Big Data on the Open Cloud

Sponsored Sessions Ballroom G

Rackspace Hosting is the industry leader in the Open Cloud. Rackspace runs mission critical applications for tens of thousands of business of all sizes with a portfolio of products and services that encompasses dedicated infrastructure, private cloud and public cloud services. In this session, Natasha Gajic talks about the ACG project and how it leveraged NoSQL and Big Data technologies with OpenStack for the company’s complex information needs.

Rackspace’s Enterprise Business Intelligence group (EBI) was looking for a cost-effective way to support the reporting and information needs of its internal users, which include business and operations personnel. It was also looking to scale out new infrastructure in order to meet their increasing business demands, house increasing amounts of data, and customize the collection of data, while seeking a way to move away from their legacy Data Warehouse solution. To do this, Rackspace built the Analytical Compute Grid (ACG) by using Hadoop, Cassandra and PostgreSQL with an OpenStack cloud.

Analytical Compute Grid (ACG) is a solution that enables Rackspace to:

  • House an ever growing set of data collected from multiple business units
    * Allow for quick collection of data
    * Rapidly scale up and down to meet fluctuating demands
    * Provision a wide variety of open sourced virtual machines
    * Utilize open source technology to move away from enterprise license fees and avoid vendor lock-in to any one particular product.

The team selected OpenStack to be the heart of the Analytic Compute Grid for the following reasons:
* OpenStack provides a rich and robust API allowing the ACG engine to dynamic scale
* OpenStack provides the necessary speed of provisioning and scale to rapidly create and destroy virtual machines
* An OpenStack image contains all components necessary for a given VM to join the ACG system. ACG utilizes OpenStack images to create system VMs.

OpenStack allows Rackspace to configure images that use different data stores, including:
* Cassandra database for columnar data structures
* PostgreSQL for relational data structures
* Hadoop distributed file system for large unstructured and noisy data

The ACG engine enables end users to select the best data storage technology for each information need, and provides SQL-like syntax for data retrieval via a standard JDBC interface regardless of the underlying data storage.

Come hear about how Rackspace is using OpenStack, Big Data and NoSQL to help end users manage information and data.

This session is sponsored by Rackspace

Photo of Natasha Gajic

Natasha Gajic


Natasha Gajic is currently Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI) Specialist – Technical Architecture Lead at Rackspace. Natasha has been working in the computer industry since 1988 in various roles around software design, database administration, system development and consulting. Currently, Natasha is leading an engineering effort on Rackspace OpenStack Big Data solution called Analytical Compute Grid. Before joining Rackspace, Natasha worked for 10 years as a consultant on various projects in Toronto, Canada. There she implemented the Ontario Major Case Management system, which is a province-wide intelligence system for criminal investigations. Natasha holds a patent on Data Management and Indexing across a Distributed Database in the Cloud. She holds a Masters of Electrical Engineering degree from Military Technical University in Zagreb, Croatia.


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