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Preface

Preface

Martin Gardner, the mathematics and science writer, once said in an interview:

Beyond calculus, I am lost. That was the secret of my column’s success. It took me so long to understand what I was writing about that I knew how to write in a way most readers would understand.[1]

In many ways, this is how I feel about Hadoop. Its inner workings are complex, resting as they do on a mixture of distributed systems theory, practical engineering, and common sense. And to the uninitiated, Hadoop can appear alien.

But it doesn’t need to be like this. Stripped to its core, the tools that Hadoop provides for building distributed systems—for data storage, data analysis, and coordination—are simple. If there’s a common theme, it is about raising the level of abstraction—to create building blocks for programmers who just happen to have lots of data to store, or lots of data to analyze, or lots of machines to coordinate, and who don’t have the time, the skill, or the inclination to become distributed systems experts to build the infrastructure to handle it.


  

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