Some interesting background articles on Big Data

There’s been a lot of fuss around this concept of ‘Big Data’ recently. The basic idea here is that there is more data than ever to collect – from social media, from sensors in the environment, from all sorts – and that now we have the wherewithal to store this data – and importantly do something with it. This is not about big storage – this is more about big analytics – how can we derive ‘actionable insight’ from this morass of data. I guess you could say ‘it’s not the size of your data, it’s what you do with it’!

Obviously you do need a fair amount of storage and processing power – or access to cloud services to burst to – in order to render down the raw data into something you can use for business insight. This is getting the vendors fairly excited, as, if a customer can see value in pursuing this route, somebody somewhere, whether end user or cloud provider, is going to have to buy some stuff! This appears to be very much a scale-out play rather than a scale-up one, and a lot of the focus is on storage platforms like EMC’s Isilon, as a lot of this data is unstructured – i.e. not in a database.

I came across a couple of articles over the last week which explain the approach and some of the concepts well – I hope you find these useful:

Freeform Dynamics: How big is Big Data?

Information week: Big Data: Why all the fuss?



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