Big Data & the Internet of Things’ Effect on Data Centers
Smartphones, laptops, social networking, texting, emails, business, personal – regardless of the medium or setting, there is one common denominator that drives us to be reliant on these tools…data.. This is the reality of the age that we live in. Consequently, as our lives revolve around data, the data center has become a virtual storage vault for this critical asset, which increasingly is becoming virtualized. Today’s and tomorrow’s ubiquitous data generation mechanisms like Internet of Things (IoT) devices and smartphones have spurred the "data explosion," with technologies like Big Data rising to meet the challenge of processing, analyzing, and making this data actionable and meaningful.
A World of IoT
In contrast to technology usage patterns from a decade ago, today’s consumers are creating and churning data at an unprecedented rate. Mobile phones and tablets equipped with multiple sensors are transmitting data on a constant basis. In the home, various automation devices like Nest thermostats and Dropcams are also contributing to the data glut. Of course, the global widespread use of social media is also a major catalyst for the data explosion we now find ourselves in. SMAC — short for "social, mobile, analytics and the cloud" — is the acronym that industry pundits are now using to label this phenomenon. SMAC’s resulting data needs have led to the development of sophisticated tools to process and analyze the large data sets in question — data that’s too big for normal relational database management system (RDBMS) solutions to handle.
Big Data, Big Data Center Challenges
Technologies like Hadoop, MongoDB and other big data solutions were created to help businesses and organizations store, analyze and process the vast expanses of unstructured data created by today’s SMAC-centric activities and processes. The challenges are huge for vendors providing data center services: Big Data is invariably cloud-driven, and the underlying infrastructures must be resilient and dynamic enough to support the requisite horizontal scaling for related solutions. Data centers must be ready to provide and support underlying infrastructure to address increasingly larger compute and storage requirements. This involves not only the network but also the power — namely, reliable and renewable power that leaves a smaller carbon footprint while accommodating shifting demands safely and efficiently.
Today’s data centers are application-centric, powering the many business SaaS applications, standalone websites and e-commerce offerings on the web. Tomorrow’s data centers need to be data centric: storage and infrastructure capacity must be expanded to support IoT/Big Data-generated information. This also affects future bandwidth in data centers as resources will be mostly consumed by IoT sensors and machines, as opposed to user activity and behavior. At Expedient, we’ve ensured that our data centers are up for the challenges that Big Data poses.