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Big Data and Cloud Computing
The convergence of two key technological areas -- cloud computing and big data -- are having
far reaching implications that indeed are changing the worlds of IT and business, statement like “
The Cloud Computing model is a perfect match for big data” is not far from the truth . While few
years ago, Cloud computing was appealing mainly because of its "pay per use" model, today, it
is becoming more important because it is the enabler of big data analytics.
Given the rigorous demands that big data places on networks, storage and servers, it's not
surprising that some customers would outsource the hassle and expense to the cloud. Although
cloud providers say they welcome this new business opportunity, supporting big data analysis in
the cloud is forcing them to confront various, albeit manageable, architectural hurdles.
While the elasticity of the cloud makes it ideal for big data analytics -- the practice of rapidly
crunching large volumes of unstructured data to identify patterns and improve business strategies
-- according to several cloud providers, at the same time, the cloud's distributed nature can be
problematic for big data analysis.
The cloud challenges in big data analytics fall into two categories:
Scaling capacity, from a platform perspective, is something all cloud providers need to watch
closely. "Data retention continues to double and triple year-over-year because customers are
keeping more of it. Certainly, that impacts us because we need to provide capacity," experts said.
Storage performance in a highly virtualized, distributed cloud can be tricky on its own, and the
demands of big data analysis only magnify the issue, several cloud providers said.
A game changer: Cloud Adoption
One area where big data is expected to be a game changer is in cloud adoption. A recent
Technology Business Review study showed that big data analytics has helped in significantly
driving the revenues of the top cloud service providers over the past few years.
Given the rise in cloud adoption as well as the revenue that cloud providers stand to make from
big data analytics and partnerships, it is not surprising that the report is not the only one to have
noticed the impact of big data on cloud adoption.
A research conducted by Verizon last year showed that more and more businesses are
experiencing an information overload that makes it impossible to make sense of all the different
data that their business owns in order to arrive at an intelligent solution. While solutions exist,
they are expensive. Naturally, with the rise of big data, more and more businesses are turning to
cloud-based solutions to help them cope with the growth in the amount of data being handled.
The Future of Big Data and Cloud Computing
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.
IDC is predicting a five percent increase in spending over the next year, with so-called "3rd
platform" services such as cloud, big data, mobile and social all contributing significantly. This
will happen as IT vendors focus on providing specialist technologies for customers increasingly
feeling the need to use IT to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
Spending on big data technologies should see a 30 percent rise, with $14bn expected to be
shelled out on the analysis of huge pools of data such as customer behavior and business
performance. IDC also acknowledges the challenge firms face in finding skilled data analysts
(Data Scientists) as demand continues to significantly outstrip supply.
High-volume big data cloud platforms will be in demand as firms look to gain significant
business insight without the initial overhead costs of buying in physical infrastructure to handle
We are moving towards a future where big data and cloud will complement the growth of each
other to become a dominant technology factor of the next decade.