Secure Big Data Management is the Path to a Better Enterprise

Introduction:

Zettaset was founded in 2009 with the goal of becoming the undisputed leader in secure Big Data management within the Hadoop environment. Since we are an ISV, distribution-agnostic, and compatible with Cloudera, Hortonworks, as well as with analytics partners including Actian and Informatica, we enjoy a unique market position. We can give you an unbiased opinion of the benefits, the advantages, as well as the gaps that exist in the Hadoop/Big Data ecosystem.

One of the primary hurdles facing Hadoop is security.

While Hadoop may have its challenges, its approach, which allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers, represents the future of Big Data.  But what about security?

Securing Hadoop

Hadoop, like many open source technologies such as UNIX and TCP/IP, was not created with security in mind. Hadoop evolved from other open-source Apache projects, directed at building open source web search engines. Hadoop was a spin off sub-project of Apache Lucene and Nutch projects, which used MapReduce and a distributed file system without built-in security. Hadoop is also the open-source version of the Google MapReduce framework, and security was not designed into the software, as the data being stored (public URLs) was not subject to privacy regulation.

The open source Hadoop community supports some security features through the current implementation of Kerberos, the use of firewalls, and basic HDFS permissions. Kerberos is not a mandatory requirement for a Hadoop cluster, making it possible to run entire clusters without deploying any security. Kerberos is also difficult to install and configure on the cluster, and to integrate with Active Directory (AD) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, (LDAP) services. This makes security problematic to deploy, and thus constrains the adoption of even the most basic security functions for users of Hadoop.

That’s one of the reasons we have developed Orchestrator, which uses software automation to simplify the installation and administration of Hadoop.  Orchestrator eliminates the complexity and time-consuming manual processes associated with most open source distributions, providing a superior user experience.  Orchestrator also includes advanced features that support enterprise-class security and high availability, again exceeding what is available from the open source community today.

Conclusion:

Let’s face it: Hadoop is complex and daunting to most users. And Hadoop’s core open-source specifications still do not adequately address enterprise requirements for robust security, policy enforcement, and regulatory compliance. That’s to be expected from a technology with consumer-focused origins in Google and Yahoo.

Dedicating teams of engineers or professional services to deploy and manage Hadoop drains business resources quickly. At Zettaset, we believe that software should do the heavy lifting around Hadoop installation and day-to-day administration…including cluster access control and security policy enforcement…enabling IT staff to spend more time on application development and other strategic projects.

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