Hadoop and NoSQL drive big data boom

Investments in technologies such as Hadoop and NoSQL will underpin much of the growth in the big data analytics market in the coming years, with non-relational solutions set to increase at around twice the rate of the sector as a whole.

This is according to a new report from Forrester Research, which found that over the next five years, big data will grow at a rate of around 13 per cent a year. However, NoSQL is set for a compound annual growth rate of 25 per cent over the period between 2016 and 2021, while the projected figure for Hadoop is 32.9 per cent.

It also noted that this year, some 30 per cent of organisations have implemented Hadoop, up from 26 per cent in 2015. Meanwhile, 41 per cent of professionals stated they had already implemented NoSQL or were expensing its use.

A further 20 per cent expect to undertake a NoSQL deployment in the next year. The report observed this is proving to be particularly useful for applications such as ecommerce and graph data databases, while open source options can help companies reduce the cost of their big data initiatives.

Analyst at Forrester and author of the report Jennifer Adams said: "Five years ago, big data was still a buzzword, but today, it's a standard business practice."

She added one of the key reasons for Hadoop's robust forecast is its ability to run data-intensive applications that legacy solutions would be unable to handle. For example, the report highlighted Arizona State University's Hortonworks cluster, which is used to store four petabytes of cancer genome data, as one scenario where Hadoop is breaking down barriers to research.

The need to manage huge volumes of data is also a key driver for NoSQL implementations, Ms Adams stated. For instance, eBay uses a MongoDB deployment that is able to store up to one billion live listings, while PayPal uses Couchbase to handle databases of one billion documents.

Cloud computing is another area set for growth, and is a major factor driving interest in Hadoop. The report noted: "Hadoop in the cloud allows the analysis of more data using cheaper infrastructure and enables faster advanced analytics."

As a result, the number of organisations using a cloud-based service to store unstructured data has increased from 29 per cent in 2015 to 35 per cent this year.

Elsewhere, a separate report from Forrester has identified 15 emerging technologies that are set to have a huge impact on the world over the next five years, and it is clear that being able to effectively analyse data will be critical if businesses are able to take full advantage of many of them.

For example, the Internet of Things was named by Forrester as one of the top five innovations that will change the world by 2021. It noted this will drive "new levels of customer insight and engagement" by the end of the forecast period, but some firms will need to undergo organisational change in order to make the most of this.

Augmented and virtual reality, intelligent agents, artificial intelligence, and hybrid wireless were the other top five technologies named by the research firm.

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