In Oct 2010, Autonomy's private cloud was at 17 petabytes, in Aug 2011 it was at 31PB, now it's over 50 petabytes and it's not even a year later. If this isn't a sign that big data has arrived, nothing is.

That's A Lot of Data - Big Data

Autonomy's announcement maybe doesn't surprise many because big data has become one of the hottest topics in both content management and customer experience today. To put 50 petabytes into context, Autonomy put it this way, "is equal to 665 years of HD-TV video, or 1 billion four-drawer file cabinets filled with text."

So exactly what is growing, the content or the customers? Autonomy says it's both.

Our cloud contains 4 trillion objects and grows by more than a billion more per day. This data is all customer-generated. For example Autonomy works with nine of the top 10 Wall Street banks. But our data also integrates with external information from for example, third party channels or social networks. So we let our customers combine external data with their own data to do analyses for better business."

Keep in mind that this is data that is actively managed by Autonomy -- it's archived, searched, discovered, analyzed and optimized (with the help of Autonomy's IDOL platform). The majority of the data is unstructured, including emails, videos, tweets, Facebook posts, call-center conversations, mobile phone calls and more.

The HP Factor

Autonomy's private cloud uses HP's Converged Cloud infrastructure and it has brought Autonomy a number of benefits including the adoption of HP's hardware storage and security layers, as well as access to HP's consulting arm which has enables Autonomy to build out services and analytics offerings.

Customer Experience in Autonomy's Private Cloud

Autonomy offers a number of services within its private cloud including archiving, data protection, e-Discovery, revenue optimization, multi-channel customer engagement and social media monitoring and analytics. But is there one service that stands out above the rest? Autonomy pointed to enterprise search, e-Discovery and archiving as large uses of the cloud services.

But it also points to a new high growth market for its Promote business which focuses on marketing optimization and social analytics. Within this business you would see solutions for web content management, social media monitoring, website optimization and analytics (what we typically call customer experience management or CXM).

2.2 million terabytes of new data is created every day, and 90 percent of the data in the world today was created within the last two years. Most of it is unstructured data:  that gold mine of messy – but extremely valuable – human information that companies are trying to unlock in order to get into the hearts and minds of their customers. In the CXM space, companies want to be able to tap into that data to analyze in real time what customers want. Because Autonomy understands the context and meaning of unstructured data, companies can analyze customer data as it is generated and optimize accordingly. This is a game-changer that no one else provides.

To be honest, although I did know that Autonomy played a role in the web content management and CXM space, I've not seen or heard a great deal about its products and services in this area. But it's interesting to hear that it's this CXM space that is driving much of their private cloud business. Does Autonomy have the largest private cloud? Not everyone is announcing the amount of data they are storing for customers, so it's hard to say for sure.

Regardless, 50 petabytes is a lot of information and it appears that with the support of HP's cloud infrastructures, organizations can be sure their data is secure, but accessible when they need it.

We'll have to dig a little deeper into Autonomy's customer experience offerings to get a better feel for where they sit in this growing market. If you have experiences you'd like to share, leave a comment.