Channelling big data

Zaeem Ahmed, Channel Manager, TechAccess offers his thoughts on how companies can tool up for and leverage big data, as well as the challenges the region faces in doing so. 

There is a growing need for organisations to perform greater and faster data analytics on their data sets.  However, this can’t be achieved without rethinking about current network architectures of data warehouses to ensure information is accessible and scalable for meeting future challenges.

Many companies are now rethinking traditional approaches for performing analytics. Instead of downloading data to local desktops or servers, they are running complex analytics in the database management system itself.

The in-database analytics minimises or eliminates data movement, improves query performance, and optimises model accuracy by enabling analytics to run against all data at a detailed level, instead against samples or summaries.

Tooling up
It is imperative to understand what is the type and nature of business, who is looking at big data and what is the current data warehouse architecture to address these challenges.

Networks play an integral part in setting up the foundation, be it the traditional data centre approach with multi-vendor hardware and software environments, or an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and cloud-based approach. It enables you to fire terabytes of data around quickly at a very low cost, while considering the network implications from tool-up perspective.

Organisations can avoid expense by using a monolithic architecture, where they may have large numbers of servers and shared storage and so on. But it’s all a single architecture model that allows you to optimise subsections of infrastructure easily.

It turned out that the exact same form of optimisation works exceptionally well for big data. Also, considering big data appliances to be toppled at your existing network architectures is the best approach to put in use of traditional network.

Skills shortage
The concept of big data is well perceived by businesses. TechAccess channel partners are aggressively positioning the big data value for their customers by radicalising its imminent impact and benefits for them.

Awareness and actionable initiatives to adapt big data are much more effective if we compare it with cloud. We can see a big spend by FY14 within the Middle East in data warehouses upgrading their network and infrastructure to deploy, manage and adapt big data and its analytical bits.

However, while technology and data volumes are expanding at a substantial rate, research has highlighted there is a shortage of workers with the deep analytical skills to handle data.

Finding the right people for the job and cost of upgrades at the commercial context of an organisation, especially at the right price, could prove the biggest barrier to organisations benefiting from big data.

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