February 21, 2024

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Exclusive: Hybrid Cloud – the architecture of the future

There’s public cloud, private cloud, and now hybrid cloud. There’s good debate on which cloud computing type is best for an organisation and project type. Whichever you choose, Hortonworks Chief Technology Officer, Scott Gnau, thinks hybrid cloud is the architecture of the future. I have a chat with Scott about what this means for the industry in an IoT centric world.

With over 35 years in the big data business, there’s no question about Scott’s passionate for data. Currently, he oversees the company’s engineering product management and support service team. The team looks after everything that the company builds and sells, including the Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF). A scalable, real-time streaming analytics platform, HDF provides key actionable insights. At present, the company is looking towards streaming this information for IoT use cases.

The Challenges of Hybrid Cloud

Many of the IoT related problems today are in collecting, storing and analysing data. Protecting and guaranteeing form the other half of the problem, Scott begins.

Aware of this challenge, Hortonworks broadened their portfolio to incorporate these capabilities into HDF and are trying to expand this across hybrid cloud.

Hybrid cloud is becoming more important today. With multiple people moving to the cloud, be it public or private, a trail of hybrid footprint is being created. Scott thinks the footprints are going to be around for a very, very long time.

He gives a brief of the situation, “Different vendors and different manufacturers will have different cloud footprints that they use. And the whole point behind it is that data is going to live in many different places, across hybrid kinds of footprints – some in cloud, some in multiple public clouds. So it’s unrealistic to think that all of the data will be in one place. With that in mind, there should be a toolset that is required to make that work architecturally.”

IoT Tower of Babel

If hybrid cloud is to take the world by storm, then a common set of standards and infrastructure must be in place. This will be an important enabler for the entire industry, says Scott.

“This is why we’ve been investing heavily in our customers like Apache Atlas and others in the industry. We invest in the community, a consortium which we call an ODPI platform initiative, where we are trying to drive a standards base around better data management etc. The idea is the more commonality that we can create in that space, the more value we can bring to customers who try to collect and connect data. And we do it with open source standards,” he explains.

From an economics perspective, he thinks that creating a common set of standards is cheaper than buying new software. Having certain industry wide standards will also be much more desirable since data can be better consumed.

A connected Smart City is only as good as it can get if there is better data management. Sensors should be able to speak a common language for an easier cloud immigration.

Scott says, “If every device vendor uses their own language then no one knows what they are speaking. But if there’s a standard, a standard API, then those devices can all connect together.”

Weaving the Data Fabric

To avoid a Babel-like downfall, a cohesive data fabric must be built. Here, three success factors are needed.

First, a common set of services in terms of security governance and operational management must be established.

Scott elaborates, “If you’ve got data living in many different places, the last thing you’ll have time to do is to implement several different security strategies for each one. You want to build it once and enforce it across each of those places. That requires common services.”

This advice applies to security, governance and operations.

Second, organisations should strive for intelligent connectivity. Moving all the data onto a single platform is unrealistic. What organisations need to do, is to selectively move data to make for efficient processing. Organisations want to be able to define the data flows in real-time to improve the rate of connectivity.

Application portability is the third important success factor for building a data fabric in a hybrid world. The same irk of having data stored in multiple places applies.

“You don’t want to have to rewrite every application for each storage medium. You want to create a common set of software stack so that you can run the application wherever the data lives,” Scott elucidates.

To the end of these three factors, it is the reason why Hortonworks has built the portfolio they’ve built. It leverages on the best of apache opensource, so that in a connected data-driven world, companies can implement a very flexible data fabric.

Protecting the Connected Dots

Claiming that the standards need to be there is the easy part. But who should be driving the change and laying the law?

Scott thinks enterprises, more than government, are most suited to advice on these standards because of their industry knowhow.

On that note, there is no clear reading of the tea leaves on national regulations for data privacy and security. Only one thing’s for sure, laws like GDPR will evolve and become more stringent. In anticipation of that, data lineage, data management and governance will become more important.

The only way to fully understand the scope of the laws is to have full enforcement over meta data tracking. Understanding the data eases when organisations have knowledge of the content of their data, what the data represents, who can access that data, and where it is hosted so that traceability is possible.

“It is only when you can create that traceability or lineage, that you can be fully compliant,” suggests Scott.

Wrapping up, Scott says, “Over the last two years, I’ve talked about better data management and governance, and in many instances, people thought that was very esoteric kind of conversation. But in fact, it is very realistic. Because if you have that in place, you can immediately guarantee that you are compliant with all these regulations because you have that lineage available to you.

“And so, one of the things we can do to help the industry, within public and private sector, is in enforcing better data standards, so that as regulations change, and they will change consistently, it is very easy to take a look at the data assets available and ensure compliance.”

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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