Why Best-of-Breed is a Better Choice than All-in-One Platforms for Data Science

So you need to redesign your company’s data infrastructure.

Do you buy a solution from a big integration company like IBM, Cloudera, or Amazon? Do you commit numerous small-scale startups, each focused on one part of the problem? A low levels of both? We participate tends altering towards focused best-of-breed scaffolds. That is, makes that are laser-focused on one vistum of the data science and machine learning workflows, in contrast to all-in-one platforms that attempt to solve the entire space of data workflows.

This article, which examines this shift in more depth, is an opinionated decision of countless conversations with data scientists about their needs in modern data discipline workflows.

The Two Cultures of Data Tooling

Today we discover two all kinds of renders in the market 😛 TAGEND

All-in-one platforms like Amazon Sagemaker, AzureML, Cloudera Data Science Workbench, and Databricks( which is now a unified analytics pulpit ); Best of Breed produces that are laser-focused on one side of the data science or the machine learning process like Snowflake, Confluent/ Kafka, MongoDB/ Atlas, Coiled/ Dask and Plotly. 1

Integrated all-in-one platforms assemble countless implements together, and can therefore furnish a full solution to common workflows. They’re reliable and steady, but they are generally not to be excellent at any part of that workflow and they tend to move slowly. For this reason, such programmes may be a good choice for companies that don’t have the culture or knowledge to assemble their own platform.

In contrast, best-of-breed makes take a more craftsman approaching: they do one thing well and is rapidly( often they are the ones driving technological improvements ). They generally meet the needs of end users more effectively, are cheaper, and easier working in collaboration with. However some assembly is required because they need to be used alongside other produces to create full solutions. Best-of-breed concoctions are in need of DIY intent that may not is desirable for slow-moving companies.

Which path is best? This is an open question, but we’re putting our fund on best-of-breed products. We’ll share why in a moment, but firstly, we want to look at a historical perspective with what happened to data warehouses and data engineering platforms.

Lessons Learned from Data Warehouse and Data Engineering Platforms

Historically, corporations bought Oracle, SAS, Teradata or other data all-in-one data warehousing mixtures. These were rock solid at what they did-and “what they did” includes offering bundles that are valuable to other parts of the company, such as accounting-but it was difficult for customers to adapt to new workloads over time.

Next came data engineering platforms like Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR, which disintegrate open the Oracle/ SAS hegemony with open generator tooling. These provided a greater level of flexibility with Hadoop, Hive, and Spark.

However, while Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR worked well for a move of common data engineering workloads, they didn’t extrapolate well to workloads that didn’t fit the MapReduce paradigm, including depth learning and new natural language patterns. As corporations moved to cloud, adopted interactive Python, integrated GPUs, or moved to a greater diversity of data science and machine learning use disputes, these data engineering scaffolds weren’t ideal. Data scientists spurned these programmes and went back to working on their laptops where they had full govern to play around and experimentation with brand-new libraries and hardware.

While data engineering pulpits rendered a great place for companies to start building data assets, their rigidity becomes especially challenging when companies embrace data science and machine learning, both of which are highly dynamic lands with ponderous churn who are in need of much more flexibility in order to stay relevant. An all-in-one platform sees it easy about to begin, but can become a problem when your data science practice outgrows it.

So if data engineering platforms like Cloudera removed data warehousing platforms like SAS/ Oracle, what will displace Cloudera as we move into the data science/ machine learning age?

Why we picture Best-of-Breed will dispossess walled garden-variety stages

The macrocosms of data science and machine learning move at a much faster pace than data storage and much of data engineering. All-in-one pulpits are too large and rigid to keep up. Additionally, the benefits of integration are less relevant today with engineerings like Kubernetes. Let’s dive into these reasons in more depth.

Data Science and Machine Learning Require Flexibility

“Data science” is an improbably broad-minded word that encompasses dozens of acts like ETL, machine learning, representation management, and user interfaces, each of which have numerous constantly evolving choices. Simply part of a data scientist’s workflow is typically supported by even the most mature data discipline pulpits. Any attempt to build a one-size-fits-all integrated stage would have to include such a broader range of pieces, and such a broader range of hand-pickeds within each aspect, that it would be extremely difficult to maintain and keep up to date. What happens when you want to incorporate real-time data feeds? What happens when you want to start analyzing time line data? Yes, the all-in-one platforms will have tools to meet these needs; but will they be appropriate tools you want, or the tools you’d choose if you had the opportunity?

Consider user interfaces. Data scientists use countless tools like Jupyter diaries, IDEs, practice dashboards, text editors, and others throughout their day. Platforms offering only “Jupyter diaries in the cloud” cover only a small fraction of what actual data scientists be utilized in a established era. This leaves data scientists wasting half of their time in the pulpit, half outside the scaffold, and a brand-new third half moving between the two environments.

Consider too the computational libraries that all-in-one platforms corroborate, and the speeding at which they go out of year rapidly. Famously, Cloudera led Spark 1.6 for years after Spark 2.0 was released-even though( and perhaps because) Spark 2.0 was secreted only 6 months after 1.6. It’s quite hard for a scaffold to stay on top of all of the rapid alters that are happening today. They’re very expansive and countless to keep up with.

Kubernetes and the gloom commoditize integrating

While the variety of data science has made all-in-one platforms harder, at the same time advances in infrastructure have originated integrating best-of-breed commodities easier.

Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR were necessary at the time because Hadoop, Hive, and Spark were notoriously difficult to set up and coordinate. Companies that shortage technical skills needed to buy an integrated solution.

But today things are different. Modern data engineerings are simpler to set up and configure. Likewise, technologies like Kubernetes and the shadow help to commoditize configuration and reduce incorporation tenderness with numerous narrowly-scoped products. Kubernetes lowers the barrier to integrating new commodities, which tolerates modern companies to assimilate and retire best-of-breed concoctions on an as-needed basis without a unpleasant onboarding process. For illustration, Kubernetes aids data scientists deploy APIs that serve sits( machine learning or otherwise ), construct machine learning workflow arrangements, and is an increasingly common substrate for web applications that allows data scientists to integrate OSS technologies, as reported here by Hamel Hussain, Staff Machine Learning Engineer at Github.

Kubernetes affords a common framework in which most deployment concerns can be specified programmatically. This positions more ascertain into the paws of library writers, rather than individual integrators. As a reaction the work of integration is greatly reduced, often merely specifying some configuration importances and reaching deploy. A good example here is the Zero to JupyterHub guide. Anyone with meagre computer skills can deploy JupyterHub on Kubernetes without knowing too much in about an hour. Previously this would have taken a taught professional with reasonably deep knowledge several days.

Final Thoughts

We believe that companies that accept a best-of-breed data platform will be more able to adapt to technology changes that we know are coming. Rather than being tied into a monolithic data science platform on a multi-year time scale, they will be able to adopt, use, and barter out produces as their needs deepen. Best of reproduction programmes enable companies to evolve and respond to today’s rapidly changing environment.

The rise of the data analyst, data scientist, machine learning engineer and all the satellite roles that necktie government decisions purpose of organizations to data, along with increasing extents of automation and machine ability, require tooling that fill these end users’ needs. These needs are rapidly evolving and bind to open source tooling that is also evolving rapidly. Our strong opinion( strongly impounded) is that best-of-breed scaffolds are better positioned to serve these constantly evolving needs by building on these OSS tools than all-in-platforms. We look forward to finding out.


1 Note that we’re discussing data scaffolds that are built on top of OSS technologies, rather than the OSS technologies themselves. This is not another Dask vs Spark post, but a piece weighing up the practicality of two different types of modern data platforms.

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