Big Data and Colocation: A Winning Combination

the amount of data being generated on a daily basis in today's world is unthinkable

The amount of data in the world is staggering. A 2013 report from IBM found that in 2012, 2.5 exabytes of data – that's 25 quintillion bytes – were created every day. With the explosion of connected devices within the Internet of Things and the popularity of smartphones and tablets, the amount of data being generated on a daily basis in today's world is unthinkable.

The business realm continues to respond to this incredible amount of data. According to a report recently released by the IDC, the big data analytics market will grow from $130 billion in 2016 to $203 billion by 2020 at a compound annual rate of 11.7 percent. Companies of all shapes and sizes are finding that big data and analytics tools are an important part of maintaining business continuity and increasing revenue – so they're investing in their futures by investing in big data.

With big data comes some big questions, however, including: What does your computing environment need to look like in order to process all of your company's information? One way to ensure your IT infrastructure is powerful enough to handle all of your data is to invest in colocation services.

How can colocation support your organization's big data strategies? Let's find out:

"Colocation helps companies avoid wasting money."

1. Connect the Dots

When you're collecting a huge amount of data, you have to make sure your computing environment is up to snuff and can handle the processing power it takes to analyze all of these incoming gigabytes. With colocation, you have a network of data centers at your fingertips that provide the computing strength you need to process your data. Advanced data center connectivity paves the way for high-performance computing so you can hit the ground running and actually get the job done.

woman performing maintenance on server in data center
Partnering with a colocation provider offers several key benefits.

2. Real-time Analysis

Smaller organizations that don't have as great of a need for high-performance computing power may be able to get by with using the relational databases or data marts that they already have, according to TechRepublic contributor Mary Shacklett. However, bigger, meatier projects that require real-time analyses could present a problem.

"If you find yourself in a position where the business is demanding near-real-time analytics and [high-performance computing]-strength processing that can yield answers to highly complex questions, you could find that you lack the compute resources and the IT skillsets required to run these applications internally," Shacklett noted. "This is where a data center co-location vendor with HPC cluster computing and in-house expertise on how to manage big data workloads can come into play."

3. Scalable, Affordable Solutions

Colocation doesn't just provide the computing power for big data projects. By investing in data center connectivity, companies can easily scale up or down, depending on the scope of their analytics strategies. When organizations build their own data center facilities, it takes a lot of resources, and if all of those resources aren't allocated properly once the data center is complete, it could lead to problems of under-utilization or zombie servers.

Colocation helps companies avoid wasting money on building a data center that may or may not become obsolete before it reaches the end of its lifespan. By partnering with a trusted colocation provider, organizations can "pay as they grow," according to Data Center Knowledge contributor Chris Alberding.

"You can add or contract your leased space as needed and only pay for what you're using today – no idle or insufficient capacity," Alberding wrote. "You eliminate all facility-related issues and can maximize the value of your IT investment."