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Little Data, Big Data and Very Big Data (VBD) or Big BS?
I routinely hear from different people or groups trying to define what is or is not big data

This is an industry trends and perspective piece about big data and little data, industry adoption and customer deployment.

If you are in any way associated with information technology (IT), business, scientific, media and entertainment computing or related areas, you may have heard big data mentioned. Big data has been a popular buzzword bingo topic and term for a couple of years now. Big data is being used to describe new and emerging along with existing types of applications and information processing tools and techniques.

I routinely hear from different people or groups trying to define what is or is not big data and all too often those are based on a particular product, technology, service or application focus. Thus it should be no surprise that those trying to police what is or is not big data will often do so based on what their interest, sphere of influence, knowledge or experience and jobs depend on.

Traveling and big data images

Not long ago while out traveling I ran into a person who told me that big data is new data that did not exist just a few years ago. Turns out this person was involved in geology so I was surprised that somebody in that field was not aware of or working with geophysical, mapping, seismic and other legacy or traditional big data. Turns out this person was basing his statements on what he knew, heard, was told about or on sphere of influence around a particular technology, tool or approach.

Fwiw, if you have not figured out already, like cloud, virtualization and other technology enabling tools and techniques, I tend to take a pragmatic approach vs. becoming latched on to a particular bandwagon (for or against) per say.

Not surprisingly there is confusion and debate about what is or is not big data including if it only applies to new vs. existing and old data. As with any new technology, technique or buzzword bingo topic theme, various parties will try to place what is or is not under the definition to align with their needs, goals and preferences. This is the case with big data where you can routinely find proponents of Hadoop and Map reduce position big data as aligning with the capabilities and usage scenarios of those related technologies for business and other forms of analytics.

SAS software for big data

Not surprisingly the granddaddy of all business analytics, data science and statistic analysis number crunching is the Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) from the SAS Institute. If these types of technology solutions and their peers define what is big data then SAS (not to be confused with Serial Attached SCSI which can be found on the back-end of big data storage solutions) can be considered first generation big data analytics or Big Data 1.0 (BD1 ;) ). That means Hadoop Map Reduce is Big Data 2.0 (BD2 ;) ;) ) if you like, or dislike for that matter.

Funny thing about some fans and proponents or surrogates of BD2 is that they may have heard of BD1 like SAS with a limited understanding of what it is or how it is or can be used. When I worked in IT as a performance and capacity planning analyst focused on servers, storage, network hardware, software and applications I used SAS to crunch various data streams of event, activity and other data from diverse sources. This involved correlating data, running various analytic algorithms on the data to determine response times, availability, usage and other things in support of modeling, forecasting, tuning and trouble shooting. Hmm, sound like first generation big data analytics or Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) to anybody?

Now to be fair, comparing SAS, SPSS or any number of other BD1 generation tools to Hadoop and Map Reduce or BD2 second generation tools is like comparing apples to oranges, or apples to pears. Lets move on as there is much more to what is big data than simply focus around SAS or Hadoop.

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Another type of big data are the information generated, processed, stored and used by applications that result in large files, data sets or objects. Large file, objects or data sets include low resolution and high-definition photos, videos, audio, security and surveillance, geophysical mapping and seismic exploration among others. Then there are data warehouses where transactional data from databases gets moved to for analysis in systems such as those from Oracle, Teradata, Vertica or FX among others. Some of those other tools even play (or work) in both traditional e.g. BD1 and new or emerging BD2 worlds.

This is where some interesting discussions, debates or disagreements can occur between those who latch onto or want to keep big data associated with being something new and usually focused around their preferred tool or technology. What results from these types of debates or disagreements is a missed opportunity for organizations to realize that they might already be doing or using a form of big data and thus have a familiarity and comfort zone with it.

By having a familiarity or comfort zone vs. seeing big data as something new, different, hype or full of FUD (or BS), an organization can be comfortable with the term big data. Often after taking a step back and looking at big data beyond the hype or fud, the reaction is along the lines of, oh yeah, now we get it, sure, we are already doing something like that so lets take a look at some of the new tools and techniques to see how we can extend what we are doing.

Likewise many organizations are doing big bandwidth already and may not realize it thinking that is only what media and entertainment, government, technical or scientific computing, high performance computing or high productivity computing (HPC) does. I'm assuming that some of the big data and big bandwidth pundits will disagree, however if in your environment you are doing many large backups, archives, content distribution, or copying large amounts of data for different purposes that consume big bandwidth and need big bandwidth solutions.

Yes I know, that's apples to oranges and perhaps stretching the limits of what is or can be called big bandwidth based on somebody's definition, taxonomy or preference. Hopefully you get the point that there is diversity across various environments as well as types of data and applications, technologies, tools and techniques.

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

What about little data then?

I often say that if big data is getting all the marketing dollars to generate industry adoption, then little data is generating all the revenue (and profit or margin) dollars by customer deployment. While tools and technologies related to Hadoop (or Haydoop if you are from HDS) are getting industry adoption attention (e.g. marketing dollars being spent) revenues from customer deployment are growing.

Where big data revenues are strongest for most vendors today are centered around solutions for hosting, storing, managing and protecting big files, big objects. These include scale out NAS solutions for large unstructured data like those from Amplidata, Cray, Dell, Data Direct Networks (DDN), EMC (e.g. Isilon), HP X9000 (IBRIX), IBM SONAS, NetApp, Oracle and Xyratex among others. Then there flexible converged compute storage platforms optimized for analytics and running different software tools such as those from EMC (Greenplum), IBM (Netezza), NetApp (via partnerships) or Oracle among others that can be used for different purposes in addition to supporting Hadoop and Map reduce.

If little data is databases and things not generally lumped into the big data bucket, and if you think or perceive big data only to be Hadoop map reduce based data, then does that mean all the large unstructured non little data is then very big data or VBD?

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Of course the virtualization folks might want to if they have not already corner the V for Virtual Big Data. In that case, then instead of Very Big Data, how about very very Big Data (vvBD). How about Ultra-Large Big Data (ULBD), or High-Revenue Big Data (HRBD), granted the HR might cause some to think its unique for Health Records, or Human Resources, both btw leverage different forms of big data regardless of what you see or think big data is.

Does that then mean we should really be calling videos, audio, PACs, seismic, security surveillance video and related data to be VBD? Would this further confuse the market, or the industry or help elevate it to a grander status in terms of size (data file or object capacity, bandwidth, market size and application usage, market revenue and so forth)?

Do we need various industry consortiums, lobbyists or trade groups to go off and create models, taxonomies, standards and dictionaries based on their constituents needs and would they align with those of the customers, after all, there are big dollars flowing around big data industry adoption (marketing).

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

What does this all mean?

Is Big Data BS?

First let me be clear, big data is not BS, however there is a lot of BS marketing BS by some along with hype and fud adding to the confusion and chaos, perhaps even missed opportunities. Keep in mind that in chaos and confusion there can be opportunity for some.

IMHO big data is real.

There are different variations, use cases and types of products, technologies and services that fall under the big data umbrella. That does not mean everything can or should fall under the big data umbrella as there is also little data.

What this all means is that there are different types of applications for various industries that have big and little data, virtual and very big data from videos, photos, images, audio, documents and more.

Big data is a big buzzword bingo term these days with vendor marketing big dollars being applied so no surprise the buzz, hype, fud and more.

Ok, nuff said, for now...

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2012 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

About Greg Schulz
Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV


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Cloud Expo was a fantastic event for CSS Corp - we easily exceeded our objectives for engaging with clients and prospects."
AHMAR ABBAS
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With our launch at Cloud Expo, we successfully transformed the company from a relatively unknown European player into the dominant player in the market. Our competitors were taken by surprise and just blown away. We got a huge number of really high quality leads..."
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We were extremely pleased with Cloud Expo this year - I’d say it exceeded expectations all around. This is the same info we got from partners who attended as well. Nice job!"
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@CloudExpo Blogs
It’s a clear message being heard across the industry - widespread adoption of cloud applications is only a matter of time. However, the tricky part for many is, how much time do organizations actually have to hold out? And why should they switch? For starters – the cost savings are clear. Research has shown that most organizations rapidly realize significant cost savings that increase over time as they leave behind the array of indirect costs related to legacy on-premise software. A recent IDC study showed that cloud solutions offer an average payback period of 7.1 months and 5-year average R...
Change is constant, and over the last decade the nexus of two trends in particular has transformed the enterprise. Mobile technology and cloud software are fundamentally changing the way we interact internally within businesses, and externally with partners and customers. Never before have workers enjoyed such freedom and flexibility. The days of being tied to a desk, manning a landline, are gone. Distributed teams can collaborate easily via virtual workplaces. Mobile technology provides access to the business world from any location and the cloud delivers the necessary data and software.
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The Industrial Revolution in the 18th to 19th centuries was a period during which predominantly rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban. Advances in steam technology, transportation, mass production and the telegraph collectively transformed industry and society. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to once again transform industry and society just as the Industrial Revolution did. Analyst firm IDC forecasts that the IoT market will grow to $8.9 trillion by 2020 with anywhere between 30 to 50 billion connected autonomous things, making the potential g...
How quickly do things change in the world of mobility? Just last year, CA Technologies conducted a worldwide survey that told an entirely different story from the one we are hearing today. 2013’s Enterprise Mobility – It’s All About the Apps was a call to action for enterprise IT to keep up with customers mobility demands and employee’s desire for BYOD. If last year was about keeping up with customers’ mobile application demands, this year that issue has all but disappeared. Our 2014 survey respondents released an average of six customer-facing apps last year, and 71 percent of organizations ...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Cloud security is a top concern for any organization migrating to the cloud. The threats are many. For example, the fact your data resides in a shared, multi-tenant environment is a threat that has become a reality with the latest Xen virtualization bug, which allowed a malicious fully virtualized server to read data about other virtualized systems running on the same physical hardware or the hypervisor). Other threats to cloud security include internal employees and even governments. The consensus is that data encryption is a critical first step to migrating to the cloud; but in fact, en...
The notion of a database silo – that is, a single database that contains everything and operates in isolation – is a rapidly fading concept in most companies. Many use multiple databases to take advantage of the different range of functionality, from their transactional store, to caching and session stores using NoSQL and, more recently, the transfer of information into analytical stores such as Hadoop. This raises a problem when it comes to moving the data about. There are many different solutions available if all you want to do is move some data between systems through import and export. T...
The pace of innovation in such big data-driven targeting technology is advancing unabated. There is so much noise in today’s omnichannel world that anything a marketer can do to get your attention is welcome – and furthermore, the more information they can collect about you, the better. For the marketer, big data mean big cha-ching. We've all been there: on our lunch hour we surreptitiously visit our favorite My Little Pony fan site. Then hours later we bring our laptop to a meeting and project our client's corporate web site for all to see - and right there at the top is a banner ad for My L...
What does the data landscape look like at Facebook with its 1.3 billion users across the globe? They classify small data referring to OLTP-like queries that process and retrieve a small amount of data, usually 1-1000 objects requested by their … Continue reading →
I’ve started using the phrase digital professional, in particular in my recent article dinging Amazon’s cloud division Amazon Web Services (AWS) for not having a clear digital strategy. However, I haven’t been very clear on what I mean, so it’s time to put a finer point on this terminology. The role of digital professional begins back in the 1990s with the rise of the web professional: people who worked on web sites in some capacity. Some of them were technical, able to sling HTML or JavaScript or perhaps Perl back in the day. Other designated as creatives, including graphic designers an...
The global village, mobile devices, online marketplaces, social networks, and on-demand entertainment all have a part to play. People all over the world are increasing the time they spend in the virtual world. They’re buying, selling, sharing, studying, developing apps, hanging out in social networks, and starting to use digital currencies that bypass traditional banking. Alongside these community-driven ideas, we are also seeing enormous change in business to business relationships. Cloud computing enables any size business to obtain and manage big-business manufacturing, warehousing, market...
This week Dell released its first Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI). This survey of more than 2,000 global organizations took a close look at how organizations are truly using security, cloud, mobility and big data to drive success. While the data collected from this effort should put to rest any doubts about the value of cloud computing, it also calls into question our collective mental state. Are half of us schizophrenic? The survey data showed that 97 percent of organizations surveyed use or plan to use cloud. This high percentage is not surprising given that the data also showed a...
The Internet of Things could get out of control pretty fast. We’re still pretty far from self-aware homes trying to procreate, but as Gigaom Research analyst Craig Foster noted in his recent report on IoT security, the dangers are already very real. Take a look at the maritime industry. Earlier this yea, hackers tilted and... Read More
This past week the Appcore team got the opportunity to attend one of the industry’s leading cloud events, Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA. We spent a lot of time interacting with attendees at the exhibit portion of the event. As a software company with a sole commitment to CloudStack, we heard a lot of questions around the debate between CloudStack and OpenStack. “Do you support OpenStack?” “Why do you only support CloudStack?” “Do you plan to integrate OpenStack into your multi-cloud solution?” We can all agree that OpenStack has done a great job branding their product. That isn’t hard to do w...
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Past SYS-CON Events
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2011west.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcexpo
2011east.sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2010west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualization
2010west.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2010.
sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcomputingexpo
2010east.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo East
virtualizationconference
2010east.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2009west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualizationconference
2009west.sys-con.com
    GovIT Expo
govitexpo.com
 
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2009.sys-con.com
 

Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty

S.F.S.
Dell

Singer
NRO

Pereyra
Oracle

Ryan
OpSource

Butte
PwC

Leone
Oracle

Riley
AWS

Varia
AWS

Lye
Oracle

O'Connor
AppZero

Crandell
RightScale

Nucci
Dell Boomi

Hillier
CiRBA

Morrison
Layer 7 Tech

Robbins
NYT

Schwarz
Oracle

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
Navisite
 


 
"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD
 


 
"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
CTO
Brick Group