As I have mentioned before, Big Data is forcing CXOs to come up with new data processing approaches – both at the core and at the edge. But most businesses are still playing a conservative game, processing surprisingly limited amounts in the cloud, and waiting for improvements in cloud-based data processing solutions that can be added to their hybrid architectures. While the market matures in this area, keeping an open mind and agile infrastructure is the key to future success.

Patrick van der Wilt, Commercial Director, EvoSwitch

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Data?

Businesses are excited by the potential value of big data, but also wary of its potential to grow beyond their capacity to process. For businesses that still process data in-house, there is good reason to worry, simply because of typical data growth rates (around 40% pa). And there are plenty such businesses: In a survey last year, ESG found that 18% of respondents said they are planning to use dedicated (non-virtualized) servers for new big data analytics; 30% are looking to use traditional virtualized infrastructure, and 21% are considering dedicated analytics appliances from specialist suppliers like Oracle or Teradata. Only 31% are considering using public or private hybrid cloud.

Digging for Data

The accepted wisdom is to process data where it stands in order to save the anxiety and expense of moving it around.  “Wherever you create data, it tends to stay there, because it’s such a pain to move it,” says Charles Zedlewski, Products VP at Cloudera, a data management company with software based on Apache Hadoop. But things are changing. As more data is gathered through the cloud this will drive businesses to more cloud-based solutions. Also, moving data is less of a cost now than it used to be, with bandwidth prices running at a tiny fraction of what they were 5 or 6 years ago.

Evolving Analytics

This doesn’t mean necessarily buying in wholesale to cloud analytics, however. Management consoles for hybrid multi-cloud architectures are still improving, integrating the three key systems required for the enterprise: systems of engagement that are designed for user interaction; systems of execution that orchestrate work, and systems of record where the valuable transactional and trend data resides.

A Foot in Both Camps

In my view, the winners will have a piece of infrastructure in both camps – and a high-speed connection running between them. While for many it makes economic or security sense to hold a lot of data in-house, your business should be prepared to gather and store data closer to source moving forward, and that source will increasingly be the cloud. It therefore makes sense to have a multi-cloud capability (such as EvoSwitch OpenCloud) so that you can sample storage and analytics services until you find the one that is right for you.

Further Reading