Even if I don't use the courses fully, I'll certainly take bits and pieces as I go forward.
I guess it depends on how you best learn. For me the Cloudera videos gave me a good overview and understanding of the various to prepare me to dig in deeper. Combined with the Hadoop book I was able to setup and run a small(12-node) cluster and use it for data storage and report generation.
But the UX on the site is terrible.
If & when time permits, please take a look at the Coursera, Udacity, Codecademy, Udemy, Lore(lore.com, formerly coursekit) sites.
User engagement is directly proportional to the usability & smooth, pleasing UX(user experience)
Or you can set up a system that will incrementally summarize the data, and then you could do smaller queries against those summaries. That is the goal of Storm AFAIK.
I think that is better model for a lot of applications. The model of having your production systems save terabytes of raw data and then analyzing it in a big batch job leaves a lot to be desired. It works but it's not very flexible and has this latency problem.
Hadoop is good in that it's the only open source solution I know of that can churn through hundreds of terabytes of data. But I wouldn't say it's a complete solution for "managing big data". It's part of one.
I'm really glad a resource like this exists, though. Looking forward to working through the Hadoop Fundamentals course.
Added it to my ever-extending list of resources.