Big data seems to be all the rage these days. The same can be said of cloud computing. So it only stands to reason that the two would be brought together as companies start to realize just how effective both are at improving growth and increasing the chances for success. Big data platforms delivered via the cloud have become more and more popular over the past few years for good reason. Businesses see the value big data analytics and ad hoc analysis can offer, and one of the best ways to use it is to adopt a cloud platform for it. Deciding on using big data in the cloud is a relatively straightforward choice for organizations to make. Choosing which cloud big data platform to use, however, is a bit more complicated. Numerous factors need to be taken into account if businesses are to choose the best platform for them. Failure to consider their options could lead to bigger problems in the future.
When it comes to choosing a cloud big data platform, it’s best to follow a number of steps. The first is to decide what type of database model to go with. The result of this decision will largely affect the second step, which is to evaluate between the available cloud database services and platforms currently on the market. Considering the number of options, that decision can be a particularly difficult one for companies. The final step is to compare the features and capabilities of the available services to what the company’s specific needs are. While these steps may seem like a simple strategy, they do require further explanation.
Let’s begin with the different types of databases a company can choose from, which are based off of the three most popular models of big data, each with different features. Those models are distributed Map Reduce, mostly seen with Hadoop; SQL RDBMS (relational database management system); and NoSQL. The database model a company chooses will largely depend on the type of data that business is expecting to collect and analyze.
The most common model that organizations use is the SQL RDBMS one. This is the model that is most often used for storing business transactions. Companies, programmers, and database architect are likely to know how to work with the SQL RDBMS model because it handles structured data (the kind found in fixed fields) the best. On the other hand, when dealing with unstructured data, the other models are usually preferred. Hadoop, for example, works well when the unstructured data is distributed through clusters. It’s also good for when data has no defined structure, in the case of text analysis. In cases where data is stored as a specific thing, NoSQL is normally the model to choose. While both Hadoop and NoSQL aren’t the most common database models out there, they have been gaining steam as organizations figure out how best to handle unstructured data sets. The learning curve is steeper but the value these models bring can’t be denied.
Once a company has identified which database model to use, it’s time to choose a cloud database provider. As mentioned before, the choices are many and varied. Businesses could go with a big name provider like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft, or a company could select a niche provider like Qubole, as long as the vendor demonstrates the ability to provide reliable and accurate big data services. It’s important to keep in mind that some vendors only offer certain features half-heartedly, so finding one that emphasizes a preferred service is essential. Conversely, an organization could decide to use big data software of their own and host it on a public cloud. This makes it easier to switch between cloud providers if needed while also giving a company more choices in which cloud vendor to select since the provider wouldn’t need to offer big data services.
All of these decisions need to be made according to the needs of the company. A database that doesn’t work well with the data being collected will almost assuredly fail. A cloud provider that doesn’t offer the right features that meet the business’s demands will hinder progress. With careful consideration, companies can weigh their options and find a cloud big data platform that is a perfect fit for their organizations. Only then will they be able to realize the potential that big data truly offers.