What is a New Unit of Data in the Big Data Era?
A newly popular unit of information in the big data era is the petabyte. In the next few years it will probably be the largest hard drive ever produced. With millions of terabytes of data storage capacity available on such a device, companies will need to find a way to reliably store and handle large amounts of data on these devices. The questions are:
How can we organize data processing on such a large machine? The nodes that each store one bit of data can be considered as nodes. Nodes communicate with other nodes and with applications on the network by transferring data. Each node has a hard drive and logical layers that map indexes to files on the file system and provide read/write access to those files. Think of each node as an independent computer that runs specific operating systems. They communicate through their operating systems with applications and users on the network via different protocols.
Think of each application as a client, which makes it possible to solve complex problems. The key to efficient data integration lies in the application’s ability to efficiently transfer data. One of the biggest challenges facing data integration today is machine-to-machine communication. The ability of a machine to process data accurately and consistently across a wide range of different machines is crucial for accurate analytics. The distributed nature of large amounts of unstructured data also presents challenges for machine-to-machine communication. This is why some of the biggest names in business intelligence are adopting a distributed approach to analytics.
A petabyte is equal to 1 trillion bits. That means a petabyte will contain one petabyte of data. Today’s networks can handle petabytes worth of data transferred in less than a second. While this may seem like a lot of data, it is still much less than what was available in the not-so-distant past. The distributed nature of large-scale analytics will enable businesses and their IT teams to make a more informed and proactive decision about how to optimize their data management strategies.
Mapreduce is a framework that is rapidly gaining traction as an analytics innovation. Originally developed by Netflix, Mapreduce uses a ternary logic programming model to aggregate and then perform analytics over multiple formats. The ternary logic programming model (or model) allows for only one piece of data to be processed at a time. Because the algorithm targets a sparse data distribution, Mapreduce delivers batch-size capacity with higher throughput than its open source competitor.
In essence, Mapreduce distributes work over multiple nodes. The first nodes are called the Mapreduce slaves or nodes, and the second nodes are called the primary nodes or replicas. Mapreduce establishes connections between slave nodes through a directed network flow. This allows nodes to communicate with each other, which in turn allows each node to update its state and pass that information onto the parent nodes. Ultimately, Mapreduce distributes work over a large cluster via these communication channels. Mapreduce thus enables the collection of aggregated, transformed data over large volumes into simple data stores that can be accessed, aggregated, and stored together.
While Mapreduce has been extremely helpful to companies looking to implement large-scale analytical processes, it is also important to remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to the development of large-scale analytics initiatives. Companies need to invest in both the upfront data infrastructure costs and must also utilize their time and resources in developing, implementing, monitoring, and optimizing their Mapreduce software stack. Thus, while Mapreduce may very well deliver a significant boost in analytical capacities, it is absolutely essential for companies to treat this new concept as a tool that must be integrated with their existing data architecture and not seen merely as an additional function that can be implemented on top of what they already have.
Currently, Mapreduce delivers the ability to perform analytics on a much larger scale than even some of the most sophisticated analytics tools available today. But its key selling point lies in its ability to provide data to scientists with a scalable, usable solution that can be tuned to the needs of any given project. In short, this means that companies can easily use Mapreduce to monitor, store and analyze much more data than what is currently available in the market. In fact, Mapreduce can even provide companies with the capability to run the Mapreduce cluster on multiple machines, thereby achieving an “all in one” approach to data management. With this key benefit, the future of Mapreduce looks strong.