Forbes, Trefis Team, Nov 18, 2011
President Pat Gelsinger, Big Data is a $70 billion industry and growing at a rapid rate of 15% to 20% a year. In our view, this helps put to rest the notion that 'Big Data' is just a fanciful marketing term. 
As IDC puts it, "Big Data developments will be perhaps the most critical new marketplace for storage solutions providers in the coming decade. Providing a strong portfolio of complete Big Data solutions - hardware, software, and implementation services - will be a high priority to succeed." 
These are indeed exciting times for storage players like EMC, NetApp, HP, IBM, and Dell among others that now face the challenge of securing their position in an industry undergoing rapid changes. We see outsized returns for the companies well positioned for this trend like EMC.
The cloud enables Big Data
In reality, the concept of Big Data has really kicked in with the rise of cloud-based service providers like iTunes, Netflix, Youtube and Facebook, which are primarily in the business of gathering, organizing, and providing access to large quantities of digital content.
In addition, cloud-based service providers like Salesforce.com, Amazon web services and others that have focused on delivering IT infrastructure and applications "as a service."
Over the past several years, these companies have undertaken massive storage build outs as they have expanded their service offerings, entered new markets, and extended their geographic reach.
... The real value from 'Big Data' is expected to be in the form of high-end analytics, predominantly using data mining, statistics, optimization and forecasting type of capabilities to proactively turn this data into intelligence to drive business benefits and better decision making capabilities.
Given the vastly different nature of 'Big Data' from the traditional structured data, the tools required will also have to be different or rather entirely new.