Let’s Talk Big Data Value Chain!

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Last time I wrote a post on ‘What is big data analysis?’. From the post, I wrote the definition of Big Data Analysis and the estimated market size.

On this post I will explain how the business model is created inside the ecosystem. Also I will show how the value chain flows.

Looking into the ecosystem. There are 3 types of players. Big Data Production, Big Data Management and Big Data Consumption. The ecosystem flows as below. The source is from CM Research.

Big Data Value Chain
The core of the big data analysis business is the management part. The phase is composed of 4 decades. Data acquisition, Data organizing, data analysis and the action with the data. Usually internet companies, vendors and SW& application providers are driving the early stage big data market. These players are trying to leverage the initiatives and core competency with or by big data analysis technology.



Big Data Player!
Then how do they put their strategy and organize go to market?

1. Internet Players

Google was one of the original inventors of Hadoop, the industry standard distributed database platform for big data. It developed the technology in-house and released the basic framework as open source. Its search engine analytics remain far ahead of the field and its Android software provides it with a second stream of big data

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a global leader in cloud-based infrastructure. It has a host of big data products, including cloud databases (e.g. DynamoDB), data storage services (e.g. Simple Storage Services, S3) and analytical tools (Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2).


Microsoft is reportedly spending 90% of its $9.6bn annual R&D budget on cloud computing. Azure, its cloud platform has been gaining traction and SQL Server, is the third largest player in the database market after Oracle and IBM. But Microsoft is hedging its bets by integrating Hadoop with Azure as well.

2. Vendors

Whilst HP’s management appears to be in turmoil, its assets in the big data space are quite strong. It recently purchased Autonomy, a leader in unstructured search analytics, for $12bn. It also acquired 3Par, a data storage company in 2010 and EDS, an IT services company, earlier. It has its own in-house security software, Fortify, its own database management software OpenView, its own server hardware NonStop 9000, server software ProLiant and networking products from 3Com.


EMC is a leader in data storage with well-known brands such as Isilon. Through its 80% shareholding in VMware, a leading virtualisation software company, it is also a leader in cloud offerings. It also has a strong suite of Big Data analytics products including Greenplum which provides enterprise data cloud solutions.

Cisco appears to be shifting slowly away from its commodity hardware business of internet routers and switches towards other unrelated areas such as the smart grid or the television software market. In the realm of big data, Cisco has a history of working with EMC and VMware and is likely to share in their growth markets of data centres, cloud computing and virtualisation.

3. SW & Application providers

In the 1990s, SAP manufactured one of the world’s most successful enterprise resource management (ERP) systems. Since then it has aggressively moved along the big data value chain. Through its acquisitions of Business Objects and Sybase it now has credible business intelligence and database tools. That has led, in 2011, to the introduction of its big data appliance named HANA (high performance analytical appliance). SAP HANA has been reasonably successful and puts SAP on the list of leading big data players.

With a 42% market share, Oracle is the global leader in database solutions. Despite the open source threat, Oracle has embraced Hadoop and NoSQL in its recently launched Big Data Appliance. Through its 2009 takeover of Sun Microsystems, Oracle already owns Java (the open source language in which Hadoop is written). Like its rivals, Oracle has been busy in recent years acquiring business intelligence companies such as Endeca, RightNow, Art Technology and Hyperion.

NetApp provides storage and data management solutions. Its enterprise software solutions include virtualization and cloud products. Last year it launched its E-series platform for big data analytics.
These are the main players from the market, especially in the management part. Next time I will look into the detailed parts.

Check out more stories on big data!

0. Big Data Definition

1. What is the big data value chain?

2. How does the big IT players approach Big Data Analysis?

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