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@CloudExpo Authors: Nicholas Lee, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Esmeralda Swartz

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How Enterprise Big Data Will Affect Organizations in 2012

RainStor's predictions focus on how enterprise Big Data will affect organizations in 2012

As the new year begins, global companies face the coming year's most prominent IT and business challenge: Big Data.

The focus for IT will be to provide high performance analytics capabilities at the lowest cost, as business users need to tap into volumes of multi-structured data about their customers and markets to gain competitive advantage.

RainStor, a provider of Big Data management software, has released five predictions focused on how enterprise Big Data will affect organizations in 2012. Based on client and partner experience, market research and conversations with industry experts, here are RainStor's five predictions for Big Data in 2012:

Prediction #1: Big Data will Transition from Technology "Buzz" to a Real Business Challenge Affecting Many Large Global Enterprises
Big Data is largely centered on leveraging the open source Apache Hadoop analytics platform and the growing ecosystem of other vendor solutions surrounding this innovative data management technology. According to 451 Research, between 2008 and the end of 2010, $95.8m had been invested in the various Apache Hadoop- and NoSQL-related vendors. That figure now stands at more than $350.8m, up 266 percent(1).

Organizations that focus on solving the enterprise Big Data problem will advance further during 2012. Leading Hadoop distributors like Cloudera have succeeded because of their enterprise-ready management features, skilled professional services, training and support. As companies in banking, financial services and communications sectors roll out Hadoop projects to meet new business demands and implementations reach multi-terabyte scale, IT executives will have to address the operational costs of running Hadoop and how it ultimately impacts the budget and the top line. Hadoop, while open source, still requires skilled resources, other supporting proprietary technologies and a multitude of servers.

Prediction #2: In Key Industries, Machine-Generated Data Growth Will Outpace Social Media and other Human-Generated Data Sources
In 2012, Big Data will become a real business issue debated at the executive and board room level and will move beyond the focus of social media data sources and customer sentiment data. For specific industries, machine-generated data will exceed that created by social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The industries impacted most by Big Data growth will be communications, financial services and utilities/smart grids -- sectors governed by external regulators. These industries must not only keep detailed data online for specific timeframes, but also provide data scientists ongoing access to months and years of detailed data to develop better algorithms and conduct predictive analytics.

Prediction #3: Hadoop Big Data Analytics Capabilities will Converge with Traditional Data Warehouses
As the Hadoop ecosystem expands and adoption takes off, end users will realize business value from analysis that was previously executed in a traditional data warehouse. The combination of a warehouse's structured data analysis and Hadoop's multi-structured data analysis will give enterprises greater flexibility and higher productivity at a lower cost. We have already witnessed data warehouse providers investing in Hadoop related technologies such as Teradata's acquisition of Aster Data. Over time we will see more standardization within the Hadoop ecosystem to better meet enterprise expectations for resilience, security and high performance analytics.

Prediction #4: IT Developers will Require a Wider Range of Skills and New Tools to Manage Big Data Environments
As Big Data projects are rolled out using a mix of new Hadoop capabilities in combination with existing data management environments, IT will inevitably need more dedicated training on MapReduce skills. Additionally, IT resources will have an increased desire to use standard SQL in conjunction with MapReduce to improve productivity levels and maintain operational costs, which will be the ultimate goal of most IT organizations in 2012.

Prediction #5: As Big Data Becomes the Enterprise Focus, In-Memory Database Capabilities will Rise in Popularity
As compute and processing power becomes more sophisticated, in-memory will experience resurgence in popularity directly related to Big Data. This trend is already supported by SAP, with the introduction of HANA, an in-memory data analytics platform handling massive amounts of data up to 3,600 times faster for instant business insights. Innovation from both large vendors and technology start-ups will help to revitalize in-memory databases and data warehouses in the coming year.

(1) The 451 Group, November 14, 2011. 'Big Money for Big Data' by Matt Aslett

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