“Big data is a change of perspective at least in my mind from lots of data as a problem to lots of data as an opportunity,” says EMC Global Marketing CTO Chuck Hollis. “It is a different style of IT, about creating value from information rather than just keeping it around and trying to reduce costs.”
In increasing numbers of areas – media, genomics, cancer research – leading organizations are seeing the opportunity in big data to answer questions that could never be answered before, he told Wikibon.org Founder and CEO David Vellante on Siliconangle.tv at Monday's EMC pre-announcement analyst briefing in New York City. That turns IT's focus around 180 degrees, from automating tasks to drive costs out of business processes to creating new value by identifying new market trends and customer needs, providing the basis for creating new revolutionary products, finding the cures for diseases, and meeting dozens of other challenges that will revolutionize our world.
“We are trying to make people see a petabyte of data as a good thing, not as a problem to overcome,” Mr. Hollis said. “We're seeing these enormous projects … where how much data can I collect, process, and create new value from becomes the new mandate.”
All of this requires new architectures and technologies. “Look at how Isilon is built. That's a very different scale-out than anything we've had in our portfolio before,” he said. “Look at how Atmos is built with object storage – very different architectural concepts than anything we've ever seen in the rest of our portfolio.”
Then on top of that Greenplum provides analytical capabilities while other parts of EMC's portfolio such as Documentum create richness from this data.
Cloud computing enters the picture, he says, because “big data usually requires big compute.” No one can predict how these large repositories of information will be used on any give day, so the strategy is to make as much compute and analysis resource available to users as possible. As a result, often “the people who are interested in big data also want a cloud consumption model to go with it, whether that be a private cloud, the public cloud, or some combination of both.”
And then, he says, cloud fits with the way users access and use big data capabilities, “which typically are on mobile devices these days.”