The Stack Archive

Big data analysis revolutionising business

Tue 8 Apr 2014

Using big data and the cloud was leading to a business revolution said Toby Owen, head of technical strategy for Rackspace.

He told delegates at Cloud Expo Europe of the efforts of parcel carrier UPS to calculate how its drivers could avoid left turns in right-hand drive countries because they took longer. Doing this saved 10 million gallons of fuel, 100 tonnes of CO2 and shaved 91 million miles off its annual mileage.

He further cited the particle science research organisation, CERN, which produced images of particle collision at about a petabyte a second, which was too much information to store. Researchers needed to filter out the data that was not interesting and save the data that was interesting. They now store about 35 petabytes a year.

Proprietary software to analyse that data was expensive, he said, so the researchers were replacing that with OpenStack and allowing self-service access by scientists. “CERN won the Nobel prize for discovering the Higgs boson particle, so you could say OpenStack helped win the Nobel prize,” Owen said.

After the Boston Marathon bombing, the FBI appealed for video footage and had so much that after six days of sifting through it manually, they turned to a company that had technology to search video looking for specific search parameters. “In six minutes they had isolated images that led to the subsequent arrest and prosecutions of the two packpackers,” he said.

He concluded: “Start building knowledge now.”


business Cloud data news Rackspace
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