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The Cloud in the Context of Big Data

Cloud computing is a method of providing a set of shared computing resources and is becoming increasingly important for your big data initiative. The cloud includes applications, computing, storage, networking, development, and deployment platforms, as well as business processes.

Cloud computing turns traditional siloed computing assets into shared pools of resources based on an underlying Internet foundation. In cloud computing, everything, from compute power to computing infrastructure and from applications and business processes to data and analytics, can be delivered to you as a service. To be operational in the real world, the cloud must be implemented with common standardized processes and automation.

Many businesses leverage cloud services for everything from backup to Software as a Service (SaaS) options such as customer relationship management (CRM) services. With the growth of mobile computing, more consumers, professionals, and corporations are creating and accessing data with cloud-based services.

The average consumer may be sent an online coupon for a favorite store; a quality control manager in a manufacturing plant might collect sensor data from a variety of machines to determine whether a quality problem exists. These scenarios are predicated on the cloud-based data services infrastructure.

A popular example of the benefits of cloud supporting big data can be noted at both Google and Amazon.com. Both companies depend on the capability to manage massive amounts of data to move their businesses forward. These providers needed to come up with infrastructures and technologies that could support applications at a massive scale.

Consider Gmail and the millions upon millions of messages that Google processes per day as part of this service. Google has been able to optimize the Linux operating system and its software environment to support e-mail in the most efficient manner; therefore, it can easily support hundreds of millions of users.

Even more importantly, Google is able to capture and leverage the massive amount of data about both its mail users and its search engine users to drive the business.

Likewise, Amazon.com, with its IaaS data centers, is optimized to support these workloads so that Amazon can continue to offer new services and support a growing number of customers without breaking the bank. To grow its retail business, Amazon must be able to manage data about its merchandise, its buyers, and its channel of partner merchants.

Targeted advertising based on customer buying patterns is critical to the company’s success. These companies now offer a range of cloud-based services for big data.

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