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February 1, 2012 / berniespang

“The Cloud” for data management and Hadoop-based Big Data analytics

One of my colleagues pointed out to me this week that I have not yet commented much on the topic of Cloud computing.  I have to be honest – it could be because I have a bit of an eye-rolling reaction to “the Cloud.”

Value behind the marketing hype

I do think there is a great deal of client value in the agility and cost efficiency of implementing an IT environment that takes advantages of “Cloud technologies” – public and/or private.  My eye-rolling is provoked by the marketing hype use of Cloud as a buzzword.

For example, Microsoft’s “To the Cloud” TV commercials.  These showcase what I have for many years called an Internet app.   It reminds me of when an IBM distinguished engineer explained Enterprise Java Beans to me years ago and I said “OK, it a data structure – I learned about those in high school.”   Then a few years later he educated me on Web Services  – “Again,  I learned about remote procedure calls in high school.”   His response both times was along the lines of – “basically they are the same concepts – but this is a new evolution that merges in important advances in technology standards.

I similarly consider Cloud computing to be an evolution of Internet applications and services that merges in advances in virtualization standards.   This important evolution automates capacity growth – dramatically saving time and cost.  What is even more interesting is how this advance enables computing infrastructure and platform services via the Internet – in addition to the applications themselves.

That’s the real value here – not just the marketing buzzword value of saying a Web app is on the Cloud.

Data management and Big Data analysis via the Cloud

So how does that relate to the topic of this blog?  Database software and other information systems, such as the Hadoop-based InfoSphere BigInsights, are now being used more easily and cost effectively by those accessing them as either private or public Cloud services.  IBM offers DB2, Informix and InfoSphere software as services deploy-able  in a private Cloud environment, or accessible as a service from the IBM SmartCloud or via Cloud service partners.

For those interested in understanding the value  of a private cloud environment, I would suggest reading:  A study on reducing labor costs through the use of IBM Workload Deployer.     And for an understanding of how the competition stacks up, Roman Kharkovsi does a nice job in: Comparison of two private cloud tools from IBM and Oracle.

While I am at it, Roman has another related smarterquestions.org post:  Comparison of IBM and Oracle public cloud offerings (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS)    You may also want to check out the client success stories highlighted at the IBM SmartCloud.

It’s all about improving IT Economics

So what do you think?  Is all this Cloud talk just over hype, or are you using Cloud technologies to improve IT economics – enabling you to actually do more with less?

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