The cloud is nothing more than other people’s computers, but this simple fact sets out why putting your data on other people’s computers is such a good idea. In a sentence, it means they must worry about the computers, not you. And when ‘they’ is Microsoft, you can bet ‘they’ have plenty more money, skills, security and capacity than you’ll ever have.
Migrating data into the Azure cloud is a very good idea for at least two reasons. The first is that you get all the usual benefits of not having to look after infrastructure, licensing, maintenance and even physical space. All that goes away. Your data is secure, probably costs less to have and no longer puts any overhead on IT staff.
That is a significant (and well-recognised) justification for going into the cloud. But it is the second reason which is the really good one. With your data in the cloud, the scene is set to do things with it, doors open and a whole range of new possibilities emerge.
Those possibilities become clearer when you have powerful tools to work on the data. And that’s where WhereScape RED comes into the picture. Armed with a complete toolset which automates the development, deployment and operation of data initiatives in the Azure cloud, data stops being a cost and starts being an asset to your business.
Using WhereScape RED, you go from raw data, to data warehouses, data vaults, data lakes and data marts rapidly.
First, though, you’ll need some capacity, somewhere to put the data. Because it’s all in the Azure cloud, this isn’t a problem. You simply click a few buttons with a mouse to get the necessary infrastructure lined up in Azure, migrate the selected data onto it, and away you go. The entire process for spooling up anything from an experiment to an enterprise project takes a couple of minutes. And you only pay for the capacity required, for as long as it is required.
Compare that with the ‘good old days’ when getting that sort of capacity would cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and take many months to set up. If you were experimenting, with no firm or set outcome from the data exploration project, let’s face it: you wouldn’t get that far. It simply wouldn’t happen.
Once you’ve got the Azure capacity sorted out, WhereScape RED gets to work. It does just about all the coding automatically, creates and updates the documentation and applies built-in best practices as ‘guard rails’ to get your data initiatives up and running fast.
But the real point of the entire exercise, including putting your data on the Azure cloud in the first place, is to get value from data. That’s what RED really accelerates. Your people can focus on the stuff that matters: conception, ideas, ways to use information, experimentation.
RED on the Azure cloud helps you sort the data out and move rapidly towards extracting information.
Because it’s fast and automated, you get the information and insights in days or weeks, rather than months or years. Impress your superiors with outcomes, rather than beleaguering them with yet another request for expensive servers, storage and other resources. After all, the value is in the analytics, not the infrastructure.
We’re seeing exactly this sort of approach rapidly gaining traction in New Zealand. Azure has the security, flexibility and capacity to handle enterprise data and once clients see this they rapidly appreciate the benefits of data in the cloud. When that’s combined with tools for automation, data truly comes alive.