The world’s largest tech companies are battling over real estate in the cloud. Whichever company can compile the most data centers will have a competitive advantage in providing efficient data retrieval and organization services. It looks like Amazon may be there already…

War Over Cloud Storage: IBM Prepares for Big Data

More data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race. New data is being created every second, more platforms are integrating with the cloud, creating data. Every second we perform 40,000 search queries, which means 1.2 trillion searches per year. According to Forbes, by 2020, at least a third of all data will pass through the cloud.

IBM is preparing for the era of big data, announcing plans to construct four more data centers in the UK. Once the newest centers are completed IBM will have 16 data centers across Europe, and more than 50 worldwide. IBM uses this network of data centers to power its cloud business, the servers allow IBM customers to access services like Watson and IBM analytics applications. As data keeps growing at an alarmingly fast rate, the onus will be on organized storage.

How do you store and segment increasing amounts of data to prepare it for analysis?

As it turns out, IBM is playing catch-up. Amazon has heavily invested in cloud storage services for years, to support Amazon Web Services: a subsidiary of that offers a suite of cloud-computing services that comprise an on-demand computing platform.

Similar to IBM’s network of data centers, AWS has constructed a global infrastructure built around Regions and Availability Zones. Availability Zones consist of one or more data centers, all with redundant networking and connectivity, housed in separate facilities. Availability Zones comprise Regions, which are simply physical locations in the world with multiple Availability Zones.

War Over Cloud Storage: IBM Prepares for Big Data


The key part about Availability Zone’s is they allow the ability to operate production applications and databases that are more tolerant and scalable than a single data center. This is where Amazon has the crucial upper hand, and it shows.

AWS has steadily cut prices for data storage as the operation has grown. Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, has stated as much: “The lower pricing is a direct result of scale.” AWS can now segment its retrieval options for archived data, tiered according to speed of retrieval. Customers can pay more money for faster data retrieval.

Big data analytics are entirely dependent upon effectively warehousing data. Every major tech company is aware of this trend, as most have opened data centers in the UK and Ireland. In four years, 92% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers, according to Forbes (versus 8% by traditional data centers).

Watch out for the War of the Cloud to increase in the coming years, as major tech companies like Google, Amazon, Oracle, and IBM try to corner the market for cloud data storage.

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