Big data is everywhere. From cloud-connected cars to smart factories to emergency response simulations, it has become an essential tool for governments and businesses. According to IBM, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, and 90% of today’s data emerged in the past two years alone.
The rise of big data shows no signs of stopping. Forbes predicts that the market for this data will reach $122 billion by 2025 and global data traffic will surpass 100 zettabytes (i.e., 100 million terabytes) by the same year. The boom in connected devices makes that market even more relevant: About 6.4 billion connected devices are already in use, and that figure is predicted to rise to more than 20 billion by 2020.
Each of these devices will provide a wealth of data to businesses, but without the proper means to store, sort and query it, this valuable information will be rendered worthless. Major companies like Coca-Cola, General Electric and Domino’s Pizza have already seen the benefits of a fully integrated approach to the Internet of Things, but others lag far behind.
Data becomes more valuable when it can be accessed, analyzed and reused. And it’s not just the sheer volume of data making that process increasingly difficult; it’s that these data sets are constantly growing. Many companies still rely on traditional relational databases or hierarchical file systems that have finite limits and often silo data in one location, leaving data difficult to access and analyze at scale.
These traditional technologies not only fail to meet access needs, but they’re also expensive. Add the challenges of protecting NoSQL and Hadoop data, and companies are often left with multiple systems, multiple silos and multiple sets of the same data due to replication. This is a recipe for underperformance and spiraling IT spend. To ensure data resilience for NoSQL and Hadoop databases, companies need multicopy mirroring, which requires a minimum of three copies across multiple storage locations. With each new piece of data, demand for storage grows exponentially.
Businesses need to store trillions of files without degradation in performance and with continuous, flexible data protection. This means abandoning legacy storage and moving to a software-defined storage approach: object storage.
Object storage solutions allow businesses to upgrade hardware without the usual data-transfer headaches. These devices function as modular units that can be aggregated without diminishing efficiency or creating data-access lags. Data is more resilient but still easily accessible via the Web, and businesses can keep hundreds of petabytes of data within the same disk space pool.
The benefits of proper big data management
By shifting data storage from legacy systems to a more responsive and intuitive cloudlike system, companies will see the true benefits of big data in their day-to-day business. Here are five of the biggest benefits:
- Greater information transparency. The Web-based interface for object storage solutions means improved search functionality. Instead of leaving data mining to expert programmers, every employee will be able to access needed information and put it to good use. This increased transparency will cut inefficiency, enable collaboration, and ensure nobody wastes time finding and transferring data between locations.
- Superior accuracy. Finding all the information needed on a traditional legacy system can be a trying affair, and data are often lost. But with greater transparency comes more accurate information, allowing companies to keep better records of everything from product inventories to employee sick days, all of which drives improved decision-making.
- Tighter customer segmentation. Whether a business works with consumers or other businesses, customer segmentation is an essential tool in today’s marketplace. By creating better data collection and storage, an object storage solution permits companies to keep more detailed records on customers to expertly tailor products and services to their needs.
- More sophisticated analytics. Too many companies struggle to grasp all their data points. A faster and more streamlined data storage solution will let businesses turn data into actionable information, facilitating sophisticated analytics that can unearth valuable insights that might otherwise have been lost.
- Developing products and services. With 66% of products failing within the first two years and 96% failing to return the initial capital investment, product development is a risky field, but big data can help to mitigate those risks. By providing more accurate information from consumers, big data helps businesses provide products that fill specific needs and have greater chances of market success.
As data grows by leaps and bounds, companies need to take effective measures to ensure they leverage it properly, which means abandoning legacy systems for newer and more agile solutions. There’s a reason SearchStorage.com named object storage as one of the hottest technologies for 2016: It’s the answer to today’s big data needs.
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