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Big Data: "An Even Bigger Deal than Cloud," Says Expert

The volume of data we're generating now from machines pales in comparison to the volume we'll soon generate from our own bodies

"The volume of data we're generating now from machines pales in comparison to the volume of data we'll soon generate from our own bodies," says data security expert Dave Asprey.

Writing in a Trend Micro blog, Asprey - a popular Cloud Expo speaker, past and future, and a "biohacker" who is one of the leaders in the emerging Quantified Self movement - explains his vision of a world in which personal biometrical data is shared via the cloud:

"I want to see my brain waves, my temperature, my pulse, my heart rate variability, my galvanic skin resistance, the number of steps I take, what I eat, what I breathe, who I talked to, my hormone levels, how happy I was, my brain’s efficiency at any time, and anything else I can think of stored in a very large, very secure, very friendly cloud analytics application. And then I want to share that data anonymously with any researcher who is doing something cool."

In Asprey's vision, new consumer-grade medtech offerings will offer exactly this. The human body, according to Asprey "is a blank slate - there is limitless data to gather about electrical, chemical, and physiological states, as well as about behavior and location. That’s not even including 24/7 audio or video."

(Here's a talk he gave at the first ever QS conference, and that was him too on the cover of the Financial Times wearing electrodes on his head.)

That’s also why he's a huge believer in the log monitoring and analytics part of the cloud computing space, Asprey notes in his blog. He goes on to describe what he sees are the two key elements missing in the log management space right now:

"The 1st is real scalability, which means thinking beyond what data centers can do. That inevitably leads to ambient cloud models for log management. Splunk has done an amazing job of pioneering an ambient cloud model with the way they created an eventual consistency model which allows you to make a query to get a “good enough” answer quickly, or a perfect answer in more time. They can do this because the data is spread all over the place but it is controlled centrally, which is a hallmark of ambient cloud architecture. Plus, ambient cloud providers are valued higher than IaaS cloud vendors. That sucks for us infrastructure guys.

The 2nd thing is security. Log data is next to useless if it is not nonrepudiatable. (is that even a word?) Basically, all the log data in the world is not useful as evidence unless you can prove that nobody changed it. That’s why I’m a believer in what Mark Searle, the original Addamark founder, is doing at Kinamik. His experience founding 2 early log management companies has led him to focus on the emerging problem of security for log management. It’s very meta. His 1st start up a decade ago ended up focusing the other way around – on using log management for security."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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