The Technical Workshops began after the conclusion of the plenary session which saw Mark Greenen giving his keynote address regarding the state of the storage industry worldwide, and the future trends that the industry would be grappling with over the next few years.
The case for machine data
The Technology Partner Workshop was delivered by Loo Chiew Hooi, Splunk's regional sales manager for Singapore and Indonesia, who talked about machine data and how organisations can harness this to better understand their business and their customers.
According to Loo, Splunk is a company that helps customers explore and visualise large amounts of machine data. In Singapore, Splunk has about 50 customers. It is ranked fourth most innovative business by Fast Company. Splunk's largest customer collects about 100 terabytes of data per day. In comparison, two customers in Singapore each collects about 400GB of data daily.
Photo: Loo Chiew Hooi
What type of data are Splunk's customers collecting? To that, Loo clarified the data consisted of machine codes and logs which do not make sense to ordinary people. "However, logs and 'footprints' [left by machines] are very useful and they hold a lot of information such as timestamps, customer IDs, network IP addresses that can be filtered to produce meaningful information," said Loo.
Splunk helps collect and index any machine data, said Loo, behaving much like a search engine—collecting all the information into one centre for further analysis, and for correlation between structured and unstructured data. "This can be any amount, any location, any source. There's no upfront schema, no custom connectors, no RDBMS, no need to filter/forward," said Loo.
In short, it helps turn machine data into operational intelligence through provision of business insights, operational visibility, proactive monitoring, and search and investigation.
Loo gave further details about Splunk's solution for data centre operational intelligence, and named companies such as Macy's and Vodafone as some of its major customers.
Analytics and big data
PK Gupta, vice-chair of SNIA South Asia, kicked off the SNIA Education Track by giving the audience an overview of the data deluge confronting us today: the world now has more than 1.2 zettabytes of digital data, growing to 35 zettabytes in 10 years. Out of this, 90 percent of the so-called "digital universe" is unstructured. "Just in 2011, the digital universe had 300 quadrillion files," said Gupta.
Making sense of huge amounts of data will become highly important, he said, because of the information derived will enable businesses to adapt to changing market conditions quickly and to strive. Big data analytics has been touted as the new arena of data distillation, but Gupta warned that it requires very different approach compared to traditional business intelligence, which "is repetitive, is structured, works with operational sources of data, and typically working on datasets ranging from gigabytes to tens of terabytes in size," said Gupta.
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