the go-to big data platform for 80% of online travel bookings), batch analytics, social media application serving and analysis, supply chain optimization, mobile data management, healthcare, and more.
The downside? Hadoop is complex and requires significant staff time and expertise, which has dampened its adoption rate in businesses lacking specialized IT staff. It can also be a challenge to derive business value in the face of expert administrator requirements and capital expenditures on widely distributed clusters.
Cluster management can also be tricky. Hadoop unifies distributed clusters but equipping and managing additional data centers – not to mention working with remote staff – add to complexity and cost. The upshot is that Hadoop clusters can be far more isolated than they should be.
Cloud to the Rescue?
Going to the cloud is not an either/or proposition for Hadoop owners. Some businesses with Hadoop expertise will choose Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for better cluster management and will continue to manage Hadoop in-house. This article will discuss going all the way to a fully managed Hadoop deployment online. We refer to this as Hadoop-as-a-Service (HaaS), a sub-category of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
Running Hadoop as a managed cloud-based service is not a cheap proposition but it does save money over buying large numbers of clusters. It also eases Hadoop expert management requirements and avoids long learning curves. Most Hadoop installations will maintain a self-service portal for analytics and other data operations while the provider manages all infrastructure, management and processing operations.
This is not an easy thing to do. Hadoop architecture requires a highly scalable and dynamic compute environment, and Hadoop experts are necessary for complex configuration and software integration. If the business decides to go with a managed service they will not have to hire staff experts but the managed service will. The more expertise, customized configuration and capacity the customer requires, the more expensive the service.
Of course, nothing is perfect including HaaS. To begin with, the business will be moving big data in and out of the cloud. This creates latency that IT must redress by buying fatter pipes and/or investing in data movement acceleration. IT must also carry out due diligence on the HaaS provider’s performance levels and Quality of Service. Here are a few top capabilities to look for:
· Non-stop operations. Another consideration is the ability to recover from processing failures without having the restart an entire process. The Hadoop provider should be capable of non-stop operations, which is a non-trivial matter. Clarify that the provider supports non-stop, which restarts an operation from the beginning of a failed sub-service and not the entire job.
Many large cloud vendors offer services to Hadoop service providers including HP Helion, Google, Amazon, Rackspace and MS Azure. However, the cloud vendors may or may not offer their own managed Hadoop services. This vendor section covers managed Hadoop service providers; not simply the infrastructure on which Hadoop runs.
Qubole’s core offering is Hadoop-as-a-service (HaaS). Qubole Data Service offers fully managed, on-demand clusters that scale up or down depending on data size. Qubole partners with Google Cloud using Google’s Computer Engine (GCE). Speaking of Google, the Google Cloud Storage connector for Hadoop lets users run MapReduce jobs directly on data stored in GCS, which eliminates having to write data on-premise and running in local Hadoop. Additional data connectors enable GCS users to run MapReduce on data stored in Google Datastore and Google BigQuery.
Amazon offers Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) as a Hadoop web service. EMR distributes client data and processes across dynamic EC2 instances. Microsoft Azure HDinsight is also a cloud-based Hadoop distribution. HDinsight is Hadoop-only and does not contain additional MS software. The installation processes both unstructured and semi-structured data from multiple data locations.
IBM BigInsights on Cloud is based on Hadoop, integrating Hadoop core offerings and modules with IBM management consoles, analytics, and query engines. The cloud version runs BigInsights as a Hadoop service on IBM SoftLayer.
Frankly, Hadoop adoption hype has not lived up to its reputation. Enterprises with massive big data needs have widely adopted it because they have the computing budgets to match. But many more mid-market and even enterprise-level companies have not adopted Hadoop because of its complexity and ongoing optimization process.
We believe that managed Hadoop services will bring many more business users into the fold as long as Hadoop managed service providers optimize their data centers for performance, and users know to accelerate data transfer.
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