Discovering the Value of Virtualization and Cloud

The age of big data is here and with it comes a unique set of problems.  Anne Buff, business solutions manager for SAS best practices at the SAS Institute, hopes to help companies avoid those pitfalls by showing the importance of virtualizing data environments or taking advantage of cloud technologies.

Buff will explore the advantages of data virtualization and cloud technologies at Data Summit 2015, in a presentation, titled, “What Virtualization and the Cloud Have to Offer. " She will be joined by Lindy Ryan, research director, Radiant Advisors' Data Discovery and Visualization Practice, who will present a separate talk on "Data Virtualization for Data Discovery."  

The two-day event, which will be held May 12-13 and preceded by a day of workshops on May 11,  will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown. Buff's and Ryan's Data Summit presentations are scheduled for 10:45 am on Wednesday, May 13.

Cloud and data virtualization will be important to solve the myriad of problems companies and IT departments may face in the future, Buff said.  

“Data virtualization gives a whole new aspect to the data architecture or data environment as far as moving forward. We have such great capabilities in front of us today as far as data is concerned that we need a place to put it together faster,” explained Buff. Data virtualization provides organizations with the ability to do that, along with allowing the business and IT sides of organizations the opportunity to work closer together in a much more agile fashion, and also helping to reduce the complexity by allowing the existing systems to "play nicely together," she noted. “It also gives us the ability to scale as necessary.”

In addition, data virtualization can provide “a fantastic sandbox environment or staging environment” to evaluate the value of the data, said Buff. However, she acknowledged, it’s not right for every environment. “It depends on the business outcome of what you’re trying to achieve.”

Cloud, on the other hand, means something different to everyone, and provides its own set of advantages, said Buff.

“The real advantage is the opportunity to offload some IT burden that has existed for so long and do it in whatever is necessary for each organization,” she said. “It’s this customizable capability of moving whatever needs to be shifted that has been a burden for whatever reason.” Cloud technologies can help create space for storage and software, and they can help with maintaining and upgrading systems, said Buff.

Buff’s presentation is coming at a time when IT departments are struggling to take on more projects, while resources are being stretched to the limit. “We have this increased need for niche skills on specialized products but we also have a decreased IT personnel or IT personnel resources,” Buff said. “As these two things work against each other, being able to outsource that to a hosted solution in the cloud becomes incredibly valuable.”

Using cloud and data virtualization helps raise the bar on increasing staff productivity, Buff said. “There is a lot to gain from the Data Summit as a whole, and understanding these technologies to really put them in play will help people make the most of their data.”

For more information about Data Summit and to register for the event, visit

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