Symantec Offers Simpler, Lower-Cost Solution to Analyze Big Data

Symantec has introduced a free add-on to its Veritas Cluster File System that delivers big data analytics technology without the added infrastructure and management costs of other big data applications.

Symantec, known for network security and storage management technology, offers what it says is an easier way for enterprises to perform big data analytics on their vast databases of operational information.

The Symantec Enterprise Solution for Hadoop, introduced Aug. 13, is a free add-on to the Symantec Veritas Cluster File System for storage area networks. The Solution for Hadoop is simply overlaid onto a customer's storage area network (SAN), without the expense of additional hardware infrastructure or management systems while avoiding duplication of databases under analysis.

Hadoop refers to the Apache Hadoop open source software framework for creating big data analytics applications, which study petabytes of data in order to glean business insights from it. For example, an online retailer could analyze millions of sales transactions to discover customer preference trends or to analyze various pricing strategies.

Dan Lamorena, the director of product marketing in the Symantec Storage and Availability Management Group. "They end up buying a bunch of commodity servers and a bunch of storage and then you have to migrate all the data from your primary storage over to this new infrastructure.""One of the things we found with Hadoop is that people basically build out a whole new infrastructure to do data analytics," he said.

To avoid that, the Hadoop solution does the data analytics directly on the SAN where the enterprise is already doing whatever transactional computing is being done by the business, such as tracking sales at an ecommerce site, Lamorena explained. "The way we do it is that if you already have our Veritas Cluster File System, you can actually run the Hadoop stack on top of that," he said.

The Enterprise Solution for Hadoop was developed by Symantec in partnership with Hortonworks, a provider of support and services for the Apache Hadoop community.

The system runs the analytics wherever the data sits and makes Hadoop highly available without any performance penalties.The solution allows users to run analytics applications on up to 16 petabytes (PB) of data.

Big data is a relatively new phenomenon in enterprise IT and there have been several different forecasts of the market's size and importance. But the big data trend is something enterprises have to address, said Evan Quinn, an analyst with Enterprise Strategies Group (ESG).

"For the first time there are technologies to help organizations take real advantage of the mountains of data they sit on, plus the ever-increasing data volumes that flow through the organization every day," Evan wrote in a blog addressed to enterprise managers. "Many of your competitors have already jumped into these technologies. Ignore them, both your competitors and big data technologies, at your own considerable risk."

According to an ESG survey of close to 400 business decision makers released in July, two-thirds of respondents identified improving data analytics as one of their top five business priorities over the next 12-18 months.