“Big data” & Cloud Computing

Is Cloud Computing the ultimate solution for meeting the challenges posed by big data?


Let’s face it, people; as time marches onward and computing continues to evolve, data sets are becoming increasingly larger and more complex. Whether we’re talking about scientific research, meteorology, or virtually anything else you can imagine, big data is here, it’s tough to manage, and it’s vital that we devise better solutions for dealing with it. Given that cloud computing possesses an elastic ability to requisition more resources and processing power very quickly (an on-demand), it only makes sense that it be used to help organize and direct big data.

The problems associated with “Big Data”
When you break big data down to its basic elements you basically have 6 areas to contend with:

  1. Distribution

  2. Accumulation

  3. Storage

  4. Analysis

  5. Visualization

  6. Search & Organization

Each of these areas presents unique challenges which need to be met if we are to truly harness the power inherent in sets of big data. For example, simply conducting fluid and fast searches over a large database can present numerous challenges as the amount of information that must be trawled over can often be extremely foreboding (a virtual desert of data). Naturally, the organizational capabilities of cloud computing will also help to pave the way toward creating more effective methods of conducting search queries over large reams of data as well.

Currently, even the most advanced institutions are apparently struggling to deal with the challenges posed by the management of big data. This not only includes the ability to analyze, search or use said data, but also to store it! Basically, the world seems to be accumulating data faster than its ability to create the structures and farms needed to store it. This trend is projected to continue onward and upward as the growth of accumulated data seems to be escalating at an exponential rate. For instance, the amount of data out there right now is nearly ten times what it was just several years ago!

Arguably, once the issues of cloud security and cost have been dealt with, the next largest selling point of the technology is going to be the ability to manage large volumes of data. As the ability to process tasks in terms of power and efficiency increases, so will the amount of data that needs to be stored. In other words, if you have the ability to do something faster and better, you’re going to do more of it, which is a given. As the abilities of cloud computing providers increase, users will in turn begin to amass data faster and in much larger volumes. The crucial turning point in this big data vs. cloud computing debacle will be when the world sees an official over 50% cloud adoption rate take hold. Or, to put it another way; once more than half of the world’s businesses are employing cloud computing, the overall level of data being collected will likely increase dramatically.

Cloud computing may be able to offer assistance through its ability to quickly deploy multiple simultaneous API’s to traverse and manage big data sets as necessary. If you want to see how some intrepid organizations are using cloud computing and big data to achieve new goals, check this out.

Perhaps an important question that should be asked might be, is your organization ready for the challenges of big data and cloud computing?  If you are unsure or confused the answer to that question is most likely that you’re not ready. Virtually any organization can achieve some truly wonderful things if they have the ability to wrangle large data sets with cloud computing. However, before such a thing is even considered a possibility, you must have transitioned to cloud computing (or be in the process of migrating to it). While there are certainly some challenges associated with such a move, one of the best, simplest and most affordable means of assuring that the process goes off “without a hitch” is to seek out cloud computing training and certification for all of your IT employees. Armed with this knowledge, your IT personnel will be able to act as both your lifeline to improving your business’ capabilities as well as a first defense against any potential missteps you might encounter along the way.

Cloud computing is the best tool we have for dealing with the inevitable big data backlash
Any way you want to look at it, cloud computing and big data were destined to be together. The low-cost solutions presented by cloud computing, coupled with its many (ever-increasing) capabilities and elastic performance enhancing nature, seems to affirm the notion that it is in fact best suited for dealing with the future of big data. In truth, cloud computing has given the world the most powerful set of analytical computing tools ever devised. Perhaps what’s even more startling is the notion that all of this power is now highly accessible, even to regular individuals. Simply put, there’s something slightly comforting about the knowledge that cloud computing exists and is going to be able to “pick up the slack” concerning the challenges presented by big data.

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