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- What is Big Data
Is your infrastructure preventing you from maximising the potential of your big data?
Whatever your own specific definition is as to what exactly constitutes big data, most organisations now will claim to be processing big data in some form or another. But what is sometimes overlooked is that fact that to manage and extract value from big data requires an incredible amount of computing power - does your organisation have the right infrastructure for big data?
Industry analyst group Gartner defines big data as ‘high-volume, - velocity and - variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making’. That is certainly a more effective way of defining big data than getting bogged down in volumes of terabytes, but it still requires a lot of computing power to process effectively.
Big data needs big data processing
A recent survey of 200 UK CIOs showed that perhaps not many of them do have the right big data infrastructure. The study revealed that 60% felt unable to extract the full value of their information and 60% also said that their organisation did not have the datacentre infrastructure in place to analyse up-to-the-minute information across their data sets.
Big data requires big data infrastructure to deliver true value to an organisation. Sometimes there are problems with data silos, which prevent analytics examining a full picture of the data, but often there are issues with lacking the computing power to analyse data and delivering the analysis in real time.
There has been a trend over the past five years or so for businesses to move their data to a virtual environment but the simple truth is that virtualisation cannot compete with bare metal performance and speed. Even the industries’ best hypervisors waste a minimum of 20% of the bare metal power of servers – when speed is of the essence that is a massive drop in performance. IBM has conducted analysis into this very subject and found that even with direct device assignment, guest machines were unable to approach the performance of bare metal.
Big data brings big benefits
So why all the fuss about big data? Big data makes information more transparent and useable and organisations can collect ever more accurate and detailed data about all aspects of business performance which is then used to boost that performance. It can be used to make better and more informed management decisions, for business forecasting, for more accurate targeting of customers and better tailored products or services. Big data can even be used to speed and improve the development of future products and services, so its value to modern organisations is beyond dispute.
That value increases when analysis is conducted and delivered to business users in as quick a time frame as possible. The quicker actionable insight is delivered, the quicker an organisation can use it to their competitive advantage.
So given the potential of big data, surely it makes sense for a business to give itself a proper chance to maximise that potential? The most effective way of doing so is by using bare metal cloud in your big data infrastructure, delivering the crucial speed and performance that a virtual environment cannot hope to compete with.