Big Data explosion slowed by ‘prohibitive’ storage cost, says Nexenta CEO

Channel News

Open storage platform can help to deal with vast swathes of data

The cost of storing and analysing growing masses of data is holding back businesses and enterprises from leveraging Big Data, says Nexenta CEO Evan Powell.

Nexenta has grown fast since starting offering its open source based software based on OpenSolaris, and believes its OpenStorage systems can help bring Big Data to more widespread use.

But Powell warns that as companies start to look towards the explosion of Big Data the costs of making uses of the vast swathes of information are in danger of becoming prohibitive.

“Big data ironically is driving even faster data growth,” he told ChannelBiz.

“If you keep all of your data in a big data analytics tool like Hadoop it is even more expensive, because their basic approach is to keep three or four copies of the data.”

“That gets to be cost prohibitive in terms of power and sheer capex for all that hardware.”

He highlights as an example US intelligence agencies as having a fifty percent expenditure on storage, which is “directly impacting” their ability to perform, while IT in general is more like forty percent. He describes this cost, which he says is set to rise substantially, as “ludicrous”.

“It is massively too expensive and Big Data has the real potential to make it worse,” he says.  “You drive up the demand to keep the data, and if you are not careful you keep in your data analytics tool and you make three or four copies of the data.”

Powell says that much of the problem lies in the large margins that are offered by proprietary vendors.

These vendors are locking in customers, and are selling an up to six hundred percent mark-ups, he contends, while the use of proprietary software with commodity hardware market that is around ten to thirty percent margin.

According to Powell this is the only way to “get your arms around the spend associated with Big Data”.

He says that a more open approach to Big Data analytics does not mean less performance, and cites the announcement last week of its partnership with EraStor to offer high power SSD storage. The integration of flash storage is critical according to Nextera in harnessing Big Data.

“One reason we launched this all SSD reference architecture with EraStor, is to say ‘Hey, you can open storage and tremendous performance’.”



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