The Big Data Challenge

Giant data sets and huge collections of data form what has been termed “big data.” Data groups that are so large  they become difficult to process and manipulate. What can you do to manage these monstrous throngs of information and how can LTO technology help? Let’s take a close look.

Data about Big Data

Organizations collect large amounts of data on a daily basis. Big data can come in from many sources, such as power plants and renewable energy farms requiring usage and demand analysis, retail segments with millions of customer transactions and product selections, as well as media and entertainment companies with super-large video files spanning petabytes of storage. The data can be structured or unstructured. Structured data is an organized type of data such as spreadsheets or data in relational databases. Unstructured data is loosely organized and does not conform neatly into formats such as  spreadsheets or databases – it is typically in the form of text files, email or multimedia files. Even though unstructured data may be unruly, it almost always contains important information to help an organization gain valuable insights to assist with decision making and to gain a competitive edge. Therefore, a number of offerings have been developed overtime to help mine and analyze this data.

Make use of it!

Storing, retrieving and analyzing big data, especially unstructured data, has been the goal of many solution providers. As noted in an itbusinessedge.com article “Unstructured data received a boost from big data technologies such as Hadoop. Finally, organizations had an in-road to an estimated 70 to 80 percent of data that was largely unusable.” The article goes on to explain how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used for diagnostic methods as well as to process large amounts of customer data from multiple data streams.

In a related commentary, DZone.com discussed the “10 Steps for Analyzing Unstructured Data.” The steps range from managing data searches to recording statistics. A very important step was noted – backup your data!. Let’s dive deeper in to this advice.

Storing Big Data Wisely!

As mentioned in the DZone article, “make sure you save datawhether it is structured or unstructured — before deleting anything! Recent natural disasters around the globe have proven that a current and updated data backup recovery system is essential and necessary, especially during times of crisis. You may not know that all of your data is about to get deleted. So, think ahead and save your work often.” Big data can take up a lot of space, and once analyzed it may not be referenced frequently; however, it may still be valuable down the road. That said, it does not need to be on spinning or flash disk; therefore, store it on the least expensive and most secure long-term digital platform – tape technology.

Here’s how LTO-8 tape storage can help you save when protecting big data:

Huge capacity: Up to 30 TB* per cartridge  can help reduce space consumption and storage costs.

Low cost: In an ESG TCO study, an LTO-8 solution was 86% lower cost than that of the all-disk solution and 66% lower than the all-cloud TCO over the ten-year modeled period. Try the LTO TCO calculator here.

Secure: Tape provides offline protection and a true air gap, isolating data from software bugs and cyber-warfare that can attack on-line storage.

An excerpt from an IDC whitepaper further explains tape’s protective features against cyber-attacks: “The air gap nature of tape operations, along with its ability to maintain separated data images that cannot be corrupted, allows tape to serve as a fail-safe method against ransomware. Moreover, if a company’s entire data environment were to be compromised, tape can restore data at speeds that cannot be matched by replication from the cloud.”

When big data is used to make impactful decisions, protect and preserve it with LTO technology. See an LTO technology video overview here to learn more.

*assuming 2.5:1 data compression