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As mentioned in Chapter 2, clouds provide remote environments that can host IT infrastructure for large-scale storage and processing, among other things. Regardless of whether an organization is already cloud-enabled, the adoption of a Big Data environment may necessitate that some or all of that environment be hosted within a cloud. For example, an enterprise that runs its CRM system in a cloud decides to add a Big Data solution in the same cloud environment in order to run analytics on its CRM data. This data can then be shared with its primary Big Data environment that resides within the enterprise boundaries.

Common justifications for incorporating a cloud environment in support of a Big Data solution include:

  • inadequate in-house hardware resources
  • upfront capital investment for system procurement is not available
  • the project is to be isolated from the rest of the business so that existing business processes are not impacted
  • the Big Data initiative is a proof of concept
  • datasets that need to be processed are already cloud resident
  • the limits of available computing and storage resources used by an in-house Big Data solution are being reached
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