Analytics as a Service (A3S)
We are seeing more interest in using cloud computing infrastuctures like Amazon’s EC2 and S3 for number crunching. I can easily see how folks in network security could use a Neural Network service to baseline their network traffic patterns, perhaps crunching massive log files, or even crunching near-real time data if they wanted to pay for the bandwidth.
All of this lends support to the Analytics as a Service (A3S) model, if we want a catchy phrase for it this category of CaaS offerings. Sean Owen on the Apache Mahout developers lists recently said:
You upload your data to S3, run a machine image I provide parameterized with the file location, it crunches, copies the results back, shuts down. It’s attractive since they offer 8-way 15GB machines and the algorithms can easily exploit this to the limit, making it really efficient too.
This aligns quite well with our earlier post, CEP as a Service (CEPaaS) with MapReduce on Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3.
Lot’s of folks have been talking about Analytics as a Service and I think this topic will gather even more momentum in 2009. Large organizations with significant infrastructures and event processing requirements will find the A3S model very useful. Smaller organization will find shared resources like EC2/S3 cost effective. Researchers will benefit. Come to think about it, everyone benefits.