In the past few years, the IT world has undergone a tremendous shift in how data center infrastructure resources are used, applied and secured. This shift to Cloud Computing is powering the next great IT evolution - Big Data and the Internet of Things.
Change is the only constant with the IT world. Companies come and go. Technologies come and go. CEO's rise and fall on the backs of their best developers, programmers and compression rates. The landscape of Silicon Valley is always shifting.
The only constant in the IT world is change. While the principle of ever evolving change holds true within the IT world, the foundation - the data center - is one of the only components which has stayed - infrastructurally speaking - roughly the same.
Overtime the data center has received upgrades. The servers housed inside are more efficient. The power and cooling gear are backed up by more granular redundant systems. Virtual data redundancy spread across thousands of miles to other data center locations are commonplace. Yet, major data center infrastructure - servers, power, cooling, security - have stayed largely the same.
In a letter to Robert Hooke in February of 1676, Sir Isaac Newton wrote: “if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” If the Cloud, Big Data or the Internet of Things could speak, they would say the same.
Since the middle of 2012, the IT world and its customers have been buzzing about ,a href="http://www.informit.com/search/index.aspx?page=1&query=Cloud+Computing&showResults=Store&searchagain=Search+Again&sort=Relevance">the Cloud. The Cloud – Cloud Computing – represents a major evolution from an IT world run on the hard server specs housed within data centers to a world run on flexible resource allotments and instant data access housed within data centers. For the vast majority of consumers, the Cloud shows itself in the form of smartphones, tablets and devices they use. This smartphone market – the ICT (Information Communications Technology) Market – is wholly dependent on Cloud servers working off of scalable and flexible data center infrastructure.
Fused with other technologies – virtualization, SAN/NAS/DAS/SSD and fault tolerant 99% uptime monitoring etc., the basic promise of the consumer Cloud is 24/7/365 instant data access. 24/7/365 instant data access to any connected device in the world only works if the consumer tools utilized for 24/7/365 instant data access have the backing of data center technologies. Without the ever buzzing data center, the Cloud – a.k.a. remote servers storing data available for access with an Internet connection – and all the devices which utilize it, would never be possible.
Change in IT is constant. The Cloud is fresh in the consumer market yet as compared with Big Data, the Cloud is old hat being utilized to operate newer tech solutions and services.
Recall Newton to Hooke: “if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” As the Cloud remains fresh in the market, another technology has sprouted up from the morphing foundation that is IT infrastructure. That tech? Big Data.
If you happen to work in digital marketing circles, you have no doubt come across “Big Data”. According to Wikipedia Big Data, is: “a blanket term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications.” To make sense of these complex large data sets, Big Data analysts utilize programs like Hadoop to analyze incoming data, sort through it and make informed calculations.
But the thing about Big Data is without the Cloud, it would never be possible. As mentioned, Cloud Computing infrastructure, based in data center infrastructure, supplies the world with instant data access. When it comes to Big Data, the reverse is true. Big Data applications, sensors, networks and tools are built on the premise of sending/receiving massive quantities of information instantaneously. The flux in data amounts means the infrastructure supporting it must be flexible, agile and scalable to handle strenuous load instantly and over a span of time.
Moving one step further, as Big Data utilizes Cloud infrastructure to power its ceaseless stream of data, the Internet of Things devices utilize both Big Data and Cloud Computing architecture to supply real time information to carriers in the hopes of that information converting to wiser choices.
The Internet of Things, although a relatively new term to the consumer market, has been an idea, concept and utility within the IT world for the past decade. The idea of the Internet of Things is simple: enable everyday devices for Internet connection, assign individual IP’s to each of those devices and allow those devices to communicate with other connected devices.
In practice the Internet of Things would be a home thermometer communicating with your smartphone while you are halfway around the world to alert you to current temperatures in your home while also allowing you to change current conditions as you see fit. On a larger scale, the Internet of Things would allow for every parking meter in a city to be brought online and communicate with one another/your devices to inform you about city wide parking rules, when your meter is going to run out or inform city governing bodies on the overall parking habits of city inhabitants.
Now combine this information – New York City wide parking information collected by every parking meter – with Big Data services like Hadoop. The combination would allow for wide scale parking law changes/implementations to better suit the parking needs/habits of the local NYC driving population. Extend this further, the sheer amount of data every parking meter in the New York City would provide Big Data analysts would be massive. To handle it all, a Cloud infrastructure based on flexibility and scalability is needed.
So, as you see, newer technologies like the Internet of Things, Big Data and Cloud are all based on an older technology utilizing it to increase their reach, power and application. Without data centers, the Cloud would never exist. Without Cloud Computing architectures, Big Data services wouldn’t exist. Without Cloud Computing infrastructures, the ICT Market and Big Data applications, the Internet of Things wouldn’t be possible. Without data centers – remote servers storing data accessible by the Internet – none of it would be possible.
Newton was correct: “if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
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