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Big Data and Cloud – A Perfect Match

An exclusive Q&A with Sanjay Sharma, Principal Architect at Impetus Technologies

"Like any successful software space in the technology world, open source in the cloud has and will be playing an important role in the overall success of cloud," stated Sanjay Sharma, Principal Architect at Impetus Technologies, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "OpenStack, like open source technologies, enforces commercial vendors to continuously enhance their offerings while providing end users with a lot of options to choose from."

Cloud Computing: The move to cloud isn't about saving money, it's about saving time - agree or disagree?

Sanjay Sharma: Totally agree. The move to the cloud not only saves money but also enables saving time and transforming business to be truly Agile to meet an ever-changing market and customers' demands.

Cloud Computing: How should organizations tackle their regulatory and compliance concerns in the cloud? Who should they be asking / trusting for advice?

Sharma: Traditionally regulations and compliances have been tackled in in-premise environments by focusing on hardware / infrastructure and software fronts. Today, most cloud vendors have added support for hardware / infrastructure-level compliances and regulatory mandates. However, cloud users should be careful to add regulation and compliance checks within their software solutions, and they should be taking advice from the experts who have experience building such cloud applications.

Cloud Computing: What does the emergence of Open Source clouds mean for the cloud ecosystem? How does the existence of OpenStack, CloudStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and so on affect your own company?

Sharma: Like any successful software space in the technology world, open source has and will be playing an important role in the overall success of cloud. OpenStack, like open source technologies, enforces commercial vendors to continuously enhance their offerings while providing end users with a lot of options to choose from.

The private cloud space is certainly going to be a battlefield for some time as the open source cloud solutions and commercial providers continuously match their wits and strengths against each other. This healthy competition between open source and commercial software is already impacting the cloud space and in the end it's the customer who benefits the most.

Cloud Computing: With SMBs, the two primary challenges they face moving to the cloud are always stated as being cost and trust: where is the industry on satisfying SMBs on both points simultaneously - further along than in 2011-12, or...?

Sharma: Cloud solutions/vendors growing maturity, heavy competition and technology advancements have certainly resulted in reducing the cost of the overall usage while also adding trust capabilities in the cloud. PCI, HIPAA, BITS, etc., compliances are now possible in most cloud vendor offerings. AWS-like providers have actually been reducing overall costs and this would be a trend going forward with more competition jumping in.

One of the major challenges of migrating to cloud platforms is also being resolved today by cloud vendors such as Microsoft Azure, which allows applications to work as well as be deployed seamlessly across on-premise and cloud-based deployments with a single click.

Cloud Computing: 2013 seems to be turning into a breakthrough year for Big Data. How much does the success of cloud computing have to do with that?

Sharma: Big Data and cloud are a perfect match given that Big Data elastic resource demands can only be truly met in a cloud environment. It would be worthwhile mentioning that AWS and now Azure are heavily investing in Hadoop as a Service-like offerings along with other cloud-hosted Big Data and Analytics as a Service offerings.

As the Social, Mobile and Machine-2-Machine (and RFIDs in the near future) data footprint grows exponentially, it would be difficult for any organization to avoid considering cloud in some way or another.

Cloud Computing: What about the role of social: aside from the acronym itself SMAC (for Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) are you seeing and/or anticipating major traction in this area?

Sharma: Social media is one of the biggest sources of data today. The sheer growth of social media applications and the user base would not have been possible without cloud's scalability and flexibility. Thus, social is growing to drive a lot of traction in the cloud space with many social applications being deployed and used in the cloud.

Cloud Computing: To finish, just as real estate is always said to be about "location, location, location", what one word, repeated three times, would you say Cloud Computing is all about?

Sharma: Cost, Cost, Cost.

More Stories By Elizabeth White

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