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Big Data Storage Explained

How Organisations Store Their Data

The term ‘big data’ has garnered a lot of attention in the last few years. Often linked to marketing, it’s easy to view it cynically but tech professionals will know that its reach is far more useful than its marketing applications.

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Big data is a term applicable to very precise elements that surround the process of scaling and data analysis. A lot of companies won’t have the quantity of data that industry giants like Facebook and Google have access to. Nonetheless, big data can help medium to large companies achieve a much higher level of sustainable growth and profitability.

Now more than ever, there has been a great need for big data storage. Companies and organisations are looking for better ways to store and process their data at an unprecedented rate. The emergence of the internet has given companies access to near unsurmountable quantities of data, much of which are high-value. With this large quantity of data companies and organisations are left with the realisation that their big data capabilities, including storage, need to be scaled to match.

In this piece, big data characteristics will be briefly outlined. Then, the key elements of big data storage will be discussed.

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So, What Is Big Data?

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At its core, the big data phenomenon is polarising. On one side, it relates to the colossal quantity of data available to larger companies. On the other hand, it speaks of the process of analysing these big data sets.

Big data isn’t a new concept. In fact, it’s played a role in the tech world for a relatively long time. However, it’s never been more cemented than now. Big data, and knowledge management, have been finely-tuned and powerful tools for business growth.

Big Data Storage

The Basic Requirements

At its core, the basic requirements of storing big data are simple. To store big data you need a storage solution that is able to cope with an already vast and perpetually growing amount. It should also have the capacity to give the input/output operations per second (IOPS) required for delivering data to analytical tools. It should be able to deal with different data models, support unstructured and structured data as well work solely with data that has been encrypted so as to aid privacy protection.

Data safety is one of any organisation or company’s main points of concern. Organisations or companies should ensure their data storage solution is capable of preserving their data in the safest way possible. Cyber-attacks and hacks are always a glaring possibility and your data storage solution needs to be capable of protecting your data from these types of threats.

The Two Types Of Big Data Storage

Currently, there are two main big data storage methods:

Warehouse Storage

Think of the types of warehouses where goods are stored, a data warehouse is a similar concept. Its primary function is to house and process large quantities of data, for big data analytics, it’s vital. Data warehouses largely support many things including reports, business intelligence, analytics, data mining, research, cyber monitoring, and much more.

Data warehouses are built optimised for data retention and processing purposes. Data is managed much more effectively through the use of data warehouse tools as it allows for better accessibility and analysis that can positively influence business decisions to reach long and short-term business goals. These warehouses are also created to house an ever-growing amount of data. As such, businesses don’t need to worry about clutter or limited space.

The biggest advantage of storing data in data warehouses is being able to transform raw data into tangible information and insights. Data warehouses give businesses a great and powerful way of supporting queries, reporting, and analytics. Additionally, it is also an effective way of forecasting and determining trends.

Design and data cleansing have to have the support of adequate storage. Typically, data warehouses are dependent on vast storage capacities that are sturdy, cheaper, and perform effectively.

Cloud Storage

Now, onto cloud storage. Cloud storage is the other type of data storage for monumental quantities of data. This is a much more recognisable type of storage due to its popularity. Examples of recognisable cloud storage systems are iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox. The data stored in cloud storage can be recovered anywhere an authorised person is, all you need is an internet connection. No matter where you are or what device you’re using you can reach what you need when you need it. Cloud storage finally made clunky hard-drives and the use of computers unnecessary. Cloud storage provides greater flexibility, reliability, security as well as optimises your team by enabling them to have access to all the information they need anywhere they go.

Cloud storage does more than provide immediate-access to data and information, it enables a business to scale quickly if consumption demands it enabling faster growth and profit margins than ever before. Cloud storage grows with businesses, according to its needs and demands championing it from the get-go.

All you need is a username and password. Your credentials are all you need to access all the data and information a job requires.

After the initial waves of shock that a global pandemic was in our midst, the real shackles became very clear and the heroes were the companies providing solutions. So, what were these shackles?

It felt as though we went from living our life to one day everything coming to a screeching halt. Work from home!? Well, that was nearly unheard of and almost always scoffed at. However, here we were faced with the reality of a modern working-person’s problem: I need to work but how do I do that outside of my office? Companies innovated, and tech showed itself to be the true champion of life in lockdown.

So, What Now?

Zoom allowed meetings, lectures, lessons and reunions to take place. Amazon allowed people to purchase whatever they needed at the click of a button, delivered safely to their door. Netflix and Amazon Prime kept us entertained. Social media giants like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter tied us all together even when we were far apart.

However, companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple and more gave us the tools we needed to keep doing our jobs from the safety of our homes. They did this by providing us with platforms and solutions that allowed us to access, collaborate and share our files and information in secure online locations no matter the location. They made it possible for countless businesses to continue working as they would have from the normalcy of the office space.

In fact, with cloud space being less expensive storage than physical ones it curbed expenditure when companies needed it most. No longer was it necessary to spend exorbitant amounts of money every month for data warehouses that need floods power, loads of space, necessitate countless resources and are generally considerably less safe.