Most Big Data projects use variations of a Big Data reference architecture. Understanding the high level view of this reference architecture provides a good background for understanding Big Data and how it complements existing analytics, BI, databases and systems. This architecture is not a fixed, one-size-fits-all approach. Each component of the architecture has at least several alternatives with its own advantages and disadvantages for a particular workload. Companies often start with a subset of the patterns in this architecture, and as they realize value for gaining insight to key business outcomes they expand the breadth of use.