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October 2014, Volume 2, Number 5

Big data and cloud computing look for bigger foothold in enterprises

Big data in the cloud is something like science-fiction writer William Gibson's famous description of the future: It's here -- it's just not very evenly distributed. High-profile vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, IBM and Rackspace offer cloud-based Hadoop and NoSQL database platforms to support big data applications. A variety of startups have introduced managed services that run on top of the cloud platforms, freeing users from the need to deploy their own systems there. And mixing big data and cloud computing is often the first choice for Internet companies, especially software and data services vendors that are just getting started themselves. But many mainstream organizations don't view managing data in the cloud the way the Web wunderkinds do. Some get white knuckles about data security and privacy protections in the cloud. Others still run most of their operations on mainframes and other well-entrenched systems far removed from cloud architectures. And the sheer mass of data stored in such systems ...

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