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Transformation Is an Unstructured (Data) Journey By @ABridgwater | @BigDataExpo #BigData

There is a lot more unstructured-ness in data than a decade ago

The journey through IT transformation is an unstructured one, obviously.

Fraught with perilous pitfalls and uncertainties for the faint hearted, the progression path toward decoupled, decentralized and essentially virtualized new IT frameworks is no walk in the park - hence the need for a guiding migration structure (and/or migration partner) to get from A to B (or more often, A to Z) in one piece.

But the journey to IT transformation is also one of unstructured data, i.e., the need to be able to build (and successfully operate) database and application structures that have an inherent ability to work with new unstructured data streams is of paramount importance.

Manifestations of unstructured-ness
As we move to now engineer-in the unstructured data feeds that come from so-called Internet of Things devices and all the other forms of so-called Big Data into our IT transformation (we're on the road to new cloud systems, remember?) -we have to shoulder a responsibility for much more unstructured data.

Looking to database structures that support NoSQL can potentially help in this task because they boast the ability to offer us dynamic schema.

As I have written elsewhere, in relational databases you define your database schema before you get around to adding your data. In relational databases the database might start with name, address, phone number, etc., as core defined schema ‘shapes' if you like.

If (for example) we want to add age, sex and some other value, we will be required to build a new total schema environment that exhibits new ‘data fields' - plus it will also have to have the intelligence to know what these new values mean.

This is time-consuming and difficult. NoSQL dynamic schemas mean that dissimilar data sets can be stored together. In the new world of unstructured Big Data this is good news.

HP's position
HP has an eye on this very important sector of the data universe and has teamed up with NoSQL database expert DataStax to create what is now essentially a joint offering intended for use in Big Data processing using HP's Moonshot server platform alongside DataStax's own enterprise software suite and the intelligence that this brings - based on the Apache Cassandra NoSQL database project.

In terms of NoSQL Apache Cassandra with DataStax Enterprise - HP says that organizations are struggling to deliver real time business insight under dynamic and high volume workloads due to the complexity and cost of legacy technologies.

The new unstructured-transformation-aware business is one that can build a scalable distributed database designed to handle large amounts of data in a predictable way with good performance.

As 451 Group's Matt Aslett wrote, "NoSQL is SQL databases that provide scalable/high performance services while changing the SQL language that you manipulate the database data with."

... and as the HP Software Developer's blog puts it, "As part of the HP Software agenda of moving applications to Cloud and SaaS models, many developers and projects are dealing with the NoSQL dilemma. Do we need to use NoSQL? (Everybody is talking about NoSQL, hence, probably we need to use it too.) If yes, what is the most effective way to use it?"

In short, there is a lot more unstructured-ness in data than a decade ago and there are more newly popularized technologies out there to help deal with the less-than-structured road ahead to transformation - so get ready for an unstructured transformation journey.

This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise Services

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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