How Big is Big Data

December 7, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Big data is the driving force behind many of today’s technological trends. Artificial intelligence, data science and the Internet of Things (IoT) all depend on big data to keep them going, but the idea of big data is still incomprehensible for many. The fact is, big data touches all of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. Here, we’ll help you wrap your mind around just how big, big data is.

 

Every time we use our smart phones, tablets or computers for things like GPS, social media, online purchases or to download a new app, we are creating data and leaving a digital footprint. This year, a mind-blowing 7.7 zettabytes (7.7 billion terabytes) of data is expected to be transmitted through mobile networks globally, which is only a portion of the total data being processed through data centers around the world.

 

What do we do with these billions of terabytes of data? All of this sensor information, photos, text, voice and video data is used by organizations for insights leading toward better, strategic business decisions. Currently, big data is being used in many industries, including the following:

 

Education – Data provides educators with insights to improve school systems and curriculums to better educate students. Data analysis can also help identify at-risk students, evaluate student and teacher progress, and better support teachers and administrators.

 

Government – Big data analytics allow government agencies to better manage departments and deal with issues like traffic and crime.

 

Health Care – Speed and accuracy are of the upmost importance in health care and big data allows patient records, treatment plans and prescription information to be managed more effectively than ever.

 

Manufacturing – Insight from big data allows manufacturers to solve problems faster and make more agile business decisions, which, in turn, improves quality and output while reducing waste.

 

Retail – Retail companies rely on big data to build relationships with their customers. Understanding customer wants and needs allows retailers to better market to customers, make transactions smoother and bring customers back to shop again.

 

 

Big data is being used for more than business profit, it is also being used to make the world a better place. Here are some areas in which big data is having a big impact:  

 

Disease Research - Data-driven medicine analyzes large amounts of medical records and medical images to identify patterns that can help discover disease early and develop new medicines to treat and prevent diseases like cancer.

  

Feeding the Hungry –  Big data can be used to improve agriculture by maximizing crop harvests, minimizing pollutants emitted into the ecosystem and optimizing use of machines and equipment.

 

Exploring Far Away Planets – Every NASA mission is based on millions of points of data that have been analyzed to expose every possible outcome.

 

Crime Prevention – Police departments use data to develop strategies for resource deployment and to deter crime when possible.

 

Natural and Man-Made Disasters – Sensor data is used to help predict which areas are likely to be affected by earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and floods. These predictions can save lives by providing advanced notice to area residents. Identified trends in human behavior patterns can help relief organizations better provide aid to survivors. Big data is also used to monitor and protect the flow of refugees escaping war-torn areas around the world.

 

Of course, the more data we collect, the greater concerns become regarding privacy and security. Overall, big data makes our lives better and the benefit might outweigh the risk. Everything from crime prevention and cancer research to online shopping, crowdfunding and planning your next vacation has improved because of big data.

For more information on big data and how it’s processed, check out our blog post Big Data and the Information Autobahn.

 

Big Data and the Information Autobahn

November 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM

 

By 2017 the amount of data transported globally through mobile networks is expected to reach a staggering 7.7 zettabytes (7.7 billion terabytes), and this will be only a portion of the total data being processed in and out of data centers around the world.

 

To handle the massive throughput required these trillions of bits of data will require high-speed-connection technology such as fiber optics and 40GBASE-T Ethernet.

 

The data centers of today often employ Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet as a backbone technology and in many cases utilize Gigabit to the desktop due to the lowering cost of Gigabit Ethernet switches and interface cards. Until now this was sufficient throughput for most SMB and Enterprise networks. But with the explosion of Big Data and IoT applications this will no longer be longer adequate.  Users will require access to huge global databases as well thousands of IP enabled devices in order to run their business.

 

10GBASE-T or 10-Gig Ethernet over copper twisted pair cabling was standardized in 2006 and can be used with both Category 6 cabling (max distance 55 meters) , Category 6a cabling (max distance 100 meters) and the newer Category 7 cabling (max distance 100 meters).

 

40GBASE-T or 40-Gig Ethernet is currently in development along with Category 8 cabling that will be required to run 40-Gig over copper twisted pair.

 

Another viable option for Big Data’s throughput requirements is fiber optic connectivity. Although usually more costly than a copper based solution, fiber can, right now, support Terabits of throughput on a solitary, Single mode fiber cable. The higher system cost is due to the expensive laser driven fiber transceivers that are required to transmit and receive voice, video and data packets at blazing fast speeds.

 

The future is clear, the demand for data by businesses and consumers will grow exponentially and using fiber optic and high speed Ethernet connectivity will make meeting this demand possible. 

 

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