The title is somewhat misleading in that I am sure there are many user tasks that go beyond the scope of Big Data and Cloud Computing to satisfy. However, being a dinosaur-type with over fifty years of professional experience in the telecom environment, I am continually amazed by the capabilities and associated minimal costs with implementation of systems and processes that were only dreamed about when I started in the telecom business.
I come from an age when the telecom business was “data-rich” and “information-poor”.
Today, the specter of machine learning and sliding near real-time windowing of critical data is no longer a pipe-dream.
I have worked successfully with customers who have seven years of various types of telecom transactions on-line and can access this information in a matter of minutes to provide meaningful insights into their business. This type of benefit is scary in that it puts the onus on the user to think big enough.
Interestingly enough, the old constraints of having to build and maintain dedicated data centers or invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in main-frame/server hardware platforms or hire and train legions of full-time computer operations staff to make this happen have been eliminated.
Instead, vendors like Amazon Web Services and Google Computing take the pain out of the computing business in terms of start-up and maintenance over time.
The concept of recording and storing billions of ISUP, SIP and TCAP messages daily such as those produced by signaling networks in call set-up and service provisioning are now routinely put in place in short time periods and at reasonable cost.
In this environment, the computing user must have a good handle on required variables such as storage disk size, numbers of required virtual CPUs and network usage which are all blended and priced in terms of dollars and cents per some number of minute intervals.
In addition to the infrastructure, there are a myriad of software and services vendors in the market who routinely operate in these surroundings to solve your most pressing data processing needs.
As I said, you are only limited today by your ability to dream big. You can only fail when you stop pushing yourself to solve business problems.
Even at this point in my career, I still enjoy the challenge of being a contractor charged with managing the use and performance of sub-contractors who do all of the heavy lifting.
Each time that I succeed in attaining an objective that would have been thought as impossible even ten years ago there always seems to be something more to be learned or harnessed.
We have come a long way from the time of card tabulating machines and panel wiring to today where we are actually capable of predicting outcomes and identifying hidden bits of perception that can drive us to even greater achievements.
The old US Air Force slogan of “nothing is impossible it only takes longer” certainly does apply to where we are in our growth as information providers.