The rapid growth of the Big Data market can mean big opportunities for VARs, and one of the reasons for that is the complexity of the Big Data ecosystem. A successful Big Data implementation touches many parts of an enterprise's overall IT infrastructure; whether your specialty is storage, information security, data center, or something else, you're likely to find a niche that fits your abilities. But underlying the entire ecosystem are several core Big Data technologies that you'll need to know how to sell in order to maximize your Big Data revenue. Here are three.
1. Apache Hadoop
Of our list of Big Data technologies, Apache Hadoop is the biggest. In fact, it's become "the poster child for Big Data," as ReadWrite reported. An open-source software framework for large-scale data storage and processing on commodity hardware clusters, Hadoop consists of distinct modules for tasks such as programming and resource management. It is growing fast, as ReadWrite observed earlier this year, and many vendors have come out with commercial Hadoop implementations and distributions. Among those vendors are:
- IBM: InfoSphere BigInsights Big Data platform
- Microsoft: Windows Azure HDInsight
- Dell: Its Dell Apache Hadoop solution relies strongly on Dell hardware
- Intel: Its Hadoop distro leverages Intel Xeon chip capabilities
Like Hadoop, NoSQL is one of the Big Data technologies most closely associated with the Big Data trend itself. NoSQL database technology is widely used for Big Data applications thanks to its "simpler scalability and improved performance relative to traditional relational databases," as Forbes explained. NoSQL is also appreciated for its better performance at storing and accessing unstructured data such as the kind of data Big Data often utilizes. Object storage, document storage, and multivalue databases are among the most valuable when it comes to Big Data. Additionally, NoSQL is popular in the cloud, with deployments on major Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers like Amazon Web Services and RackSpace.
3. Business Intelligence
Hadoop and NoSQL are the underlying Big Data technologies that make storage and processing of massive data sets possible. Business intelligence software, on the other hand, is the key Big Data technology that allows enterprises to extract actual, actionable business insights from their data. Typically, business intelligence software like IBM's Cognos provides the tools to make data digestible. Features include customizable dashboards to help organize information in the most relevant and accessible manner, robust analysis and reporting capabilities, and collaboration features to enable real-time communication among different members of a team or organization. Major players in the business intelligence space include IBM, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft.
The diverse array of Big Data technologies available can make the landscape seem overwhelming, but ultimately it boils down to one key question: How can companies extract value from their investment? An examination of the major Big Data technologies should help you figure that out. And if you're still unsure, don't forget to turn to your distributor for additional help and resources.
What other Big Data technologies should VARs familiarize themselves with? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.