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Flexible, more usable data through Intelligent Data Virtualization

Dan Schulwolf Profile Pic
Posted by Dan Schulwolf
September 9, 2019


Blog Post -Flexible More Usable Data

Enterprises migrating to the cloud must go beyond simply “lifting and shifting” data into the cloud and embrace an approach that fundamentally transforms how data will be used.

AtScale enables the four important capabilities of intelligent data virtualization:

  1. Brings all data sources forward to be visible and valuable to users.
  2. Facilitates data security and data governance.
  3. Allows disparate data silos to be viewed as a single data source.
  4. Makes it simple and reliable to use any BI tool to work with data.

1 - Brings all data sources forward to be visible and valuable to users

AtScale enables users to access data repositories regardless of the location or platform on which they reside. Whether the database is on an on-premises Hadoop cluster, Google BigQuery, Amazon RedShift, Snowflake or another system, users can find any data source connected to AtScale through the AtScale Design Center and add it to the model they are building. AtScale manages all translations of queries invisibly in the backend, and enables users to conduct joins between different fact tables so that users can assemble richer pictures from which to draw insights.

In addition to bringing all data into the forefront, AtScale also applies machine learning to create intelligent data structures that accelerate queries and reduce query costs. Users running queries on models generated with AtScale will find results will be many times, sometimes orders of magnitude faster. With the AtScale Adaptive Cache, on average, customers see 5 to 20 times faster queries with reduced load and drastically improved user concurrency.

Break Quote: “With the AtScale Adaptive Cache, on average, customers see 5 to 20 times faster queries with reduced load and drastically improved user concurrency.”

2 - Facilitates data security and data governance

AtScale supports best-of-breed security practices wherever possible, from End-to-End TLS protecting data transmissions, to LDAPS, Active Directory, IdP and SAML for authentication. To facilitate security with user and API access, AtScale supports JWT, CORS and REST—all current state of the art in their domains. The Kerberos standard is used internally for AtScale’s ticketing system.

AtScale will always begin at the source database to obtain security entitlement information for a query. Using a patent-pending technology called True Delegation, AtScale checks the security policies of the origin database each time a query is made and applies the entitlements and security policies of the origin database to any data structures called by the query. AtScale therefore ensures every query executed on the VDW is associated with the end user who generated the query. There is never any security leakage from synchronization lags since the parent database is always checked. In addition, security permissions are maintained in data structures and query results transparently, eliminating accidental exposure of restricted or private data.

AtScale’s data virtualization capabilities also enable AtScale to aid in data governance. Virtualization eliminates the need to extract data for local manipulation, thereby protecting data from going stale or getting out of synch with the live database. AtScale’s ability to join fact tables from disparate sources online also aids data governance due to rules built in to the AtScale Design Center that regulate how fields from different sources should be matched together, reducing the chance of incorrect or misleading results.

3 - Allows disparate data silos to be viewed as a single data source

AtScale’s virtualization also enables customers to treat all of their enterprise’s databases as a single data source and a single source of truth, greatly simplifying the process of finding and manipulating data. This aspect of AtScale’s virtualization extends the VDW’s ability to help enterprises maximize access to their data and thereby realize the value that can be extracted from that data.

4 - Makes it simple and reliable to use any BI tool to work with data

AtScale utilizes a translation engine called the Universal Semantic Layer (USL) that acts as a translator between BI tools and the underlying data. The USL understands the interfaces and query dialects of the BI tools and of the underlying databases. When a query is made, the USL ensures that the result from a Microsoft PowerBI query would return the same results as the same query executed from Tableau or Microsoft Excel.

Embrace a Superior Way to Use Data

By abstracting data infrastructure, unifying security and data governance and providing flexible and consistent access to data, enterprises will be able to leverage superior insights and coordination that will directly support the business’s bottom line.

For more on this topic, download our white paper Cloud Transformation: The Next Virtualized Data Frontier for Business Intelligence, Machine Learning, and AI.

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