Every day our world becomes more and more driven by data. The internet of things is impacting the complete big data universe, and this is forcing companies to upgrade their current tools, processes, and technologies to accommodate the additional volumes of data being generated. The ability of your organization to compete in the future will depend on how you define your data strategy and approach—including your choice of big data and cloud technologies.
What exactly Is Big Data?
In order to understand the connection between the cloud and big data, it is useful to define big data. Basically, big data is a term describing any holistic information management strategy capable of integrating many new types of data and data management alongside more traditional data. Big data is often defined by four V’s:
Volume: Volume equals the amount of data. Big data requires processing high volumes of low-density, unstructured Hadoop data or data of unknown value such as Twitter data feeds and clickstreams. However, there are many other data types of unknown value. The task of “big data” is to convert data of unknown value into information with value.
Velocity: The rate of speed at which data is received and acted upon. The highest velocity data usually streams directly into memory as opposed to being written to disk. Some internet-enabled smart devices operate in real-time or near real-time such as consumer E-commerce applications. Other types of data that have health or safety ramifications may require real-time evaluation and action.
Variety: This refers to new unstructured or semi-structured data types, including audio, video, and text, that require additional processing in order to derive meaning and extract supporting metadata. When data sources change without notice, or there are frequent or real-time changes, it creates an additional burden for analytical and transactional environments.
Value: Data holds intrinsic value, but this value has to be discovered and extracted. Quantitative and investigative techniques help greatly, but the big challenge for big data is a purely human one-the ability for analysts, employees, and executives to ask the right questions, identify patterns and predict behaviors.
The cloud provides the ability to build almost any big data analytics application and support any workload regardless of the volume, velocity, and variety of data. It makes it possible to extract meaning and value from unstructured data, and the cloud environment also provides everything you need to collect, store, process, analyze and visualize big data.
The cloud is becoming an increasingly popular option for the development and testing of new analytics applications and the processing of big data generated beyond an enterprise’s physical walls. What strengthens the bond between big data and cloud computing is that cloud computing provides such a broad set of tools that allow one to handle data in multiple ways.
The elasticity and ability to scale in the cloud makes it the logical place to process data because the laws of physics prohibit the easy movement of hundreds of terabytes or petabytes of data across the network. Customers will have Hadoop clusters on-prem and on various clouds to do the appropriate analytics wherever the bulk of the data has landed. When the newer data sets — weather data, census data, and machine and sensor data originate outside the enterprise, the cloud becomes the natural place to do all of the processing to extract as much value and meaning out of the multiple layers of data.
Cloud computing and big data, while still evolving, are proving to be the ideal combination. Together, they provide a cost-effective and scalable infrastructure to support big data and business analytics.
Alto9 is a Cloud solutions firm created to help customers migrate to and make the most of Amazon Web Services. Cloud computing is a rapidly changing paradigm that requires a specialized focus, and our Amazon Certified engineers have the depth of experience and know-how to make sure your Cloud infrastructure runs efficiently, securely, and scales with you as your business grows.