I attended GigaOm Structure this week in San Francisco, and it was another successful event with cloud bursting at the seams! I gave a talk about the real impact of Big Data when it meets cloud computing, which is an important topic for our customers.

VMware is seeing cloud change how businesses are run, how IT runs data centers, how developers write applications, and how we think about data. Our industry is in the midst of a data renaissance where a rapid proliferation of new uses of data drives new technologies to manage and get more value from data. The traditional relational database is becoming a thing of the past, which once was the main vehicle for serving the needs of online applications with optimized engines to store longer-term data for business intelligence and analytics. But times are a changing! No longer is there a “one size fits all” when it come to data and analytics technologies.

The four primary data requirements we see stretching the limits of traditional approaches to data and analytics include:

  • Big Data: the need to store and get analytics from gigabytes, terabytes or petabytes of unstructured or semi-structured data
  • Fast Data: the increasing need for low latency interactions with large sets of data, often driven by today’s mobile and social apps
  • Flexible Data: the need to adapt data access to the most appropriate model for each application
  • Cloud Delivery: the growing demand to access data as a service, provisioned on the cloud of your choice.

VMware is working on several key initiatives to deliver the best platform for Big, Fast and Flexible Data in the Cloud, and hopefully you’ve been tracking our news in this space. Last week we announced Serengeti, a new open source project designed to enable Big Data applications to run on public and private clouds. Serengeti enables the rapid provisioning of highly-available Hadoop clusters on a virtual platform. My CTO colleague, Richard McDougall, blogged about Serengeti as well as the most recent update to the Spring for Apache Hadoop project. These announcements closely follow VMware’s acquisition of Cetas, a cloud service provider for Big Data analytics and predictive intelligence systems that can operate at a scale of hundreds of terabytes and billions of events.

What are the big data challenges you’re facing? How is cloud affecting your data requirements? VMware has a lot happening on the Big Data front, and you’ll continue to hear from us in this area.