Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Tuesday, February 28, 2017
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IT Infrastructure Seen Straining Under Data Torrent 

As they seek to develop and implement big data strategies, companies are increasingly nervous about the inability of their existing IT infrastructure to handle huge increases in data from emerging sources like the Internet of Things and sensor data.

A vendor-sponsored study of U.K. and U.S. business executives by Researchscape International found that 43 percent of respondents said their data warehousing platforms are "breaking under the pressure off ballooning analytic workloads." More than half said their data infrastructure is "feeling the strain" of new workloads.

"The fundamental tension facing many organizations is that legacy data management solutions were not designed with big data in mind," the survey authors concluded. Sixty-one percent of respondents told the market researcher their organization relied on traditional warehousing vendors, while half said they used a "hybrid approach, blending legacy technology like Teradata and Netezza with modern technology like Hadoop and Spark."

The loudest complaint from IT executives was that current data warehousing platforms are inadequate for handling big data analytics. Twenty-nine percent complained of the soaring costs associated with maintaining data as volumes grow exponentially.

CEOs and IT executives were split on the issue of how well their existing infrastructure could handle the influx of data. Thirty-two percent of CEOs survey said they were "completely confident." IT managers on the front lines were less sure, with only 17 percent expressing confidence that their current infrastructure is up to the big data task.

Hence, the study concludes, "IT staff may have a hard sell at board level to convince management of the need to invest in the infrastructure to support emerging data sets."

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they intend to augment their existing infrastructure with new tools designed to deal with the data onslaught. Forty-five percent said they plan to shift excess data to storage platforms like "data lakes" while 32 percent of those polled said they expect to "rip and replace" their current IT infrastructure.

As IT budgets continue to be squeezed, the cost of maintaining current systems continues to rise. Cost was cited as the top challenge by nearly half of survey respondents followed closely by the inability of current technologies to keep pace with the explosion of data and new data types. While many managers said they would like to scale their data management operations, 21 percent said tight IT budgets would not allow for expansion.

Actian Corp., Redwood City, Calif., which sells big data analytics platforms, sponsored the infrastructure survey. "Organizations know they are sitting on a wealth of untapped data due to the commercial and technical constraints of their traditional data management systems," customer analytics and capitalize on business opportunities,” Ashish Gupta, Actian's senior vice president of business development, noted in a statement.

Researchscape said it polled 257 CEOs and IT managers in the U.K. and U.S. during the first week of October.

 

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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