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With more than 36 per cent of US companies running a significant portion of business applications in the Cloud [Mimecast survey, February 2010], clearly the adoption of Cloud computing will soon become ubiquitous.This exploitation of the Internet as the preferred means for gaining access to computing resources, as well as access to public and private data, means that Cloud computing networks will evolve.
They will move from the relatively-homogeneous multi-client-to-single-server networks of today to vastly more-complex heterogeneous multi-client-to-multi-server networks needed to integrate applications and data distributed across the Internet.
In addition, the need to integrate and analyse dizzying volumes of enterprise data, market data and social media data – most of which is “unstructured,” i.e. corporate information that is not in a pre-defined database – will necessitate replacing archaic, 40-year-old data-management systems with more-advanced systems capable of managing data of all kinds – structured or unstructured – distributed anywhere across heterogeneous global networks.
Indeed, in a survey released this week, 62 per cent of respondents say it is inevitable that unstructured information will exceed the volume of traditional relational data within the next decade. Further, 35 per cent say unstructured information has already surpassed or will surpass traditional relational data in the next 36 months. [Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc.]
Computing will inevitably become much more distributed than it currently is, spreading across an increasingly diverse array of data centres. These changes will bring with them new data-management, architectural and performance challenges. For instance, querying distributed data sources is a new issue that businesses will encounter as Cloud computing grows in popularity.
Mounting costs, increasing government regulation, stringent e-discovery requirements and the increasing complexity of their IT infrastructures will bring significant changes to enterprises that are prepared to meet those challenges.
Can Cloud databases overcome scaling and performance issues that have plagued conventional databases for years? As things now stand, to gain access to data in the Cloud, conventional data-management technologies require that all the data be stored in a centralized database in a single location. Beyond that, conventional data-management technologies are severely limited in their ability to manage unstructured data.
What, you may ask, is a Cloud database management system? We define it as a database management system that can query data across multiple distributed databases located in multiple geographically dispersed data centres, including Cloud data centres.
Conventional database management systems, particularly relational database management systems as currently engineered, could not fulfil the role of a Cloud database management system.
Designed four decades ago, they have centralized architectures that prevent them from being effectively distributed across data centres. To satisfy the most important characteristics of a Cloud database management system, a distributed peer-to-peer architecture is needed.
Businesses need data-management technology that can effectively access data in any format, distributed anywhere across global computing networks. Eliminating the need to upload or download large volumes of data across the Internet will be a requirement for the Cloud computing networks of the future.
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