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Move to Cloud Accelerates

GigaSpaces survey shows need for tools for fast big data, strong interest in big data in cloud

It's no surprise that most enterprises are now taking big data more seriously. But what might raise an eyebrow is how many organizations say they rely on real-time processing of big data to fuel their business, as well as the number of companies who say they're thinking about taking their big data to the cloud.

These findings come from a recent survey conducted by GigaSpaces, which asked 243 IT executives in various industries about their big data perceptions and plans. GigaSpaces, a provider of end-to-end scaling solutions for distributed application environments and an open platform-as-a-service (PaaS) stack for cloud deployment, conducted the survey online during the fall of 2012.

The first finding shows that enterprises are moving beyond collecting and storing big data and delving deeper.

Among the survey findings:

  • Some 80 percent of respondents said that big-data processing is a mission-critical function
  • More than 70 percent said their business requires processing of big data in fast -- in real time -- either in large volumes, at high velocity, or both
  • Only 20 percent of respondents said they have no plans to move their big data to the cloud, indicating a widespread readiness to consider the option

The first finding shows that enterprises are moving beyond collecting and storing big data and delving deeper. Their businesses require that they process this data in real time as events occur, be they trades on a stock exchange, alerts from security monitors, or location changes from GPS devices.

The second finding demonstrates the need for low latency and high performance in processing big data streams, as these functions are becoming mission critical and delays or dropped data can't be tolerated.

Real-time tools

GigaSpaces, which sponsored the survey, also asked survey respondents what tools they're using to process big data in real time, and here's where a gap is revealed: only 12 percent have adopted real-time event processing tools. According to GigaSpaces, this suggests that most enterprises still have not found the right solution that offers the ability to handle massive data while also providing the required speed.

"Most enterprises haven’t yet adopted these real-time event processing tools, they're managing instead with a combination of a NoSQL data store with a Hadoop processing platform," says Tsipi Erann, marketing communications manager at GigaSpaces. "It's clear that enterprises haven’t yet found the right solution that’s dedicated to real-time processing and also fits into their architecture."

As for moving big data to the cloud, survey respondents seem eager to reap the cost-savings and improved agility offered by this model. Only 20 percent of them said they have no plans to move big data applications to the cloud, while 44 percent have concrete plans or have already started this migration.

Among the 34 percent who said they were unsure about cloud deployments, primary concerns cited were scalability and security.

It's clear that enterprises haven’t yet found the right solution that’s dedicated to real-time processing and also fits into their architecture.

GigaSpaces cross-referenced answers to the question of big data's business importance with answers to the cloud question and came up with this statement: 80 percent of respondents who define their big data applications as mission critical to the business are planning or considering a move to the cloud. The company said it will use findings from this survey to help shape the direction of its offerings.

"We understand the importance of giving customers the right features and will use the input in the creation of such a solution, whether it’s integration with Hadoop or processing or transactional management," says Yaron Parasol, product manager at GigaSpaces.

(BriefingsDirect contributor Cara Garretson provided editorial assistance and research on this post. She can be reached on LinkedIn.)

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