Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Big Data has been a big topic of discussion at this week's Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas. One thing is clear and the Gartner pundits have been hammering this home — There's a lot of untapped value in the massive amounts of data being generated, especially in the data you already have. Protecting Big Data and, more importantly, gaining insight into data that already exists are challenges as big as the data sets themselves.
In her session "Big Data Is Coming to Your Data Center," Gartner Research VP Sheila Childs defined Big Data in an interesting way. According to Sheila, Big Data is high volume, high velocity and highly varied information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making. So what the heck does that mean to you? It means you'll be needing new methods and new platforms if you hope to extract value from Big Data.
It's no surprise that Big Data is on our minds at CommVault, given that we play in the data protection and management market. So when Sheila said "Is Big Data too big to back up?" My ears perked up. "Yes, it probably is," was her answer.
However, don't give up hope yet. Gartner's Carl Claunch and Stanley Zaffos co-presented earlier today in a session called "Big Data Infrastructure: From Hype To Infrastructure Implementation Reality" and they examined the Big Data protection challenge further. They both agreed that protecting Big Data presents incredible challenges for IT. Conventional methods and legacy approaches simply break under the strain of the capacity and performance demands Big Data environments require. The solution is in modernization. Storage snapshots and replication may be the answer and, according to Claunch and Zaffos, are alternatives to traditional data backup that can keep up with the data growth.
My colleague, Emily Wojcik, blogged about this topic just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Her take? Big Data presents a big opportunity. It's a great read and points you to a range of resources aimed at helping IT organizations put Big Data to work for the business.
In other show news, two of our valued customers from the University of Rochester Medical Center and Lathrop & Gage LLP shared their stories with attendees in a pair of conference sessions. You can find out more about URMC's CommVault experience in this brief video interview with Rick Haverty, director of infrastructure for URMC.
Many thanks to Rick and Todd Russell, lead network engineer, Lathrop & Gage, for joining us at the show!