A term that is receiving a lot of attention in the Computing media at the moment is Big Data. This term can be misleading because it gives the impression of being related to extremely large data sets that traditional relational databases cannot scale to and data which is maybe unstructured as well.
All the major Cloud Computing vendors offer Big Data products and services and these are often dismissed by system architects and developers as not being relevant to their applications because they do not have Big Data. They continue to build applications using traditional SQL databases. The reality is that Big Data does not have to be used for extremely large, potentially unstructured data sets. What Big Data means is that the storage mechanism has the ability to scale immediately on a massive scale should the need arise. This is an important consideration in the architecture of a system – is there the potential for the storage demand to grow quickly ?. Equally, Big Data may be a more financially attractive option than say a relational storage solution based on Oracle or SQL Server for instance for smaller storage needs to. It all depends on the application storage requirements and a hybrid solution may also be appropriate.
In summary, Big Data offers a potentially high performance, scalable, cost effective storage solution for application development that often will be more appropriate than a relational database. It is important that architects and developers understand what Big Data offers so that they can make informed decisions. if you would like to know more about Cloud Computing and the Big Data products offered by companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft, why not consider attending Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course where the products from these major vendors are detailed and their role in application development discussed.