Big Data Could Be Cloud’s Killer App

Donald Ferguson, CA Technologies, at Structure Big Data 2011In the closing panel of today’s Structure Big Data conference, CA Technologies EVP and CTO Donald Ferguson suggested that big data might actually be a driving force behind the adoption of cloud computing. By his thinking, because many organizations’ big data jobs still are batch-oriented and relatively variable in terms of frequency, they’re ideal workloads to run in the cloud, which lets users rent computing capacity by the hour rather than investing heavily in expensive hardware to meet only their peak needs.

However, he noted, cloud computing also could return the favor and play a role in making big data more appealing. This is because the idea of having large amounts of data available in the cloud and accessible via an API makes it far easier for organizations — specifically their end users — to run jobs they never would have been able to without calling it IT.

It’s tough to draw too many insights into what actual adoption levels actually are for either trend, but Ferguson might have shed some light on that. He said that the vast majority of CA’s customers have some big data strategies underway, which could speak volumes about their potential cloud use as well.

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