Three Big Service Provider Themes for 2012: Part 3

By | January 31, 2012

This is the third in a series of three posts exploring the major opportunities for Service Providers in 2012.

The links below will take you to the previous predictions, which were that:

Here’s theme number three for 2012.
Big Data Analytics Services gain some definition
There’s no doubt that Big Data is the hottest buzzword or, to be more specific, pair of buzzwords in IT and software today. I’m not going to get into a detailed discussion of what is, or isn’t, Big Data. If you want that, you can read this excellent article on O’Reilly Radar. The crux of the definition is this though – Big Data is data that has previously been too big to deal with, but can now be tamed due to new technologies and new architectures for deployment of these technologies. Text book examples are massively parallel processing (MPP) databases and analytics tools like Hadoop, or scale out architectures for data storage that address requirements to store very large volumes of data or to provide extremely high performance access to large data sets.

Object Storage products such as EMC Atmos or services like Amazon S3 and Scale out NAS (Network Attached Storage) systems like Isilon are all good examples of scale out data storage infrastructure.

Service Providers have made significant progress in defining and developing a set of services that exploit these technologies during 2010 and 2011. This is best illustrated through the success of Amazon’s S3 service, which has achieved significant and widespread adoption in both traditional IT and new use cases, such as its adoption a storage back-end for applications running on tablets and other mobile devices.

For these ‘new’ storage infrastructures, a clear articulation of the applicable use-cases is critical to adoption, as is a set of solutions that simplify data migration from traditional storage infrastructure into the new infrastructure. For an example, take a look at this Cloud Tiering Appliance, from EMC.

In contrast to the progress that has been made by Service Providers that are offering storage solutions for Big Data, the scenarios where Enterprise and Public Sector organisations can exploit Big Data Analytics are still beginning to be fully understood, and there are few Service Providers that have developed structured and packaged offerings in this area.

My final prediction for 2012 is that these analytics services will gain some definition. Why the italics on ‘some’? Because I think it’s almost impossible to predict the effect that introducing packaged analytics services will have on the market for these services or to predict the innovative ways in which Service Providers will define and deliver these services. Given this, perhaps we should expect that what we see in 2012 will be Gen-1 of the services portfolio and that this will evolve over time?

Importantly, it’s very difficult to predict which Service Providers will be the winners and losers in this newly emerging area of Cloud Analytics Services. I’m hoping we see some new entrants in this space as well as offers from established providers that are looking to extend their services portfolios.

That brings my predictions of Big Service Provider Themes for 2012 to a close. I hope it stimulated some new ideas. If you’ve got feedback, please leave a comment or drop me an email.

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