Welcome!

SOA & WOA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Vincent Brasseur, Ignacio M. Llorente, Natalie Lerner

Related Topics: Apache, Java, SOA & WOA, .NET, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo

Apache: Article

Data Centers: Where Big Data Will Be Exploited

First things first: powering Big Data

On any given day, it's not uncommon for a company to generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, pushing the amount of data that must be processed and managed to unimaginable levels. Because of the requirements for power and low-latency connections that such data growth entails, many companies have become more inclined to outsource their Big Data needs to colocation data center facilities. In turn, this has created a huge demand for colocation space as additional processing grounds for Big Data. According to analyst firm Nemertes, colocation providers will not have the available space to capitalize on approximately $869 million of market demand by 2015. This is with good reason, though, as colocation data centers offer huge benefits for Big Data, including high-density power, opportunities to decrease latency and a community of like-minded companies with which to cross-connect.

First Things First: Powering Big Data
A lot has been made of Big Data analytics and the tools most capable of cataloging and valuing Big Data. However, before analyzing data, companies must first ensure that they are able to meet the power demands of such in-depth data analysis. With growing levels of data that must be processed, compute speeds must similarly increase to keep up. As a result, a higher level of power is required. Traditionally, power demands for data computation have been well below 1 kilo Volt Ampere (kVA) per square meter; with the rise of Big Data, however, this is now pushing power levels greater than 15 kVA per square meter. Without the ability to meet these power demands, it doesn't quite matter which analytics tool a company uses, as they won't have the resources to make it effective.

Colocation data centers are invaluable in this regard, as they typically purchase bundles of power, giving them the ability to offer power to customers at a much lower cost than customers would be charged in a private data center. In addition, data center facilities are required to provide backup power supplies, so that if they were to incur a power outage or electric shortage, there would still be enough power on reserve to negate any impact on Big Data value or performance for companies hosted in the facility. Finally, colocation data centers charge only for the power used by each customer, so companies can extract significant energy savings rather than miscalculating power usage and consistently overpaying for such an expensive resource.

Slow and Steady Doesn't Always Win the Race
Beyond the immense power requirements, Big Data requires faster compute speeds than the historic norm. This is not easily achieved, but without it, companies may face significant latency for Big Data. This likely won't make a difference in some industries, such as scientific research, where quality is prioritized over speed, but for many other industries, including online and mobile advertising, even a few seconds of latency has the potential to prohibit good service or remove value from Big Data.

For example, a mobile advertising company that targets consumers based on their location will need to process GPS data, consumer demographics and preferences, and advertising platform data - all within the time it takes for a consumer to walk by a store front. Clearly, time is of the essence when the window of opportunity for a sale is just a few seconds long.

The time between the GPS data noting that a customer is approaching a storefront to the end result of an advertisement popping up on his phone will inevitably have a lag - something I like to call the "virtual hop." Simply put, the virtual hop is the time that is required to mine and manipulate data to create an end result. This is a widely known concept when it comes to website impressions, which require a virtual hop of less than two seconds. Currently, a virtual hop for the mobile advertising scenario described above is much longer than this, though it is expected to develop into a much quicker process, similar to the evolution of website response times. Rather than wait, though, companies are looking for solutions to implement today to reduce their virtual hop time - and are finding their concerns answered in colocation data center facilities.

Connect With the Server Next Door
Colocating infrastructure in a data center has the potential to remove a layer of latency and reduce virtual hop times dramatically by providing a common ground for companies that often work together to collaborate and exchange information. The ability to directly connect to the servers of two different companies housed within the same data center, a concept known as cross-connecting, has huge potential to expedite compute times and eliminate a significant portion of latency.

Cross connecting has already been used in many colocation facilities to provide near instantaneous collaboration results between data center tenants. Common examples of this include a speedy deployment to a cloud environment or seamless content aggregation across digital media platforms.

The communities of like-minded companies that are often developed within data centers offer an ideal environment for decreased latency and improved Big Data analysis. Communities typically cater to specific verticals, including cloud, financial services and digital media. For example, going back to the mobile advertising example, a cross-connect between the mobile provider's database of customer demographics and the advertiser's data would greatly improve this process, as the two servers would be able to work congruently and seamlessly from within the same digital media facility.

Despite their enormous benefits to customers, these communities are not yet a common feature across colocation facilities. A recent study from Infineta Systems found that data center-to-data center connectivity, as opposed to cross connecting, is a "silent killer" for Big Data deployments, as many data centers do not prioritize the development of communities within their facilities. Therefore, this is a distinguishing feature that companies must seek when profiling data centers to house their Big Data.

Back to Basics
Without the high-density power required to process data, or the ability to improve Big Data analysis through connectivity and cross-connections, companies are essentially collecting data for fun.

More Stories By Ian McVey

As Director of Marketing and Business Development for the enterprise and systems integrator segment, Ian McVey is responsible for developing and driving Interxion’s go-to-market proposition for the enterprise and systems integrator segments, including all aspects of sales and marketing. He has over 15 years of industry experience in a variety of strategy, sales and marketing roles at Microsoft, Cable & Wireless and LEK Consulting. Before joining Interxion in 2011 he was Director of Sales and Business Development for the Microsoft Practice at CSC. He holds an MBA from London Business School and a Masters in Engineering from the University of Oxford.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...