Once the big data is processed, organisations need a final resting place to save the data in its native format to leverage the economics of a common storage pool that can be accessed through multiple protocols. Open software-defined storage solutions are designed to support a broad range of enterprise and big data protocols from a common repository so customers can access their big data from multiple analytical applications and turn data into actionable information.
Such integration ultimately offers enterprises reduced operational costs, expanded portability, choice of infrastructure, scalability, availability and the power of community-driven innovation, while also reducing the risk of complexity, incompatibility, risk and unmanageability of multi-platform big data environments.
However, an issue that can come with the implementation of new big data solutions such as Hadoop, is that there is a temporary mismatch between the newly enhanced IT environment and the team's existing skills. As such, it becomes crucial to invest in training so that developers, data workers and system administrators can familiarize themselves quickly with the new platform in order to tap into and harness its power, while at the same time, doing so quickly to allow for shorter time-to-deployment.
In the past, enterprises were constrained by how much data could be stored and what type of analytics could be applied. These are being addressed with today's big data solutions and companies have started to embrace it willingly.
Organisations must pay close attention to the environment they adopt such technologies in and plan for these potentially immense capabilities to be harnessed through the right analytics tools, platform infrastructure and manpower training. Because while no one type of big data platform is optimal for all requirements, it is highly possible to create one that works best for the organisation.
Damien Wong is General Manager, ASEAN, Red Hat.
 "New IDC Big Data Technology and Services Forecast Shows Worldwide Market Expected to Reach $23.8 Billion in 2016", IDC, Jan 2013, http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23900013
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