When it comes to big data, don't forget the network

Tools

Most of the focus in the big data marketplace has rightfully been on the storage, retrieval, analysis and security of information. But another important factor, especially when data is being shared across many entities, is the network that connects it all. The network got its share of attention recently as Mobile World Congress shed the light on mobile.

Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research, said in Network World that so far, big data has been a data center issue, but that the issues are bigger than that. It is now also a network concern.

Mobile operators already have capacity concerns, that's a given, Kerravala said. But with mobile applications really just beginning to come to market and making better use of location, presence and other data, the increasing "dependence on these devices increase and network performance becomes a key differentiator for mobile operators."

He said core networks will have to migrate to 40G and 100G backbones, which will present more challenges for analyzing all that network traffic when the spigots are opened up.

The rest of the mobile economy is counting on the reliability and real-time delivery of usage data to fuel their own strategic marketing and service delivery plans. If operators want to monetize their big pipes, they will have to respond with reliable service and data delivery.

Andy Huckridge, director of service provider solutions at Gigamon, echoed this sentiment in a statement about the company's mobile operator product announcement last week. He said "Big data is no longer a problem unique to enterprise data centers. Mobile carriers are now facing a deluge of traffic in their pipes, from an increasingly mobile workforce and the proliferation of smart devices and applications."

Gigamon introduced its Visibility Fabric architecture, which will facilitate a cost-effective solution for connecting single or multiple 40GB and 100GB pipes to 10GB and 1GB analytic tools. 

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