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Hadoop, mail # user - Getting started recommendations


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Getting started recommendations
John Lilley 2013-01-11, 10:29
We are somewhat new to Hadoop and are looking to run some experiments with HDFS, Pig, and HBase.
With that in mind, I have a few questions:
What is the easiest (preferably free) Hadoop distro to get started with?  Cloudera?
What host OS distro/release is recommended?
What is the easiest environment to get started with?  Amazon EC2?  Is there anyone offering virtual/hosted prebuilt Hadoop instances?
Where would we find some "big data" files that people have used for testing purposes?
Feel free to RTFM me to the right place ;-)
Thanks, john