Google Gussies Up BigQuery For Big Data Crunching In The Cloud

big data analytics

Originally previewed at the Google I/O conference last year, Google's cloud-based internal data analysis play got a major update this week, which was unveiled during a live Web cast at Google's Atmosphere 2011 conference at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. The goal of BigQuery is to give organizations the ability to identify and analyze trends within their datasets.

"Rapidly crunching terabytes of big data can lead to better business decisions, but this has traditionally required tremendous IT investments," wrote Google Product Manager Ju-kay Kwek in a post on Google's enterprise blog. Kwek highlighted the big data struggles faced by online retailers looking to quickly analyze data to make customer recommendations, or an automaker hoping to examine the reach and effectiveness of a recent ad campaign. "Fortune 500 companies struggle to unlock the potential of data, so it's no surprise that it's been even harder for smaller businesses."

The Google BigQuery Service updates help the offering move down market and puts big data analysis capabilities into more hands, Google said.

At Atmosphere 2011, Google Vice President of Product Management Dave Girouard told the crowd that BigQuery can quickly comb through up to 70 terabytes of data and produce analysis.

Sponsored post

"We're not just talking about a lot of data," he said. "We're talking about a lot of data."

The Google BigQuery Service updates also pit Google against other vendors pushing big data and analytics, including HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, all of which are gunning for a piece of the growing big data market as companies struggle to handle and get a read on staggering amounts of data. Market research firm IDC has said that a monstrous 1.8 zettabytes of data will be generated worldwide this year, a number that will increase 50-fold by 2020. Meanwhile, Gartner indicates that the amount of digital data is growing at a rate of 59 percent per year.

Some of the key overhauls in Google's BigQuery include a graphical user interface for analysts and developers to explore massive data through a Web application. Google also improved accessing the service through the API with a new REST API that lets users run multiple jobs in the background and manage tables and permissions.

BigQuery Service users can also write more power queries with the addition of JOIN statements, which let users run queries across multiple data tables, linked by data that the tables have in common, whether the user leverages the Web app or the API. Users can also now more easily manage, secure and share access to data tables in BigQuery and export query results to the desktop or into Google Cloud Storage.

According to Google, BigQuery is currently free and Google will alert users at least 20 days before the free period ends. Google is also adding a host of pilot customers to test-drive BigQuery Service.

Google's BigQuery update was just one of a handful of updates Google made this week at Atmosphere 2011.

Google also added comprehensive mobile device management to Google Apps for Business, Government and Education users for no additional charge.

"Organizations large and small can manage Android, iOS and Windows Mobile devices right from the Google Apps control panel, with no special hardware or software to manage," Google Software Engineer Hong Zhang wrote, adding that IT admins can now also see a holistic overview of mobile devices that are syncing with Google Apps and can revoke access to individual devices as needed and define mobile policies like password requirements and roaming sync by users groups. The Google Apps mobile management updates also add the ability for insight into mobile productivity within organizations, offering admins data on trends and analytics.

Google at Atmosphere also revealed that it will offer all Google Apps for Business users access to round-the-clock phone support for any issue, a change from the critical issue phone support Google offered in the past.