Big Data

Big data: EMC on a market in flux and why global datacentres are still years away

Is big data ready to go beyond the hype and into IT infrastructure?

...the Gartner hype cycle, big data is showing the first signs of early adopter investigation this year, while the analyst has also chosen big data as one of its top 10 strategic enterprise technologies for next year.

But how much substance does big data have< beyond the vendor hype, and does it have the scope to break out of niches such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and healthcare?

EMC is headquartered in Hopkinton, Massachusetts

EMC is headquartered in Hopkinton, MassachusettsPhoto: EMC

"It's not going to be too long before we start to look at organisations with 200 people in it who go, 'Why have we got five terabytes of information and when was the last time we actually touched it? Let's use a big data approach to have a look at what we've got and see if we can uncover any gold that makes us better than the next company'," Longbottom said.

Longbottom said big data products try to tackle the problem of bringing the intellectual property of the organisation together in a manner that can be analysed and reported upon, so that execs can make a sensible decision. "That needs a completely different approach than anyone's done before from the database, the business analytics, the storage side and even to a certain extent down at the compute level," he added.

A global datacentre

Another piece of the big data puzzle, at least in EMC's view, is its VPlex technology which allows data to be accessed and shared between distant datacentres, creating a shared pool of storage resource.

When VPlex was launched in 2010, EMC's Gelsinger told silicon.com: "This year it's a category creation so we have very modest expectations in the near term. But in 2011/12 we expect this to grow to be a meaningful product line for us. We're looking forward to a good revenue stream out of this product line next year."

It's a similar message from Gelsinger now, who says the company is working on a "market creation effort". "You have to do a fairly extensive sales cycle to get customers to understand the products," he explained.

"We do expect the true impact of the technology will be felt next year," Gelsinger added.

When VPlex debuted, analysts thought EMC was running ahead of the market - providing products that companies aren't yet...

About

Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including silicon.com, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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