Big data is becoming big business, but is it being adopted on an appropriate scale from an internal networking perspective?
The external applications of big data continue to diversify. Today, everything from customer behaviour to purchasing decisions are influenced by big data and analytics.However, by turning the focus of big data operations inwards, operational and cost efficiencies can be realised within the corporate IT environment.
There are two major internal operations that big data can benefit: application delivery and network management.Effective application management comes with its own set of challenges, such as the struggle to enforce flexible but secure user and device policies.Introducing big data provides the business intelligence necessary to closely manage application deployment by analysing data streams, including application performance and user feedback.
Big data can provide insight into how employees or partners are using applications, and allow IT departments to identify redundant features or little used devices and to scale back or increase support and development accordingly – in other words, it enables lean IT.The effective deployment of resources reduces the need for investment in costly and unnecessary hardware and applications.Achieving complete network visibility has been a primary concern of CIOs in recent years – and now the arrival of tools to exploit big data provides a lifeline. Predictive analytics techniques can shift IT departments from a reactive to a proactive network management role.
By allowing IT departments enhanced visibility of devices – and crucially applications – across the network, the rise of bring your own device (BYOD) can be safely controlled.The newest generation of switch technology has now advanced to the stage where application visibility can be directly embedded within the most advanced switches. These advanced switches are capable of providing a greater degree of predictive analytics.
IT departments can establish patterns of routine daily traffic in order to swiftly identify anomalies. The ability to detect what is 'trending' on the network – be it backup activities, heavy bandwidth usage or popular application deployment – has now arrived.More tasks can be automated than ever before, with a dynamic response to network and user needs becoming standard practice. High-priority users, such as internal teams requiring continued collaboration and business critical services, can be prioritised and ensured the necessary network capacity in real-time.
While the existing infrastructure in many enterprises is capable of using big data to a limited degree, a converged network infrastructure can provide a simplified and flexible architecture with a single point of management.As data gathering, processing and analysing all continue to advance and develop, the network will play a more critical role in guaranteeing consistent operations than ever before.Businesses will do well to take a look inside their networks – the data is there and waiting to be used to ensure a rock solid foundation for future business growth.