Simplifying data management in the cloud

Let’s face it. We’re painting ourselves into a corner given the number of special-purpose, cloud-native databases we’re placing into production. This without regard to how we should be using those databases in ways that allow for easy access and understanding of . Today, they are typically coupled to applications, and have a tactical and not a strategic purpose.

This is not the purpose of data, and not the promise of the cloud. Keep in mind that data in the cloud was built up in our minds to make data more accessible and centralized. Finally, we would be able to do “wonderful things with our data.”

This is not to say that data and databases have stayed expensive to obtain and operate. That alone has been a major advantage of public clouds. You can go from “need a database” to “have a database” in about a day or less thanks to the wonderful world of on-demand cloud infrastructure.

But the ease of obtaining cloud-native databases, and thus building net new databases, has led to a data complexity issue, with a few core downsides:

  • Typically, there is no common understanding of all enterprise data and the context of that data. Data still is largely siloed, perhaps even worse than it was 10 years ago when our journey to the public cloud began.
  • Now we face unintended consequences, such as not having the understanding needed to deal with security, data governance, or even leveraging a “single source of truth.”

We do have ongoing projects tackling the issue of data complexity, such as the Linked Open Data . The Linked Open Data Cloud provides a loosely coupled collection of data, information, and knowledge that’s accessible by any human or machine with access to the Internet. The intent is to create an abstraction layer provided by the web. It permits both basic and sophisticated lookup-oriented access using either the SPARQL query language or SQL, to provide access to structured and unstructured data much in the same way that we have accessed web pages to get at image and text pages since the web started.

Of course, an array of technology providers offer solutions as well, such as master data management, data virtualization, and other technologies that allow you to manage complex data in improved ways. In other words, providing data semantics and metadata management outside of the databases, cloud or not.


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