View Points >> Viewpoints

Eman Liu, HuaweiEman Liu, Huawei

There’s little doubt that the manner in which we store and analyse information is rapidly changing. The ubiquity of the Internet has now expanded to such an extent that the sheer weight of information humanity has produced far outweighs our capacity to secure and understand it.

Eight zettabytes of information will circulate the World Wide Web by 2015. To put this number into perspective, in 2006, the combined storage space of all the hard drives in the world was 160 exabytes. This equates to only 2% of the total data expected to exist in only a few years’ time.

To answer this challenge, the concept of big data has swiftly emerged as a major talking point within technical circles. Big data is defi ned as the analytical evaluation of data sets so large that they become difficult to process using currently available database management tools and processing applications, and this technology is expected to completely redefine the way humans relate to the mass of information we create.

What is often underappreciated is the physical element of storing such large quantities of information. With capacity expectations expanding at such an alarming rate, how do we keep up with ourselves?

The answer lies in a scalable, on-demand storage solution that is tailor-made to accommodate high data loads.

Although this would answer the challenge associated with data storage en masse, the simple truth is that size and complexity often begets unwanted attention. Put more simply, the more intricate a system or data load, the more opportunities negative influences will have to exploit it.

In many ways, securing large amounts of data is unknown territory. How does one go about plugging up the holes that billions of disparate files might expose?

Again, the answer lies in a tailor-made solution built with big data in mind.

Without a strong storage and foundation, our ability to manage and understand lifetimes of information will be severely undermined. In order to benefi t from big data, a robust computing framework must be in place.

About the author: Eman Liu is Enterprise’s president for the East and Southern Africa region.