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2012: The year of 'big data'


5 Aug 2011
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With the amount of information created and replicated expected to surpass 1.9 zettabytes in 2011, now is the time for enterprises to start using big data technology, according to analyst firm, IDC Australia.

The IDC Digital Universe study published in June this year found that the amount of information had grown nine times over the period of five years. In addition, a survey conducted in June found that more than 1300 IT decision makers across Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, ranked data management and analytics as the top business priority for organisations.

IDC Australia chief of research, Matt Oostveen, said that although big data's lineage was about eight years old, he expected to see greater uptake from Australian organisations in 2012 as the underlying technology had improved and there are much more powerful servers.

"Servers are now capable of running much larger amounts of random access memory [RAM] which allow databases to sit in memory and therefore the ability to compute big data requirements in real time," he said.

"However, the challenge for organisations is how to utilise this technology," he said.

While there were some Australian examples of big data deployments, such as Ergon Energy's ROMES (Remote Observation Automated Modelling Economic Situation), project, next year, Oostveen expected to see a fine tuning of the way this technology was taken to market by vendors.

"Additionally, we'll be able to do some radically different things that we couldn't do in the past due to advances in disk, compute and network coupled with a lower acquisition cost," he said.

"And if one organisation deploys big data and they have a competitive advantage, then other organisations are going to be forced into playing catch up," he said.


Turning to another outlook for 2012, automation, Oostveen said that while it was common knowledge that Australia has the world's highest level of server virtualization penetration, many enterprises were still managing virtualized environments like they were physical environments which meant costs in both time and effort.

"IDC expects exponential growth in the virtualization market in the upcoming years, with the penetration rate to almost double and reach 21.4 per cent in 2014 for the Asia Pacific [excluding Japan] region, while the ANZ market is expected to reach 28.3 per cent by 2014," he said.

To make server virtualization more efficient, the integration and corporation of more automation tools to try and simplify the jobs of storage, system and network administrators were needed.

"The numbers show that we are increasing our storage by 700 per cent over the next five years but we're not increasing the number of storage administrators,"

Therefore, storage admins were being asked to do much more with much less.

"The only way they are going to rise above the challenges that are thrown at them, is to automate a lot of those processes that are currently manual," he said.
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