Seldom-used metadata could be next gold mine, says NetApp CTOSeldom-used metadata could be next gold mine, says NetApp CTO https://c-suitenetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/seldom-used-metadata-could-be-next-gold-mine-says-netapp-cto.jpg 919 613 C-Suite Network https://c-suitenetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/seldom-used-metadata-could-be-next-gold-mine-says-netapp-cto.jpg
In 2006, an online retailer came up with an idea to let users rent unused capacity on the company’s virtual computers. Eleven years later, Amazon Web Services Inc. is generating $16 billion in annual revenue.
In 2008, three starving students thought that the notion of renting out unused space in their apartment might form the basis for a mildly successful business. Nine years later, Airbnb Inc. now generates nearly $3 billion in profits from rentals around the world.
Not every underused property has this kind of value, but there is an idle byproduct of digital exhaust that some information technology industry observers are beginning to scrutinize more closely than ever before: metadata.
It’s data that describes data, information created alongside every file that tells the user when it was last accessed, who opened it, when it was modified, and a host of other details. It’s information rich, eminently searchable, and potentially very valuable.
“Metadata becomes almost more important than the data in many cases. We can anticipate architectures where the data drives the processing,” said Mark Bregman (pictured), senior vice president and chief technology officer of NetApp Inc.
Bregman stopped by theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile livestreaming studio, and spoke with co-hosts Rebecca Knight (@knightrm) and Peter Burris (@plburris) during the NetApp Insight event in Berlin, Germany. They discussed potential uses for metadata, similarities between new cloud models and the ride-sharing revolution, new tools for processing data at the edge, a future role for blockchain, and how a recent NetApp acquisition highlights the need for in-memory computing. (* Disclosure below.)
This week theCUBE features Mark Bregman as our Guest of the Week.
Metadata can become self-aware
At the core of metadata’s future value is its ability to become self-aware, capable of being infused with enough intelligence to know which processes it must execute at any given time — or which ones it should not. In this scenario, data contains rules about who can see it, such as in the not-too-distant future when autonomous cars are plying the roads in greater numbers and accidents happen.
With literally hundreds of sensors and cameras capturing and storing every second of the autonomous car in motion, driverless vehicles will have a robust trove of available data in the event of a mishap on the road. “The insurance company needs to know who the car owner is, but maybe they don’t need to know something else, like where I came from,” Bregman explained. “The authorities might need both.”
The IT industry has been built on a model where administrators who needed a particular service went out and bought…