Big data is adding tremendous strain to datacentres, says IDC

Big data is causing a lot of strain to datacentre facilities and spiking datacentre workloads creating serious security concerns

Big data is causing a lot of strain to datacentre facilities and spiking datacentre workloads creating serious security concerns, according to Donna Taylor, research director for datacentre storage research in Europe for IDC.

Speaking at the Datacentre World 2013 event in London, Taylor said that big data is a result of a lot of emerging disruptive technologies such as the cloud, mobility and the social media.

Big data refers to the huge volumes of unstructured and semi-structured data a company creates. Managing such unstructured data is useful from not just a business point of view, but also to ensure that the business is compliant with data protection regulations.

“Our research shows that major challenges for datacentre administrators today, in the wake of big data, are security; keeping data highly available; and complying with data-related regulatory requirements,” said Taylor.

As big data adds pressure to datacentres, capacity planning is also becoming a big problem, she said. Some workloads under pressure within a datacentre include archives, digital images, analytics applications and data on virtual machines.

IDC’s comments come at a time when a study commissioned by Cable & Wireless revealed that UK datacentres are unprepared for the massive changes that big data will bring to the enterprises and their IT facilities.

But datacentre professionals have started adopting storage technologies such as SSDs (Solid State Drives or Solid State Disks) and data de-duplication to overcome data challenges in their infrastructures, Taylor said.

“As server virtualisation is hitting saturation, many IT pros are now turning to storage virtualisation to overcome storage bottlenecks and improve data access,” she said.

IDC’s research found that expanding storage capacity and improving storage performance were among the top storage spending priorities for European IT executives.

“As many as 44% of respondents said they are confident that they can deal with big data woes by expanding storage capacity and only 29% said they need to reassess their information management process to deal with big data.”

Datacentre professionals have started using SSDs for more sophisticated tasks such as improving storage devices’ performances rather than just using them for caching, Taylor said.

The trend of moving from tape storage to disk to SSDs has also brought storage costs down helping enterprises plan for the impact of big data, she said.

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