Big data and cloud computing are the trending terms in the information technology (IT) world. The terms have also grown popular among business owners who are willing to take advantage of technologies to expand their businesses. However, big data and cloud computing are also some of the most confused terms in IT.
Big data is not only a term used to refer to big volume of data, but also used to mean a refreshing way of gathering, storing, organising and analysing numerous types of data.
Big data is can be explained as huge volume data that are analysed with computers for identifying trends, patterns and similarities. It is a terminology that explains large quantity of data (structured, semi-structured and unstructured) that can be processed for valuable information.
When talking about big data, there are key characteristics that are combined together that makes it up.
Characteristics of Big Data
Big data is identified by certain important characteristics. These features are volume, variety and velocity of data.
To qualify as big data, the data in question has to be of great volume. Such data must be within the range of exabytes, petabytes or terabytes in a given duration. Also, it should come from different varieties of sources including sales record, gathered findings from experiments and internet information.
Moreover, a data cannot be christened big data unless it is in wide variety. Big data is commonly of different file types such as structured data, streaming data and unstructured data.
Finally, big data is usually analysed at a great speed (velocity). Velocity is an important characteristic of big data because big data analysis is continuous applied in different fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
Cloud computing is the technology for sharing computer facilities instead of owning personal resources or in-house services to run programmes. Cloud computing is a term used to explain the storing and access data and applications through the internet.
The term cloud in ‘cloud computing’ connotes internet. The internet, as opposed to hard drive, serves as platform for running applications and saving files.
Cloud Computing Categories
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS cloud computing involves the use of internet-based applications to finish tasks. SaaS applications are also known as web services and users can access them through compatible devices and internet facilities. Microsoft Office 365 is an example of SaaS
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS refers to an aspect of cloud computing that is concerned with file transfer. This service provides users with a specific storage strength for configuring, accessing and restructuring their space. Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Amazon Cloud Drive are popular examples of IaaS.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is an aspect of cloud computing that helps users to develop and manage software applications through host development tools that are provided by PaaS providers. Some of these providers are Google App Engine, AWS and Force.com
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Conclusion: Big Data Vs Cloud Computing
While it seems that these two concepts are similar, they are entirely different. Big data refers to voluminous, large sets of data whereas cloud computing refers to the platform for accessing large sets of data. In other words, big data is information while cloud computing is the means of getting information.