Big Data

Cloud computing and big data: An ideal combination

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Since its inception, information technology has been exclusively available for technology companies, large organizations, government and educational institutions. That was until the emergence of cloud computing in a process many call the “democratization” of information technology. With an ever-expanding reach to the masses, a significant reduction in cost and an abundant choice of applications available, you can be truly empowered to leverage the best of existing technology, often without spending a penny on initial investment.

The democratization of information technology has not only affected the cloud space, but big data as well. Adoption of open source Hadoop is growing at a fast pace and the ability to perform analytics on non-proprietary and affordable hardware is becoming more ubiquitous.

Along with this phenomenon, we are now witnessing an explosion of information generated through social media, messaging, emails and more. Organizations and individuals are navigating a maze of ever-increasing data that can be difficult to roam through, let alone control and dissect.

This surge in the volume of data is now presenting a challenge to the cloud. Organizations have built their data architecture, storage policies and best practices mainly working with structured data, whereas the unstructured data does not fit the traditional relational database management system (RDBMS) framework. The issue is how to manipulate and extract the essence of the data rather than simply storing and retrieving it.

As pointed out during IBM InterConnect 2013, businesses can get increased value from data insights gained through big data analytics supported by a cloud infrastructure. The explosion in unstructured data means that ways to harness the benefits of hybrid cloud and big data are more important than ever. The hybrid cloud model can assist organizations in addressing security concerns in their private cloud, while leveraging the public cloud infrastructure for analytics services.

It comes as no surprise that there has been a keen interest from government agencies, government bodies and other organizations to try and extract meaningful insight from this maze of data, whether it be security related or simply about patterns of consumers.

On average, 2.5 billion gigabytes of data is created daily, consisting of 200 millions tweets and 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook each month.

Looking at the available projections, the amount of data created by the year 2020 will reach a staggering 43 trillion gigabytes, with six billion people in possession of cell phones.

Cloud computing and big data, while still in constant evolution, are proving to be the ideal combination. Together, they provide a cost effective and scalable infrastructure to support big data and business analytics.

Now if you think big data is just hype, then think again. Consider the huge competitive advantage that can be gainedt by moving from the old model of structured data into the world of unstructured data and accessing a wealth of information sources, as well as the competitive advantage of analytics payback. What could you achieve with this new information?

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