Data Management is Key to Cloud Computing and Big Data Success

As I talked about last week, cloud computing and big data advertising is everywhere. In my travels to conferences big data and cloud computing advertisements highlighted the airport billboard landscape. These airport billboards and magazine special advertising sections are continually saying that cloud computing and big data will reduce infrastructure costs, improve time to market and provide agility for corporate IT. I really wish there was more truth in advertising because every other new IT trend has promised the same things and not truly delivered. Now cloud computing and big data get their turn to potentially deliver or disappoint.

When I saw the billboard claims and read the cloud computing and big data special sections, it also struck me that this new trend is being promoted by IT hardware vendors that are struggling. These storage vendors are fighting over selling a product that continues to spiral down in price. CPU chip manufacturers are also big promoters because their CPU speeds are increasing while their pricing margins continue to be compressed.

Instead of trying to sell IT more hardware, these storage and chip vendors should be trying to sell us better storage and chips. How about storage that automatically identifies duplicate data within the terabytes of data? My mp3 software identifies duplicate songs. Why can’t my storage company help me with the same functionality? How about better management facilities around the storage for mean time to failure analysis and better and easier RAID facilities? Failures are deadly these days with mission critical systems and hardware needs more reliability and manageability.

So as always, it’s left to the enterprise architects, DBAs and data management professionals to help the IT organization realize that the cloud computing and big data reality and fantasy minefield is waiting for us all. As I suggested last week, document all the performance and costs aspects possible before attaching to the cloud. Also document the performance and cost of ownership of the cloud computing and big data because these new technologies will probably be accompanied by the transaction latency issues, big data backup, disaster recovery and storage failure issues.

Big data and cloud computing initiatives come at an economically precarious time. Unless we data management professionals remind management of the past marketing hype, we deserve what we get from these new special advertising section initiatives. Big data and cloud computing initiatives can solve very interesting problems and provide another architecture alternative opportunity. Unfortunately we all know what the prior opportunities did to the performance, scalability and recoverability issues with our systems and applications.

Also coming up Sept. 29th DB2 10 for z/OS performance training and 30th SQL performance training two great DB2 classes are being offered in Washington DC. Get more information here (

Also remember the IDUG EU conference in Prague, this November and join all the discussions on DB2 performance, cloud computing, big data and more. Sign up now at

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