Big data and cloud computing are popular terms, and you must have come across them before. If you are someone who deals with cloud applications, you must have also used them before. They are related, as most cloud services perform big data analytics. It is becoming essential to adopt the best practices with cloud infrastructure and data storage, keeping in mind the growth of Software as a Service (SaaS). In this article, we take a look at how cloud computing and big data are similar and what are the differences between them.

What is big data

Big data is a high-volume information asset that requires innovative and cost-effective ways of processing it. There are benefits like the ease in decision-making, advanced insights, and process automation. With the advent of technology, many big and small companies generate a vast amount of data daily. Volume is thus an important aspect that defines big data.

This enormous amount of data gets piled up quickly, making it essential for businesses to process it at a brisk pace so that it remains useful. Additionally, the data can be diverse and often unstructured, like images, videos, emails, etc. The scale and versatility of data can be overwhelming. Businesses thus need analysis strategies and tools to segregate useful information from heaps of data.

To understand the value of data in the right sense, businesses need the best information that leads to useful insights. Big data is everywhere, as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all the best examples of how people share millions of photos, videos, and emails each day.

Why are big data and the cloud a great match

Businesses that have adopted cost-efficient operations and streamlined their processes are reaping the benefits of the growing technology. Going much beyond this, the availability of data from various sources has been a game-changer for businesses. Data is available everywhere today, like business applications, social media, sensors, etc.

Some smart companies are making the best use of this big data to expand their operations and earn better profits. Many businesses also use cloud computing for better operations of their IT functions. When the two technologies get merged, the possibilities are endless for organizations. When big data projects start, they require minimal analytics modules. As projects become complex, there is a need for better ways to process and analyze the data. This requires infrastructure upgrades.

Businesses might think it is possible to solve this problem by adding capacity to an in-house data warehouse. However, the infrastructure doesn’t need to be able to keep up with the on-premise systems. Cloud computing can help solve this problem. The scalable environment of the cloud helps in the deployment of heavy-data applications that power business analytics. It becomes possible to streamline data sharing and access relevant analytics.

Advantages that cloud computing offers to big data

There are several possibilities when big data and the cloud get merged. Here are some of the advantages.

  • Better scalability

When there is an enormous amount of structured and unstructured data, it requires better storage, processing power, etc. The cloud offers ready infrastructure and also the possibilities of scaling it. So it becomes easier to manage large datasets.

  • No CAPEX

The adoption of cloud technology has helped businesses changed the way they spend on the IT infrastructure. With vast amounts of data, organizations would need high capital expenditure (CAPEX) investments. However, the Infrastructure-as-a-Service model has helped organizations eliminate this expense. It has now shifted to operating expenditure (OPEX). There is no need for upfront investments when it comes to setting up database servers or data warehouses. It is one of the benefits of cloud services for businesses.

  • Low analytics costs

Analytics has become less expensive because of the mining of big data in the cloud. Besides lesser infrastructure costs, spending on energy bills gets reduced. It can help businesses to concentrate on creating insights. They need not have to worry about the technical aspects of data processing. The pay-as-you-go model of the cloud helps in the efficient utilization of resources.

  • Promotes innovation and agility

The sign of a successful business is its ability to innovate. It can lead to several gains, like gaining a competitive advantage. The cloud makes it easier, allowing organizations to focus on data analysis instead of worrying about servers and databases. It leads to the creation of better insights that can help in business growth and customer satisfaction.

  • Disaster recovery and business continuity

Regular data recovery strategies no longer work when it comes to equipment failure, cyber-attacks, etc. It can often be expensive and tough to create a duplicate data center with networking equipment, servers, and storage space. Furthermore, if there are legacy systems, they usually remain slow and take a lot of time for restoration and backup. When the data remains stored in the cloud, it enables businesses to recover from setbacks quickly and maintain business continuity.

Possible challenges of the merger

While there are several benefits of combining big data and the cloud, there can be some challenges as well. We take a look at each of them in detail.

  • Security control

Large datasets often contain highly personal and confidential information like address details, credit or debit card details, mobile numbers, etc. Businesses need to ensure they keep this data protected at all times. In case of a data breach, there are penalties and a bad name in the market. It can force their customers to lose trust, leading to revenue loss. There is decent security in place with the cloud, but the control over data can be lesser. It can be a challenge for some businesses. It thus becomes essential for organizations to check all aspects like security protocols.

  • Compliance

Cloud service providers meet various compliances. However, there can be a lesser control over compliance for businesses, just like security. There are several things you need to take care of, even if your cloud service provider has a compliance system in place.  Businesses must be aware of where will their data get stored, how will it get managed, and what regulations do they need to comply with. Industries like healthcare or finance need to be much more vigilant here.

  • Latency and network dependency

Businesses need reliable internet connections to access the data in the cloud. There can be several interruptions when the internet connection is not stable. There are several possibilities of latency due to enormous amounts of data getting processed, analyzed, and transferred.

How to get started with learning cloud computing

The future of Cloud Computing is bright since the requirements are always increasing. It is needless to mention that there has never been a better time to become a cloud computing professional. Thankfully, with Great Learning, the process is easy. Their cloud computing courses are conducted in collaboration with Great Lakes Institute, which implies that a candidate, upon completing this Great Learning online course will receive a certificate from Great Lakes Executive Learning. Being the number one platform for all technology-relevant courses, such certificates can get an individual their dream job.

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