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SN blogs: What's the best big data deployment for you?

Crafting a big data initiative takes work, but one analyst says he's found a way to make it less challenging. Here, we review his perspective and look at several other posts from industry experts on various topics.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Nik Rouda is constantly being asked for advice by enterprises looking to get started with large-scale big data initiatives. Rouda has developed an easy way for companies to decide what plan will work best for them -- whether it's proprietary or open source software, commodity or purpose-built hardware, or on-premises versus cloud hosting. Rouda starts with a discussion of how a company plans to finance the deployment -- cash versus credit -- and continues all the way through to "who's driving the bus" -- developers or IT operations. He also provides a flow chart designed to help guide a company to the correct big data deployment option. For some enterprises, big data might be best managed as a software as a service option. For others, big data might be anchored on open source software running on commodity hardware, on-premises. There is no "one-size-fits-all" option, Rouda writes, explaining that what looks good on the whiteboard doesn't always meet the operational requirements of the business.

Read the details of Rouda's flow chart for finding the best big data deployment approach.

Application acceleration and lifecycle management to take over MWC

Charlotte Dunlap, senior analyst at Current Analysis, says she's eagerly anticipating this year's Mobile World Congress, which will take place in Barcelona, Spain, at the beginning of March. She expects that one major theme will center on accelerated mobile app development paired with lifecycle management tools. She also says she's curious to see if mobile backend as a service and rapid application development (RAD) will come together in a unified platform. Will there be tension between traditional application platform and accelerated app development startups? Dunlap wonders what the impact will be -- especially between middleware vendors bringing their integration capabilities and RAD providers selling pre-built application components and application lifecycle management tools.

Read more of Dunlap’s predictions for the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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Making the switch from network management to unified infrastructure management

Enterprise Management Associates Vice President Jim Frey says 2015 signifies a shift in his focus from network management to unified infrastructure management -- spanning both cloud and on-premises environments. The change is not unexpected, he says. After more than 22 years covering the network management space, Frey says that one of the trends he has seen in the last few years is the accelerated transition to a unified infrastructure. Networking, compute and storage teams have become more integrated, and Frey says that other teams -- such as security, application support and service management -- are becoming part of the mix too. He emphasizes the importance of being able to see the big picture when it comes to monitoring enterprise operations. Indeed, Frey says, in 2014 EMA research indicated that 40% of enterprise organizations were using some type of converged infrastructure approach to overseeing their networking operations, more than double the case when Frey first joined EMA.

Read why Frey says converging operationsis significant to the enterprise.

Understanding cloud architecture by using use case scenario diagrams

Gartner Vice President Richard Watson says that when it comes to cloud architecture, he gets a lot of the same questions from his clients: "What techniques should I use when migrating an application to the cloud?" or "How do I use platform as a service, but still have an exit strategy?" Watson says it's important to note that the questions have become more sophisticated than what he used to hear. People no longer ask: "Why would I? Or what is it?" he says. So how does he help his clients answer these new questions? Watson says diagrams are the best way to start. Visualizing the process can help people make sense of things. He says major cloud providers Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft all have architect centers on their websites that have use-case scenarios that people can follow to answer some of their questions.

Read more on why Watson says visualization can be a helpful tool in understanding cloud architecture.

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How has unified infrastructure improved your productivity?
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Since my company's integration of a unified infrastructure we have found productive has increased due to the unified infrastructure providing a standard UI and system. We have seen increases in productivity with common management processes that run from the non-cloud storage to cloud. The unified infrastructure has also reduced the number of needed cross-platform monitoring tools and apps which has helped out IT department by allowing them to focus on more pressing issues.
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Lots of ‘as a service’ providers appearing all the time! But ideally, if you have big data, you want one big ‘end to end’ too!
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