When I read the blogs and articles about Big Data, the subtext is always Big Money. Even though many of the tools themselves are open-source, they all seem to require Big Infrastructure and a horde of lavishly-paid consultants and brainiacs to get deployed. It's hard to read a "big data" story about anywhere where people appeared to pay attention to how much things cost.
This is rather frustrating. While it's interesting in a sort of Hollywood-gossip way to read about how Megacorp or a multibillion-dollar "startup" deployed a zillion-rack Hadoop server farm, cooled by Icelandic glaciers, and baby-sat by a thousand people all over the world, in order to mine fascinating new ways to better separate customers from their cash, it doesn't help me much here in reality-land. Here, I'm "the guy", and we have some money to play with, but not an enormous amount - and we watch every penny.
Fortunately, I have a few tricks up my sleeve, and I'd love to learn more. But I wish the database world would lose its fascination with big-data porn and have some real life examples of how people are solving big-data problems with real-life budgets and personnel constraints.