If there’s one thing companies have been especially excited about in recent years, it’s been cloud computing. Many important business functions and operations have made their way to the cloud, with some working out more smoothly than others. During this whole time, many have theorized about the potential of big data workloads and projects following the same pattern and moving to the cloud. While some large companies and startups have tried to utilize cloud computing for this purpose, it wasn’t until recently that a clear and noticeable trend has emerged. Big data vendors are on the rise, and cloud computing providers continue to grow. It was only a matter of time before both intersected, and the results could spark a new revolution in the business and technology world. Today’s companies had better be prepared for big data workloads in the cloud if they hope to see the much talked about potential become reality.

Any business owner who has heard about big data services delivered via the cloud will likely ask what the benefits of such an approach are. After all, many of the benefits of using big data analytics are already well known, but combining it with cloud computing presents an entirely different picture. Mixing big data workloads with the cloud can make businesses far more agile. Cloud computing can also give organizations a foundation that’s more scalable, able to handle and manage big data in more effective ways. This in turn gives businesses a better chance of pulling actionable, relevant insights from the data that can aid them in reaching out to customers, developing new business models, and creating new innovative products. The cloud is essentially a more flexible platform upon which businesses can fully utilize a trove of helpful big data tools. And of course, the expense factor can be a major reason companies will turn to the cloud since cloud computing working in tandem with big data analytics can bring down costs.

The cost factor is of particular importance as companies seek to manage expenses when dealing with big data workloads in the cloud. Simply moving such operations to the cloud can bring overall costs down, but businesses should also prepare to follow a few guidelines to reduce costs even further by managing the workloads more efficiently. One of the first is to determine what type of big data usage pattern the company has. These patterns can be stable (where data analysis remains at a fairly steady rate), spiked intermittently (where analyses are run when needed), and regularly spiked (where analyses are done at a regular interval). Identifying the pattern helps companies determine what cost management strategies are best for them. Businesses can also manage big data workload expenses by tagging big data clusters. This helps organizations analyze overall costs and make sure they’re not running workflows that fall outside the norm in terms of expenses. Companies can also enhance cost effectiveness by assigning big data resources to the job they are best for, helping each resource work together in the most efficient ways possible.

For organizations truly interested in moving to the cloud, there are plenty of options out there. Big data vendors have grown in number, and each can offer unique features and services that are coming from cloud computing. For example, Hortonworks provides a big data platform that was recently certified with Microsoft Azure, allowing users to run software they could run from their company’s data center. Cloud providers are also getting in on the action. Major corporations like Microsoft and Google are introducing machine learning features for their cloud platforms and applications, helping clients store and process big data. Some startups, like Qubole for instance, are even offering a blend of big data analytics and cloud computing by providing Hadoop in the cloud. Couple this with increased use of SSD storage capabilities, and big data services are set to increase dramatically over the coming years.

The trend of moving big data workloads to the cloud is only just beginning, but the business community stands poised to take advantage of it in many ways. To fully reap the benefits, however, businesses need to prepare now for what the future holds. The sooner they can get started, the sooner they can transform their operations and meet the demands that are challenging industries all over the world.

Rik DelgadoRick Delgado- I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of freelance writing. I love to write about new technologies and keeping ourselves secure in a changing digital landscape. I occasionally write articles for several companies, including Dell.


(Image credit: Pixabay)


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