By Barry Levine / CIO Today. Updated July 23, 2012.
Big Data means big analytics -- and, potentially, big costs. On Monday, Dell announced it is introducing a Big Data Retention solution that it says can significantly reduce costs of retaining Big Data and help to improve retrieval and analysis.
Dell's Big Data solution integrates with existing analytics platforms, functioning as a repository for large data sets or as a back-end archive. Alternatively, it can also serve as a standalone repository or a Hadoop-enabled analytics platform.
DX Platform, RainStor
Dell's solution utilizes its storage offerings, such as the DX Object Storage Platform, with RainStor database technology and access via standard SQL BI/analytics tools. With these resources, the company said, the cost of retaining Big Data can be reduced through data reduction, simplified data management, and enhanced scalability.
The solution also involves assistance by Dell professional services, if help is needed in developing a Big Data infrastructure.
Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager of Dell Enterprise Storage, said in a statement that volumes of data are increasing for many companies, and the value of that data is also increasing. The key to cost-effectively capturing and storing that data to gain insights, he said, "is having the right data management solution to fluidly move data, tier it, de-dupe it, protect it and archive it."
He added that this meant, in Dell's view, that "your data is fluid."
Dell's Big Data solution can also free up disk space by about 97 percent, using a compression ratio of as much as 40 to 1. By reducing the footprint, the company said, the speed of query access for analytics is increased. Dell Fluid Data architecture allows these kinds of extremely compressed data volumes to be accessed as needed.
Terabytes to Petabytes
The combination of the RainStor database with Dell DX Object Storage Platform, the company said, allows for structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data to be retained across an unlimited number of data sources, formats or types.
Dell said that, with this configuration, customers can add amounts as little as 2 terabytes up to petabytes and billions of objects. This is key to the cost savings of processing Big Data, the company said, because the scalability can occur without a resulting increase of costs in setup, management complexity, and conventional file and block storage.
As much as Big Data provides big insights, Big Data can also mean big headaches in terms of management and performance. And it means big opportunities for solutions-based companies like Dell.
As Dell was announcing its solution for reducing data volume and costs, for instance, Burlington, Mass.-based Attunity was announcing a new Software-as-a-Service platform for Big Data, using Amazon Web Services.
That platform is designed for Big Data analytics, as well as disaster recovery, and one of its goals is to overcome the bottleneck that sometimes impacts the transfer of large amounts of data from the cloud to a company's data center.