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Designing Your Big Data Infrastructure: A New Functional Architecture

Big Data architectures are driving the introduction of new models for designing and deploying infrastructure architectures in data centers. As adoption of Big Data increases, it will result in significant innovations in information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures. If Big Data is about addressing new business models heavily based on new capabilities to manage information, then data center infrastructure architecture – network, storage and servers – has to evolve to support these new data stores and their movement requirements.


Even though today Big Data adoption tends to be based on a phased – “start small” – approach, organziations should carefully consider from the beginning how to connect new Big Data technologies to their existing infrastructure. The objective here is to plan for a smooth, service-oriented roadmap to such innovative architectures.


In any transformation, we should first ask what architecture works best for big data, given likely future needs, and then ask how we can combine that with the existing environment. And this will require models to simplify adoption. With our team of great technologists, HP has developed the following Big Data functional architecture that helps us simplify future transformation activities.


Big Data Functional Architecture Model




Big Data Processing

The elements of processing big data are shown in blue; Collection, Computation, and Consumption.



Collection is about capturing the data. Collection occurs from many different sources, including social media, business transactions, documents, the web and other places. We then move the data across the Internet or a private network to some form of storage, where the data is retained for some period of time.



Computation can be viewed from at least two perspectives; storage and processing. From a storage perspective, and depending on how data is categorized and what retention policies are required, we may be able to archive the data. Similarly we may be required to destroy the data because it has no further value or places us at risk. Further, some data will be transformed into the refinery system to add value.



Data is consumed through presentation of data. Presentation can take the form of reporting, visualization tools, or dashboards. New infrastructures, such as Hadoop or SAP HANA, may require the addition of new tools, applications, or infrastructures to consume data they hold. Consumption of data also occurs through other platforms; for example, Vertica or Autonomy may consume data from Hadoop.

Big Data Management

As soon as the data used by a company is stored in its IT environment, there is the technical and compliance need to manage the life cycle of such data. Because companies work on different data sets, it’s usual to find many different data life cycles, specific for each data set.


Being the collection and consolidation point of large heterogeneous data, the Big Data Refinery System leads to a new Data Lifecycle Management integrated approach, which is a key aspect of the Big Data solution.

Big Data Technology Integration

Big Data is based on a set of technologies and architectures designed so that enterprise organizations can extract value from very large volumes of a wide variety of data by enabling fast and reliable processing. Big Data requires a shift in computing, storage, and networking architecture so that IT can handle the data processing workloads and data management and integration required to transfer and analyze large volumes of data.


I would like to thank Donald Livengood, Luciano Boschetti and Tari Schreider, for their contributions to this architectural model. What do you think of this model? Drop a comment in the box below and let me know your opinion.


 And take a look at my previous blog, in which I wrote about the concept of the Big Data Refinery System, a key reference element in an IT transformation for Big Data.


Key Takeaways

Today, IT infrastructures that support data architecture need to evolve. They will need to accommodate new technologies. To understand the impact and plan for the integration and evolution of the data center, organizations need to have reference architectural models that enable them to drive the introduction of these new technologies.


Enterprises’ IT departments need to understand and plan for the architectural impact of new Big Data technologies and plan for the transformation of today’s infrastructure in order to provide Big Data services to the business.


See you in June, at HP Discover in Las Vegas, where we can have a deeper discussion on this topic.

Click here to learn how the HP Big Data Transformation Experience Workshop can help you build a roadmap for your Big Data infrastructure strategy, while reducing risk and accelerating decision-making.


To learn how I can help your organization meet its growth objectives, see my HP Technology Expert profile.


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About the Author
I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Tra...
About the Author(s)
  • I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Transformation and Strategic Architecture for Big Data, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. I drive the strategy, vision and content of strategic consulting services in the Big Data IT Infrastructure services area at HP. As part of this, I meet with senior level customers to understand their challenges, conduct workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps as well as presenting at industry and analyst events.
  • Craig Partridge is the WW strategy lead for HP Technology Services Networking group. His role now covers strategy for consulting, professional and support services. The major areas of focus are Mobility, UC, Cloud Networking and IPv6. All aligned to core HP networking solutions - simplified, secure, optimized and available.
  • Don has held roles with the business and marketing of consulting for HP. Currently he supports HP's Client and Microsoft Solutions and the emerging Mobility Consulting services. He holds a MBA from UCLA's Anderson School.
  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • Having joined HP in 2003 Ian Jagger is the world-wide marketing and program manager for HP Technology Consulting's Strategic Consulting Services, Critical Facilities Services and Energy and Sustainability Management Services, as well as emerging IT services Prior to his current role, he served as the HP Services Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, having joined HP in a similar role in the Middle East. Prior to HP Jagger had a 15 year international sales career, culminating in being Sales and Marketing Director for Steelcase Inc addressing Northern Europe before focusing more specifically on marketing. His initial focus was consultancy and interim marketing management, primarily for small to mid-sized customers based or looking to expand in the Middle Eastern region. Immediately prior to joining HP he was a strategic marketing consultant addressing investment targets for a technology fund. Born in Rochdale, United Kingdom, Jagger holds an honors bachelor of science degree in economics and a degree in social psychology from Loughborough University, England. He also holds a Masters Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. He has one daughter and lives in Cary, North Carolina.
  • Jeff Enters works in the HP Technology Services Networking organization and consults with customers on their IT strategies. He has over 20 years of consulting, design and integration experience in multi-vendor Voice and Data environments.
  • Editor and writer with 12+ years experience in the corporate software and technology sectors.
  • Jordan Lee has over twenty years of consulting and industry experience, helping some of the world’s largest firms craft and implement their business and IT strategies. His priority is to advise Hewlett-Packard clients how to best prepare for and take full advantage of the dramatic shifts in the IT economy taking place today. Over his career, Mr. Lee has held executive positions both in industry and consulting organizations, where he has provided consulting to some of the largest firms in the US. Over the years, he has helped his clients redesign business processes and organizations, and implement strategic IT programs around ERP, System Integration, Business Intelligence, and IT Infrastructure.
  • Jordan owns the worldwide mobility portfolio for TS Network Consulting and is a OneHP Mobility ambassador. His expertise centers on mobility strategy, client and applications virtualization and enterprise mobility management technologies.
  • Eduardo Zepeda, WW TS Social Media Program Manager & Internal Communications for WW Technology Services Blogging on behalf of HP Technology Services (TS_Guest)
  • Ken Larson has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology aligning business to technology. As an Enterprise Architect, he has delivered many successful architecture related services across business and government sectors in manufacturing, insurance, banking, oil, utilities, US state and federal governments. He is certified in TOGAF and IT Service Management.
  • Laura Cunningham is a CPA and business consultant with HP Technology Services Consulting. She helps CIOs and their teams bridge the gap between what the CIO wants and what the CFO requires by building a comprehensive business case that can withstand financial scrutiny.
  • I am on the WW Cloud and Big Data Solutions Team. I help our customers adopt HP advanced solutions that are made up of products and services from across HP. I have over 30 years experience in the technology business including 17 years of business ownership.
  • Broad mix of experiences developed in more than 20 years of technology-driven innovation. Fascinated by changes triggered by mix of behavior, needs and technology. Bachelor in Theoretical Physics.
  • Working for EMEA TS Consulting, I am a Specialist in end to end management of customer data, from creation through consumption, to protection and preservation and ultimately (controlled) destruction. This includes, host, connectivity, storage, data protection and backup and archive, from a technical and more importantly, operational perspective. I have worked in the storage and data management industry for over 15 years, on both sides of the desk, as a customer and now as a consultant.
  • Patrick Lownds is a Senior Technology Consultant and is involved in designing and delivering both Client Virtualization and Cloud Computing solutions in the datacenter. Patrick co-authored “Mastering Hyper-V Deployment
  • I’m a Global Chief Engineer certified Exchange Architect and Master (MCA and MCM), specializing in Messaging, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. This relates to all work to coordinate sales, pursuit and delivery readiness in all services that relate to HP's portfolio around Microsoft Exchange. Includes internal readiness as well as external events, analyst briefings. With 25+ year’s experience in the industry. Thomas has been involved with Microsoft products since 1993. Specialties: - Architecting complex public and private Cloud solutions for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in standard, dedicated or hybrid scenarios. - Lead the HP specialists team unit to win and acheive our business targets and budget - Drive HP's Exchange Services for Private Cloud - Working with partners, vendors and internal teams to align, expand and grow HP's strategy.
  • Tim Swiader has twenty plus years in the Information Technology industry. He has worked primarily with the fortune 100 and legacy carriers transforming their applications, networks and data center facilities.
  • Tom Clement has over 30 years experience in the areas of adult learning, secondary education, and leadership development. During this time Tom has been a consistent champion of “non-traditional” training delivery methods, including blended learning, virtual delivery (self paced and instructor led), the use of training games and simulations, and experiential learning. Tom has spent the past 25 years of his career at Hewlett Packard, focused most recently on HP’s global Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure customer training programs. Tom manages the strategic direction and overall performance of these training programs, ensuring these worldwide programs help HP’s customers capitalize on the business opportunities made available by IT advancements in each of these subject areas. Tom and his global teammates utilize best in class instructors, course content and supporting equipment infrastructure to deliver these training programs to HP’s customers. The team prides itself on providing the Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure content customers need when and where they need it, anywhere in the world. Tom is based in the Washington, DC suburbs and can be reached at
  • Tari is a Distinguished Technologist with 30 years of IT and cyber security experience. He is dual board certified in information security/business continuity and is responsible for a wide range of management and technology consulting services encompassing information security, disaster recovery, privacy, and risk management. His problem-solving skills, knowledge of various technology platforms, compliance statutes, industries, as well as his experience in deploying defense-in-depth and InfoSec Program solution architectures is commonly applied when advising CIOs/CISOs as well as leveraged in numerous HP client engagements throughout the world. Tari has designed, built, and managed some of the world’s largest InfoSec programs allowing them to defend against even the most aggressive attackers.
  • I provide technical consulting services at all phases including analysis, planning, design and implementation. I have a wide range of experience in WAN and LAN technologies, as well as providing security solutions and deploying operating system infrastructure. Besides working directly with clients to deploy technology in their data centers, I also find myself architecting or discussing solutions with a business’s chief information officer, helping to lay out a roadmap for the coming years.
  • Bill is the Principal Data Center Energy Technologist for HP Technology Services. Kosik is a licensed professional engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Energy Manager, and a Building Energy Modeling Professional. He is responsible for research and implementation of sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible design strategies for data centers. He is currently a subject matter expert for the USGBC on the new LEED Data Centers, the EPA/DOE on unification of energy metrics, and the Green Grid on responding to the EPA’s Energy Star for Data Centers program. He has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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