With so much talk about “big data” lately and data-focused companies like 10gen and Delphix recently grabbing large funding rounds, it’s a topic that won’t be going away any time soon. But what exactly is it and is there an easier way to comprehend just how big it all is?

Typically, big data describes working with monster-sized data sets that are hard to manage using standard database tools. Thus, we have all kinds of companies scrambling to provide new software and tools to manage, store, and analyze those data sets. Other big data startups that have seen investments include Cloudera, Palantir, Datahero, and Precog. On top of that, big dogs like Google, Yahoo, and HP are providing their own solutions too.

HP-owned Autonomy has taken a stab at trying to explain “big data” with a new infographic. Autonomy’s private cloud surpassed 50 petabytes in April and just last week, the company released new tools focused on big data, so clearly the company has big data on its mind.

Check out the infographic below:


Top photo credit: VLADGRIN/Shutterstock