Chapter 6

The Nuts and Bolts of Big Data

Assembling a Big Data solution is sort of like putting together an erector set. There are various pieces and elements that must be put together in the proper fashion to make sure everything works adequately, and there are almost endless combinations of configurations that can be made with the components at hand.

With Big Data, the components include platform pieces, servers, virtualization solutions, storage arrays, applications, sensors, and routing equipment. The right pieces must be picked and integrated in a fashion that offers the best performance, high efficiency, affordability, ease of management and use, and scalability.


Big Data consists of data sets that are too large to be acquired, handled, analyzed, or stored in an appropriate time frame using the traditional infrastructures. Big is a term relative to the size of the organization and, more important, to the scope of the IT infrastructure that’s in place. The scale of Big Data directly affects the storage platform that must be put in place, and those deploying storage solutions have to understand that Big Data uses storage resources differently than the typical enterprise application does.

These factors can make provisioning storage a complex endeavor, especially when one considers that Big Data also includes analysis; this is driven by the expectation that there will be value in all of the information a business is accumulating and a way to draw that value ...

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