Some Thoughts On Big Data, Fast Data And Disaster Recovery

Big data is big, and getting bigger and will become the new normal between 2015 and 2017, stated Gartner. The research company reports that 42% of IT leaders had invested in big data technology, or were planning to do so within a year. “Most organizations are still in the early stages, and few have thought through an enterprise approach or realized the profound impact that big data will have on their infrastructure, organizations and industries,” said Doug Laney, research vice president at Gartner.
However, as big as big data is, it is dwarfed by what Jay Desai, Co-Founder and SVP of Corporate Strategy, XtremeData, calls fast data. His company offers a massively parallel database engine (dbX) for cloud and on-premise big data analytics.

Fast data is all about machine-to-machine (M2M), telemetry and the Internet of Things (IoT). “When you talk about telemetry versus Facebook, it’s an order or more different.”

These are still the early days for fast data, but it’s coming very fast, he said. Both retail and mobility are starting to take advantage of big/fast data, but other applications include security and equipment sensors. He uses jet engine maintenance as an example. An engine might need to be dismantled, serviced and reassembled after 2,000 hours of use, but GE is adding sensors that collect 100s of petabytes of data to determine if maintenance is required.

“But the data doesn’t stop there. Jet data gets collected real time and is of interest to the entire supply chain. That’s probably where the biggest growth comes from. Everybody will be interested in that data at different levels.”

The emergence of big data and some of the other mega-trends driving the IT industry, i.e. 24×7 anywhere, anytime, anybody connectivity are having profound effects on backup and recovery. SunGard has been in this space for 30 years and has done thousands of recoveries, said Chris Cooley, Senior Director, Product Manager, Availability Services. “Customers are constantly coming to us and asking us to help them do more with less.”

Customers have less time and resources to recover, but the importance of keeping disruptions to a minimum are growing. However, disaster recovery is not a source of revenue, so most customers are looking for partners like SunGard to shoulder the responsibilities, he said.

“Given the growth in data, you can’t back up all that data at the same time, can’t restore all that data at the same time,” said Cooley. “So you have to tier your data [determine what recovery your need] or won’t have a recoverable situation.”

Even if organizations do tier, they’re having explosions of data within tiers, and we see customers struggling, he said. SunGard does thousands of customer DR tests a year and the number one cause of failed tests is around failed backups. “Backup is another thing like DR that is not revenue generating.” Cooley said we’re seeing customers struggling with backups.