Big Data From the Clouds

HP’s Christian Verstraete writes that the time and cost of storing data in the cloud is often forgotten. In his mind, the first question to be raised is whether the data needs to be in the cloud in the first place.

Did you know that today, a single commercial flight across the U.S. generates 240 terabytes (TB) of wireless sensor data? The key issue is no longer capturing the data, but actually storing it. In a currently ongoing project, we gather 1.35 TB in a 15 minutes experiment using 1 million wireless sensors. With a stable 56MB wireless link, we need around 42 hours to gather and store the data, so new data transfer mechanisms and approaches need to be invented. It’s interesting to realize that over the last 10-15 years, we have gone from not enough data to be able to take decisions to complete data overload. Now, we still cannot take decisions as we are often unable to sift the relevant data from the noise.

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