3rd Platform and Beyond
Walter Schroeder, CSE – Big Data Solutions at NetApp A/NZ.

In my last post in April, I explored NetApp’s newly launched SANtricity 11.25 and the 3rd platform, looking at how NetApp’s technologies are enabling companies from all sectors to use Big Data to its full advantage.

In recent times, we’ve seen Big Data come through the hype cycle, to a point where it is starting to show some real benefits. Where the first two platforms worked to streamline processes to generate efficiencies, the 3rd platform meets the customer’s demand for greater visibility and business performance through Big Data.

Not only does this innovation provide greater insight into consumer behavior, industry statistics and general business operations, it also enables system automation. Automation lets organisational processes think for and heal themselves. It also frees up IT resources, and allows businesses to make the best decisions in a fast-changing corporate landscape.

SANtricity 11.25 and NetApp EF-Series all-flash arrays offer a stable platform to do all this. They provide the compute power needed to drive business optimisation and innovation, and the reliability to back everything up, (supported by storageGRID for an extra level of protection).

Data remains a business’ most treasured asset, and with data streams scheduled to reach 50 Billon by 2020, now more than ever it is vital to understand and draw value from this asset. The 3rd platform means that more and more companies are monitoring and utilising their data rather than struggling to manage and understand it. But this isn’t where the data revolution ends.

With this amount of automation, we’re now seeing the enterprise sector embrace the next wave in technical innovation; the 4th platform, or the Internet of Things (IoT). In an enterprise scenario, we’re seeing sensors delivering data to newly automated systems, which process this data, rather than relying on people. Not only does this free up resources, it also reduces the potential margin for error and means that companies will have a greater ability to respond to market trends in real time.

The financial services markets are taking full advantage of these new innovations. Banks in particular are making a big noise in this space. Every decision from increasing revenue to mitigating risks is driven by data and analytics, and they’re even embracing the industry’s newest darling, blockchaining.

Block chain is a 3rd platform style application that disperses a continuously growing database across multiple platforms at the same time. These data records become hardened against tampering and reduce the need for intermediaries by creating a safe, transparent record system.

Banks are utilising this new technology to distribute immense amounts of data. It enables them to speed up and secure everything from share trading to peer-to-peer lending as well as foreign and virtual currencies.

In my third blog post next month, I’ll be exploring video analytics, another sector which is embracing the 3rd and 4th platforms, supported by NetApp technologies.

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