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FCW : September 30, 2014
Federal List 18 September 30, 2014 FCW.COM government big data doesn t just mean volume but also variety," he said. Splunk --- which provides soft- ware for searching, monitoring and analyzing big data --- has gained new federal clients and expanded existing deployments in scal 2014. Customers include NASA s Johnson Space Center, the Army, the Air Force and the depart- ments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Energy and Interior. The company also reports growing interest in using its data analytics plat- form for security purposes. DOE, for example, has adopted the Splunk App for Enterprise Security at two sites, replacing a security information and event management tool. The compa- ny is broadening its government reach through alliances with Carahsoft and Georgia Tech Research Institute, among other partners. "Data drives decision-making in fed- eral agencies, and this focus on intra- agency information sharing and analyt- ics is an important factor in Splunk s public-sector growth," said Bill Cull, vice president of the U.S. public sec- tor at Splunk. Talend, which offers big-data solu- tions, targets data consolidation and systems modernization projects in the federal sector. Customers include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Cloud computing Cloud adoption continues to grow in the federal sector, with vendors offering solutions for developing and deliver- ing cloud-centric applications. Acquia, CloudBees and Docker are among the companies gaining federal momentum. Drupal development firm Acquia offers the open-source content man- agement system on its cloud platform. The company experienced a year-over- year growth rate of more than 35 per- cent in 2013. Recent federal customers include the Justice Department (via a departmentwide blanket purchase agreement); the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; National Insti- tutes of Health clinics; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explo- sives; and Lawrence Livermore Nation- al Laboratory. Recent alliances include a partner- ship with NuCivic to launch NuData Enterprise, which Acquia describes as the rst fully open-source software-as- a-service (OpenSaaS) data management solution. Todd Akers, public-sector vice pres- ident at Acquia, said his company is positioned to help agencies respond to new Obama administration directives. "With the launch of the U.S. Digital Service and the Digital Services Play- book, the administration is allocating resources to help government agencies build extraordinary Web and digital ser- 9 things to look for in an open-source project By Ben Balter Not all open-source projects are created equal.There are plenty that have not been touched in years --- heck, I probably wrote a few of them. If you're going to rely on a community-contributed open-source proj- ect, you'll want to ensure the code is up to your standards and that the community will continue to support it throughout the project's life cycle. Although there is no litmus test for "good" open source, there are several common, language-agnostic indicators of a healthy project: 1Update frequency. The most commonly cited metric is: When was it last updated? A year ago? A week? An hour?You don't want to inherit a stale codebase.The last update isn't the only thing you should be looking at, though. How frequently is it updated? Is devel- opment occasional or continuous? Do changes occur on the weekends (suggest- ing a hobby) or during the week (suggest- ing a business)? On GitHub, most of this information is presented as graphs. 2 Issues. Issues and bug reports are good things --- really. If you nd an open-source project with no open issues, that doesn't mean it's perfect. In fact, it often means the opposite. A vibrant sup- port community with heated discussions and an endless list of proposed features means you've got lots of eyes reviewing the code and driving its development. Open issues are great, and closed issues are even better. 3 Forks, stars and down- loads. Each distribution platform pro- vides its own metrics to describe popular- ity. On GitHub, watchers, stars and forks are the strongest indicators of a project's popularity and use. On WordPress.org, on the other hand, you can see the num- ber of downloads a plugin has received and its average user rating. If a project is distributed via a package manager (e.g., RubyGems.org or NPM), you can see the number of installs. Those indicators show how much the project is used, but be careful not to confuse adoption with quality. 4 Documentation. How is the project documented? Is it simply written up in a readme.txt le or via a dedicated documentation site? Documentation that glosses over technical assumptions (e.g., how to install, requirements and depen- dencies) often indicates more casually developed software. Dedicated market- ing sites (e.g., Jekyllrb.com) show that the project maintainers are serious about getting their code into the hands of users and thus are more likely to support it. 5 Organization or user. Who's behind the project? If it's an individual, what's his or her day job? Is he or she an expert in whatever the thing does? Does he or she have a vested interest in main- taining the project down the line? Being
September 15, 2014