Like all huge internet companies, LinkedIn invents a lot of software to keep it up and running.
And like most Valley companies, it turns around and gives that software away for free, so others can use it and add to it, which helps LinkedIn add new features to it.
That’s a process called open source and it has not only forever changed the software industry, but is starting to change the internet hardware industry too.
And when you invent something, you get to name it.
LinkedIn, it turns out, has a lot of oddball names for its open source projects. So we asked LinkedIn: What’s up with that?
Project Name: Voldemort
Project lead Jay Kreps was reading the last Harry Potter book, and the book’s villain Voldemort had split himself into many pieces, each of which had to be destroyed to kill him. That made Kreps think of a distributed computer system.
Kreps says: “I don’t know whether it is nerdier to be reading Harry Potter or to be wondering what kind of consistency protocol Voldemort uses when keeping all his pieces up-to-date, but regardless, the name stuck.”
What it is/does: Open source key value storage system, which is a method for storing and finding data in certain kinds of databases.
Project Name: Kafka
The team had just finished using a lot of Harry Potter-themed project names (Voldemort, Azkaban, Lumos, etc.) and were over Harry Potter so they went with something more random, Kafka, after the writer.
What it is/does: This is a system for writing things down that replaced a very complex system for writing things down, Kafkaesque if you will.
(In geek speak: Apache Kafka is an open-source message broker project developed by the Apache Software Foundation written in Scala, designed to handle real-time data feeds).
Project Name: Pinot
The team chose the name for two reasons. First, everyone loves pinot noir wine.
Second, the pinot noir grape is the toughest of all red varietals to grow and process into wine, yet can produce some of the most complex wine available. This is much like data, which can be so tough to gather and analyse, but so incredibly useful once it’s put to work in the right way.
What it is/does: Pinot is a distributed online analytics infrastructure, meaning it lets LinkedIn slice and dice huge amounts of data. It’s used at LinkedIn for nearly real-time analytics.
(In geek speak: it does large scale multi dimensional time series data).
Project Name: Cubert
The Cubert name owes its origin to the project team’s fascination with the Rubik’s Cube. (Pronounced Cube-bert, get it?)
Just as the blocks are moved about in smart ways to solve the Rubik’s cube, the team found that moving data blocks in smart ways can solve complex analytics problems.
What it is/does: Cubert is a computational engine used for crunching a lot of data.
(In geek speak: Cubert is a batch computation engine for complex analysis and reporting of massive data sets on Hadoop.)
Project Name: Nuage
Nuage is French for cloud.
What it is/does: This is a cloud service that helps developers more easily set up a database to use with a cloud application.
(In geek speak: Nuage makes it easier to do database provisioning by giving developers a set of application programming interfaces.)
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