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Big Data or What?

Another evening in the airport, heading out into the big wide world. Thanks to British Airways  for a nice selection of red wine, cheese and biscuits this evening!! Just struck me that I haven’t touched on Big Data yet. Somewhat weird for a storage guy to leave by the wayside I hear you murmur.  In short I think we’re all still trying to define and self-diagnose the term – what the hell is it?


Big Data means a lot of things to a lot of people. Some consider it to be the next generation of Business Intelligence; others think of it in the context of manipulating large quantities of data; still others equate it with Hadoop.  The media even makes a play these days – criticising government surveillance programs. Even the “man on the street” is talking about Big Data (Big Brother?).


To be honest, Big Data has always existed in one way or another. We have always been challenged by data volume and types, plus sifting through it all to gain insights valuable to the business. I remember in year 2000 taking a customer out to Americas HQ to demo.nstrate a single 80TB DB proof of concept (wow!!!).  The situation has clearly intensified (duuhhh ) - hence the term Big Data


Time for a new approach to storing data

We have become really challenged to store data in a way that can manage the explosion whilst providing easy access to both production systems and analytics applications simultaneously. This requires an approach that is capable of manipulating all kinds of data – from data in structured databases, to semi-structured data, to data in unstructured files and objects.


HP’s HAVEn attempts to do just that. HAVEn brings together technologies from HP Autonomy, HP Vertica, Hadoop, HP ArcSight and others to tame large volumes of different data types generated by machines and humans to extract hidden insight. All that data exists in multiple sources and the technology has hundreds of connectors to enable pulling in the needed data sets from databases, file systems and archives.  Pretty neat! Plus HP StoreAll Express Query already integrates with HP Autonomyso that Autonomy can analyse the large quantities of data that it pulls in and stores into StoreAll's file and object stores in a matter of seconds.  (Download this HP brief to read more about HAVEn: The HP platform for Big Data.)



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So what’s next?

At the end of the day (a long day in my case), Big Data is about what your business intends to achieve by harnessing discrete sets of accumulated data – and this isn’t just relevant to large businesses given the amount of data that even SMBs are managing today. I expect Big Data will soon become a mainstream storage task for all sizes of IT. Exciting times ahead!



You can find me on Twitter @ChrisJohnsonHP if you wish to comment...

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