On paper, the emergence of big data seemed like a match made in heaven for the storage industry, writes Simon Robinson. But, the reality has been underwhelming to say the least. What went wrong, and is there any reconciliation on the horizon?
When the big data phenomenon first emerged around three years ago it seemed like manna from heaven for storage companies; a golden goose had seemingly fallen into their collective lap and many vendors wasted no time turning up their marketing loudspeakers to eleven about big data storage.
Fast-forward to today, and the reality for the storage industry is rather more sobering.
On the one hand the big data bandwagon continues to clatter ahead at full speed. But, adoption still remains low and mostly experimental, although interest in all things concerning the volume, variety and velocity of enterprise data remains sky-high. Meanwhile, some big data startups continue to attract substantial levels of funding, and the belief that these big data gambles will at some point pay off remains intact.
On the other hand, and despite being apparently ideally positioned, storage companies haven’t been invited to the big data party, despite many of them repeatedly banging hard on the door. Over the last couple of years we have seen many storage companies invest – in technology as well as in pure marketing – to align themselves with the big data movement.