If the amount of data generated from RFID equals the hype, DBAs should take cover, writes Database Topic Center editor Lisa Vaas. In the meantime, here are some ways to get ready for the data onslaught.
Granted, there are still plenty of questions about the potential ROI of RFID. As Larry Dignan wrote in "Baseline," one of eWEEKs sister publications, the tags remain expensive, as they hover above the goal of 5 cents. Not only that, Dignan noted, there simply arent many vendors producing tags that will suit the likes of mandate-setting Wal-Mart, and its unclear whether the ones who areIntermec, Alien Technology and Matricscan do so in the quantity needed to get the per-tag cost down to where everybody thinks it should be.
Putting aside both the hype and the questions about ROI, one thing is certain: A good number of DBAs have to get ready to handle an RFID-generated onslaught of data. Estimates put that outflow at anywhere from 10 times to 100 times the data now being generated from similar bar-code applications.
Ouch. No wonder Oracle, with its 10g clustering message, is salivating. If I had a technology road map whose future was based on a solution for massive scaling needs, Id be cheerful about those estimates, too. At any rate, here are some things to keep in mind if youre working in an environment where RFID may be looming:
Prepare yourself for much, much larger amounts of data. You might think you currently have the right amount of employees, databases, storage and data-warehousing. If your firm is considering RFID, rethink all of those components.
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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.