Click here to close now.


Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Chris Witeck , Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Apache

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Little Data, Big Data and Very Big Data (VBD) or Big BS?

I routinely hear from different people or groups trying to define what is or is not big data

This is an industry trends and perspective piece about big data and little data, industry adoption and customer deployment.

If you are in any way associated with information technology (IT), business, scientific, media and entertainment computing or related areas, you may have heard big data mentioned. Big data has been a popular buzzword bingo topic and term for a couple of years now. Big data is being used to describe new and emerging along with existing types of applications and information processing tools and techniques.

I routinely hear from different people or groups trying to define what is or is not big data and all too often those are based on a particular product, technology, service or application focus. Thus it should be no surprise that those trying to police what is or is not big data will often do so based on what their interest, sphere of influence, knowledge or experience and jobs depend on.

Traveling and big data images

Not long ago while out traveling I ran into a person who told me that big data is new data that did not exist just a few years ago. Turns out this person was involved in geology so I was surprised that somebody in that field was not aware of or working with geophysical, mapping, seismic and other legacy or traditional big data. Turns out this person was basing his statements on what he knew, heard, was told about or on sphere of influence around a particular technology, tool or approach.

Fwiw, if you have not figured out already, like cloud, virtualization and other technology enabling tools and techniques, I tend to take a pragmatic approach vs. becoming latched on to a particular bandwagon (for or against) per say.

Not surprisingly there is confusion and debate about what is or is not big data including if it only applies to new vs. existing and old data. As with any new technology, technique or buzzword bingo topic theme, various parties will try to place what is or is not under the definition to align with their needs, goals and preferences. This is the case with big data where you can routinely find proponents of Hadoop and Map reduce position big data as aligning with the capabilities and usage scenarios of those related technologies for business and other forms of analytics.

SAS software for big data

Not surprisingly the granddaddy of all business analytics, data science and statistic analysis number crunching is the Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) from the SAS Institute. If these types of technology solutions and their peers define what is big data then SAS (not to be confused with Serial Attached SCSI which can be found on the back-end of big data storage solutions) can be considered first generation big data analytics or Big Data 1.0 (BD1 ;) ). That means Hadoop Map Reduce is Big Data 2.0 (BD2 ;) ;) ) if you like, or dislike for that matter.

Funny thing about some fans and proponents or surrogates of BD2 is that they may have heard of BD1 like SAS with a limited understanding of what it is or how it is or can be used. When I worked in IT as a performance and capacity planning analyst focused on servers, storage, network hardware, software and applications I used SAS to crunch various data streams of event, activity and other data from diverse sources. This involved correlating data, running various analytic algorithms on the data to determine response times, availability, usage and other things in support of modeling, forecasting, tuning and trouble shooting. Hmm, sound like first generation big data analytics or Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) to anybody?

Now to be fair, comparing SAS, SPSS or any number of other BD1 generation tools to Hadoop and Map Reduce or BD2 second generation tools is like comparing apples to oranges, or apples to pears. Lets move on as there is much more to what is big data than simply focus around SAS or Hadoop.

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Another type of big data are the information generated, processed, stored and used by applications that result in large files, data sets or objects. Large file, objects or data sets include low resolution and high-definition photos, videos, audio, security and surveillance, geophysical mapping and seismic exploration among others. Then there are data warehouses where transactional data from databases gets moved to for analysis in systems such as those from Oracle, Teradata, Vertica or FX among others. Some of those other tools even play (or work) in both traditional e.g. BD1 and new or emerging BD2 worlds.

This is where some interesting discussions, debates or disagreements can occur between those who latch onto or want to keep big data associated with being something new and usually focused around their preferred tool or technology. What results from these types of debates or disagreements is a missed opportunity for organizations to realize that they might already be doing or using a form of big data and thus have a familiarity and comfort zone with it.

By having a familiarity or comfort zone vs. seeing big data as something new, different, hype or full of FUD (or BS), an organization can be comfortable with the term big data. Often after taking a step back and looking at big data beyond the hype or fud, the reaction is along the lines of, oh yeah, now we get it, sure, we are already doing something like that so lets take a look at some of the new tools and techniques to see how we can extend what we are doing.

Likewise many organizations are doing big bandwidth already and may not realize it thinking that is only what media and entertainment, government, technical or scientific computing, high performance computing or high productivity computing (HPC) does. I'm assuming that some of the big data and big bandwidth pundits will disagree, however if in your environment you are doing many large backups, archives, content distribution, or copying large amounts of data for different purposes that consume big bandwidth and need big bandwidth solutions.

Yes I know, that's apples to oranges and perhaps stretching the limits of what is or can be called big bandwidth based on somebody's definition, taxonomy or preference. Hopefully you get the point that there is diversity across various environments as well as types of data and applications, technologies, tools and techniques.

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

What about little data then?

I often say that if big data is getting all the marketing dollars to generate industry adoption, then little data is generating all the revenue (and profit or margin) dollars by customer deployment. While tools and technologies related to Hadoop (or Haydoop if you are from HDS) are getting industry adoption attention (e.g. marketing dollars being spent) revenues from customer deployment are growing.

Where big data revenues are strongest for most vendors today are centered around solutions for hosting, storing, managing and protecting big files, big objects. These include scale out NAS solutions for large unstructured data like those from Amplidata, Cray, Dell, Data Direct Networks (DDN), EMC (e.g. Isilon), HP X9000 (IBRIX), IBM SONAS, NetApp, Oracle and Xyratex among others. Then there flexible converged compute storage platforms optimized for analytics and running different software tools such as those from EMC (Greenplum), IBM (Netezza), NetApp (via partnerships) or Oracle among others that can be used for different purposes in addition to supporting Hadoop and Map reduce.

If little data is databases and things not generally lumped into the big data bucket, and if you think or perceive big data only to be Hadoop map reduce based data, then does that mean all the large unstructured non little data is then very big data or VBD?

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

Of course the virtualization folks might want to if they have not already corner the V for Virtual Big Data. In that case, then instead of Very Big Data, how about very very Big Data (vvBD). How about Ultra-Large Big Data (ULBD), or High-Revenue Big Data (HRBD), granted the HR might cause some to think its unique for Health Records, or Human Resources, both btw leverage different forms of big data regardless of what you see or think big data is.

Does that then mean we should really be calling videos, audio, PACs, seismic, security surveillance video and related data to be VBD? Would this further confuse the market, or the industry or help elevate it to a grander status in terms of size (data file or object capacity, bandwidth, market size and application usage, market revenue and so forth)?

Do we need various industry consortiums, lobbyists or trade groups to go off and create models, taxonomies, standards and dictionaries based on their constituents needs and would they align with those of the customers, after all, there are big dollars flowing around big data industry adoption (marketing).

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

What does this all mean?

Is Big Data BS?

First let me be clear, big data is not BS, however there is a lot of BS marketing BS by some along with hype and fud adding to the confusion and chaos, perhaps even missed opportunities. Keep in mind that in chaos and confusion there can be opportunity for some.

IMHO big data is real.

There are different variations, use cases and types of products, technologies and services that fall under the big data umbrella. That does not mean everything can or should fall under the big data umbrella as there is also little data.

What this all means is that there are different types of applications for various industries that have big and little data, virtual and very big data from videos, photos, images, audio, documents and more.

Big data is a big buzzword bingo term these days with vendor marketing big dollars being applied so no surprise the buzz, hype, fud and more.

Ok, nuff said, for now...

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2012 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
One of the most important tenets of digital transformation is that it’s customer-driven. In fact, the only reason technology is involved at all is because today’s customers demand technology-based interactions with the companies they do business with. It’s no surprise, therefore, that we at Intellyx agree with Patrick Maes, CTO, ANZ Bank, when he said, “the fundamental element in digital transformation is extreme customer centricity.” So true – but note the insightful twist that Maes adde...
Using any programming framework to the fullest extent possible first requires an understanding of advanced software architecture concepts. While writing a little client-side JavaScript does not necessarily require as much consideration when designing a scalable software architecture, the evolution of tools like Node.js means that you could be facing large code bases that must be easy to maintain.
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
You may have heard about the pets vs. cattle discussion – a reference to the way application servers are deployed in the cloud native world. If an application server goes down it can simply be dropped from the mix and a new server added in its place. The practice so far has mostly been applied to application deployments. Management software on the other hand is treated in a very special manner. Dedicated resources are set aside to run the management software components and several alerting syst...
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...