Every once in a while I brush aside all the stacks of paper on my desk and tell myself to spend a couple hours deep diving into some topic to see where it takes me. If browsers could heat up from over-use, there would be smoke coming out of my office for those two hours. This time I focused on an IDC report that came out towards the end of 2013. I had seen this phrase a few times before, but for some reason it really caught my eye this time: The Third Platform.
In both consumer and business technology discussions, we hear a lot about the cloud these days. So what does “cloud” mean within the context of things like Big Data, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing? When we talk about data strategies and cloud technology, there are some basic service categories and deployment models that need to be defined and understood. Here’s a quick look at those categories and models—plus an interesting look at the market itself and where it’s going as predicted by the experts.
BI Professionals are used to working with a wide range of products and platforms and typically have a pretty substantial tool belt to be able to work across a multitude of different technologies. Over the past couple of months I took the opportunity to experiment with technologies that are entering the data warehousing ecosystem. These technologies included the Cloudera Sandbox, Hortonworks Sandbox, IBM Big Insights Sandbox, and Amazon’s Red Shift.
The business world continues to evaluate and implement the cloud for some of its IT requirements. The concept of the cloud as a viable IT storage solution as well as a way to cut costs is gaining momentum. But it might prompt the question: is the cloud the right place for a data warehouse? This is an interesting question for many, and a problematic question for some.
Now and then new technologies, ideas, and even buzzwords come along that fundamentally change the way people look at the IT game. When Amazon first released Amazon Web Services (AWS) it changed the game of cloud-based data centers by introducing pay-as-you-go pricing for servers and storage. By replacing large up-front capital infrastructure expenditures with much lower costs that people could scale as their businesses grew, Amazon grew their own business by fostering many more entrants into the e-commerce space that in many cases also turned to Amazon logistics and fulfillment services. That was a game changing moment that was definitely a win-win for all parties.
So, would you ever even consider putting a data warehouse in the cloud? With the cloud’s huge capacity, quick deployments and high availability—all at really low costs—it’s hard to ignore the possibilities. Ever since the iOLAP management team told me we were new integration partners with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Redshift platform, I have been thinking about the cloud-based data warehouse concept.