You’ll be hard pressed to find a bigger buzzword in IT than big data. It is currently a major focus of many organizations that have come to realize that there is huge value in the information at their fingertips. This trend is laced in analytics, business intelligence tools, statistical models, and a bunch of other complex IT stuff, but at the heart of it all lies a strong storage component that if you think about it, pretty much drives the whole thing.
Enter the Big Storage Conundrum
The “big” aspect comes from the handling large volumes of data and using it to make powerful business decisions – targeting customers, building new products around customer needs, that kinda stuff. It’s not just a big business thing because even the small guys are constantly collecting new information from email campaigns, social media interactions, purchase transactions, and numerous other sources. But no matter the size of the company or what they do, this data must be kept somewhere before it’s even sorted, processed, and analyzed, making storage critical to even getting these huge data-driven initiatives off the ground.
So storage is a necessity, but it isn’t necessarily easy to address. You have companies like those in the health care industry that are required to keep piles of records going several years back for regulatory reasons. The fact that lots of this information is digitized doesn’t exactly simplify things, either, because the hardware, software, and expertise needed to maintain it can get incredibly costly the more you have. And whatever you have will surely grow. The IDC estimates that the digital world will hit 40 trillion GB of data by 2020, much of which will be in the hands of enterprise players.
If you’re going to do big data right, you’re going to need to plan carefully for storage before even thinking of slicing and dicing it into valuable intelligence. Here are some things to think about along the way:
Getting An App For That
Hadoop is the core technology behind many big data implementations. Started by Apache, it’s an open source application that connects the hardware, software, and internal storage mediums necessary to efficiently handle the requests made in a company’s data infrastructure. When it comes to storage, Hadoop’s distributed file system is key as it stores huge amounts of data and distributes it across multiple nodes in the network. Most vendors are running some form of Hadoop, but if you’ve got the IT resources, you can run it on your own.
Storage Requires Hardware
In the event that you do have the IT expertise to build your own data infrastructure from the ground up, you’re going to need some decent hardware to back you up. By hardware I mean a couple of high-performance servers to run Hadoop or something similar, armed with terabyte drives capable of storing mountains of data. With this area covered and your skilled data scientists on deck, you can pretty much sit back and let Hadoop do the heavy lifting.
The Cloud Is An Option
You can’t escape it. Wherever you turn, the cloud is being presented as a solution to a problem. Hate to be repetitive, but it’s definitely an option to think about for complex data storage needs. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other cloud storage providers offer the hardware, processing power, and storage capacity to support current and growing data requirements. The ability to scale based on needs is what the cloud is all about.
Big Data Storage Providers
If a storage platform is not something you can build or manage on your own, rest assured that there are vendors willing to lend a helping hand. Big data solutions typically combine the aforementioned Hadoop, the premium hardware, and cloud infrastructure to support complex data requirements. By investing in such a solution, you can save money upfront by not having to purchase the hardware components, and avoid the headache that comes with managing everything. As with any IT solution, the challenge here is finding the right vendor for your specific needs.
It would be great if dealing with big data storage challenges was as simple as adding more gigabytes and memory, but that just isn’t the case. There’s plenty to address, and if you take this process lightly, you could be in for a very rude awakening come implementation time.
Once you’ve got all that big data, you need to keep it safe. Try using the StorageCraft Recover-Ability Solution.