This meetup was a learning session: how to build your own clusters on EC2, so that you can work on your own Hadoop clusters, for development, testing, and profit.
We discussed the many possible ways to choose your AMI's, to attach EBS volumes to them, to set up Java, Cloudera, and Hadoop. Then we launched our EC2 machines, only to discover that the library WiFi blocks ssh port 22. This is where it got interesting, with people finding ways to change the port, alternatively setting up a Hadoop cluster locally on a laptop, or using a shared WiFi on a phone.
In the end, we learned a lot about EC2, something about hacking, and not that much about logging in and working on the EC2 instances (only one or two people were actually able to achieve that feat).
However, the feeling of doing some real work was tremendous. We all became good friends, all were exhausted and skipped the usual Starbucks, and all decided to continue. Perhaps we need a better, more technical meeting place, with good Internet connection - any suggestions?
But, in any case, that was a valuable experience. I will polish my instructions and put into the "Hadoop Illuminated", and we will all continue thinking about what to do at the next meeting, and should we combine presentations with hackathons.
Thank you, all!