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The New Shape of Data By @ABridgwater | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

How do we go from the notion of software-defined to the physical changes in the servers that serve our appetite for cloud?

How the Software-Defined World Helps the New Shape of Data

People will tell you that ‘software is eating the world'. It's a good line and it has a good degree of truth in it, so it's one of those terms that tends to get repeated.

A more accurate statement might be: ‘software is eating into the core operational mechanics of the business world and the control and intelligence that it affords are reflected back on the IT function itself so that our notion of hardware systems and networks are now becoming software-defined' - but that's not as catchy by far now is it?

A digitized degree automation
What the initial ‘eating up' line was eluding to is the fact that firms in every vertical have had to embrace an increasingly digitized degree of classification and automation today. Business ‘tasks' are being redefined in new terms so that they can be expressed in digital form and software (and the hardware it runs on) is being engineered to exemplify and support these new topologies.

HP has made a direct play for this space with the development of its HP Moonshot series. This product family of ultra-low-power servers are said to be built for specific datacenter workloads in the realms of (perhaps obvious) areas including cloud computing and Big Data analytics.

But how do we go from the notion of software-defined to the physical changes in the servers that serve our appetite for cloud?

The HP Moonshot software-defined servers require 80% less space than traditional server architecture and work with reduced electricity consumption as well as a lower carbon impact. Up to 1,800 HP Moonshot servers can fit in a single server rack and they work especially well when grouped into clusters to execute specific computing tasks.

From here we see the firm bring in developments like a new partnership with commercial Apache Cassandra company DataStax with what is called DataStax Enterprise (DSE) on HP Moonshot.

This joint database management solution has been built for what both firms call out as extremely high-volume, high-velocity, dynamic and unstructured data.

According to an official statement, "DSE on HP Moonshot provides organizations with a database management solution designed to handle massive amounts of data across many servers with predictable scalability and exceptional performance."

The new shape of how the cloud works
This, if we believe the claims being made here, is the new shape of the cloud. We know that cloud is all about scalability - but traditionally we have had to consider computing ‘techniques' like adding more servers to clusters and sharding databases to achieve scale.

Note: Data sharding is a form of partitioning used in database management so that extremely large database datasets can be dismantled into more easily manageable smaller elements - thus breaking the database up into quantities where it can be shared across multiple servers.

The point we are supposed to take away here is that DSE on HP Moonshot delivers greater compute density and configuration simplicity than our previous options in this space. Additionally, the solution is supposed to reduce the burden of management with tools that help visually monitor and manage a business environment. These configuration simplicity and management points are important, they are two of the reasons we do sharding in the first place.

The way we now distribute data and build cloud computing structures is changing... and it is changing the way we are able to scale the applications that we choose to place in the cloud - again, the message here is all about the shape of data changing.

With the Internet of Things driving a requirement for massive and distributed scalability in data-driven applications, we know that the shape of data is changing. With the growth of mobile applications in every category, we know that the shape of data is changing. With the constant need for web-connected online applications, we know that the shape of data is changing.

That change is the arrival of extremely high-volume high-velocity unstructured data. All of this means that we need to build new data frameworks at both a hardware and software level - but they will, essentially now, always be software defined.

The shape of data has already changed, what matters now is how we build computing around it in order to survive.

This post is sponsored by the Enterprise CIO Forum and HP's Make It Matter.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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