Big data has been a hot IT topic for years now and interest continues to ramp up. Yet, much of the talk has been hype.
The truth is, organisations understand the concept of making better use of their information assets to drive competitive edge and they appreciate the huge potential of the market to grow rapidly in the future. Yet, they often struggle to build their own big data environment. They can see they have data resources that could benefit them, if properly harnessed, but they don’t know how to take advantage.
Today, businesses want to hear less about potential benefits and more about putting a clear structured transition path in place. Here are five tips for building a big data environment that delivers real business value.
1. Make sure you’ve got processing power in place
Before you even start your big data project, you need to make sure you have the capability in place to manage it effectively. Whether we are talking about transactional application servers, specialist appliances for applications such as business intelligence, or the supercomputers used for digital simulation you need to have significant amounts of processing power at your disposal, simply to deal with the vast volumes of data typically processed in big data implementations.
But that’s not all. Such systems are increasingly seen as business critical and therefore they have to prove their total reliability and, given the weight of economic and environmental issues, their ability to offer optimum energy efficiency.
2. Start with storage
To build a successful big data environment you need to start with the foundations. Implementing a robust storage infrastructure is the crucial first step. To ensure service levels are aligned with business needs, make sure systems are scalable and easy to access.
Here, the latest scale-out storage solutions can help, in processing large and complex data sets whilst minimising operational management, permitting quick access to data and providing the flexibility to increase capacity in a linear fashion.
3. Build in analytics and business intelligence
Once you’ve put the storage solution in place, you can start to use data as a strategic tool by implementing the necessary storage analytics to evaluate and gain useful insight from it.