Big Data can be a game changer for businesses

by Sohini Bagchi    Nov 12, 2013


Organizations across a range of industries are dealing with the realities that of Big Data at present. NetApp, which sees a huge potential in big data trends in the enterprise has been collaboratingto build innovative solutions around Big Data and analytics. In an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday, Santhosh D’Souza, Director - Systems Engineering at NetApp discusses how Big Data can be a game changer for businesses and about the company’s big data initiatives. Excerpts.

The big data buzz is all over the place. How much of it has actually been leveraged by Indian enterprises?

The Big Data Solutions market in India is growing and about 5% and has been embraced by the large or very large enterprise at present. However, IDC estimates do reveal that the market would experience exponential growth over the next couple of years, with 18.4% organizations adopting big data solutions across different verticals.

However, an umpteen number of enterprises are grappling with the huge complex data sets; they also face huge data management challenges with the most prominent of them being delay in information due to lack of a uniform view of data, security issues, and escalating data management issues. Also, a large number of enterprises do not have a firm Big Data Strategy yet. The market therefore is quite promising and one that we’re aggressively targeting.

Which verticals are the companies looking at and in which segments?

Primarily, we see a huge requirement in verticals such as healthcare, telecom, process manufacturing and government. These are industry verticals that are witnessing the benefits of implementing Big Data solutions, and where the mainstream adoption of these solutions holds tremendous value to the organizations in these verticals.

Will the Cisco and NetApp partnership for Flexpod take big data to a new level? Please explain.

We see enterprises entering a new era of scale, where the amount of data processed and stored is breaking down every architectural construct in the storage industry. Together with Cisco, we are delivering solutions that address big data scale through the “Big Data ABCs” – analytics, bandwidth and content – enabling customers to gain insight into massive datasets, move data quickly, and store important content for long periods of time without increasing operational complexity.

The FlexPod solution portfolio combines NetApp storage systems along with Cisco’s Unified Computing System servers, and the Cisco Nexus fabric into a single, flexible architecture which is validated and tested to reduce risk and increase IT efficiency.

How would the new solution help in meeting CIO challenges when working with “data-intensive” workloads in high-performance computing environments?

FlexPod Select for high performance computing delivers on the one hand, performance, availability and reliability inherent in the best of breed compute, storage and networking elements from NetApp and Cisco, and on the other, the flexibility, rapid deployment, validated design that FlexPod represents. The FlexPod Select reference architectures were developed in close collaboration with the leading Hadoop distribution partners – Cloudera and HortonWorks. The FlexPod Select Integrated infrastructure eliminates the complexity, guess-work and unco-ordinated support mechanisms that often plague data intensive stack deployments.

FlexPod Select delivers resiliency, high performance and efficiency at scale while facilitating an open partner-based ecosystem that continues to innovate while effectively supporting existing deployments.

What are your future plans with Flexpod and other big data initiatives?

It’s been three years and together with Cisco we are looking at extending the range of systems we offer via the cloud while extending management reach out to the branch office. With the Cisco Unified Compute System (UCS) and storage from NetApp, FlexPod systems have evolved into pre-integrated integrated servers that can now scale from small office to hyper-scale cloud computing deployments. A new FlexPod Datacenter with the Cisco Virtualized Multiservice Data Center 2.3 platform provides a blueprint for service providers looking to build multi-tenant clouds, while FlexPod Datacenter with NetApp MetroCluster provides an implementation for traditional IT environments that need built-in disaster recovery and continuous availability capabilities. And this is going to be our key focus in the next one year.