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For efficiency and effectiveness, public agencies lining up for flash

As government agencies gather more data, they are facing a mounting challenge of how to effectively manage and analyze massive datasets.

Jeff Rowe | May 18, 2018 12:00 am

Like their counterparts in the private sector, IT managers at federal and state agencies understand the benefits of effectively managing and analyzing ever-growing amounts of data.  Specifically, as a recent article at Fedscoop sums it up, “If they can tap into the full potential of their data collection, they can put it to smarter use, analyzing information for things such as better road traffic control, to see population health patterns or even to design infrastructure projects.”

To that end, agencies have come to rely on big data tools to reduce their data center requirements, improve computing performance and begin to look at their data in real time, but they’re also “beginning to benefit from the growing capabilities of flash storage, which, together with big data analytics tools, are facilitating the adoptions of AI and machine learning.”

Indeed,  according to John Karagozian, Global SAP Lead for Pure Storage, “Applications like SAP’s HANA is churning out big datasets and allowing you to do customized reporting, to do high-speed analytics, to do real-time analytics, and really kind of put that data to work for you.”

The current trend in big data management, the article explains, “is to move away from traditional relational databases . . . and move toward next generation technology, that rely more on columnar databases. The columnar approach allows information to be moved much faster and to pull real-time data, which increases computer capability and performance.”

SAP HANA, a database management and application development platform, adds analytical horsepower to the process by doing the computing work in-memory instead of on servers.

While some stakeholders wonder how much storage can matter given new analytics capablities, Karagozian says,  “The reality is, there is a whole lot of storage interaction … so even just loading a database into HANA can be very time consuming.”

In other words, innovations in flash drive technologies are an important part of the equation. When an organization is managing backup and recovery at the storage platform level, flash-to-flash is a high-speed method that can make the process both time and cost efficient.

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