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SolarWinds expands DataOps portfolio with Database Mapper

A year after acquiring SentryOne, the IT management software vendor is out with updated tools to help organizations better understand where data came from and where it is going.

SolarWinds is expanding its portfolio of software tools for organizations to manage databases and data operations.

The IT management software vendor on Oct. 19 unveiled its Database Mapper and Task Factory, which bring new DataOps capabilities gained with SolarWinds' acquisition of database tools vendor SentryOne in October 2020.

SolarWinds has been best known in recent years as the victim of a massive data hack discovered in December 2020 in which nation-state hackers burrowed into thousands of U.S. government agencies and private organizations. But the vendor, based in Tulsa, Okla., also provides a suite of databases and database management systems among its other enterprise IT software products.

After the SentryOne acquisition, SolarWinds expanded and enhanced the new database tools.

Database Mapper is a DataOps tool for understanding where data is in different databases. It now includes data lineage capabilities to help users better understand where data comes from. Task Factory is a data pipeline tool enhanced with new low-code capabilities to make it easier for users to build data workflows.

The integration and expansion of the SentryOne data tools into the SolarWinds portfolio are part of a broad effort from SolarWinds to build more capabilities for DataOps.

In June, the vendor launched SolarWinds Database Insights for SQL Server, which merges SQL Sentry, which was the flagship product of SentryOne, with technology from SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer.

SolarWinds is headed in the right direction with its DataOps portfolio, said Stephen Elliot, an IDC analyst.

Screenshot of SolarWinds Database Mapper with data lineage capability
SolarWinds Database Mapper now integrated a data lineage capability to help users analyze sources of data.

"With new public cloud-based database models, users are now asking for more platform coverage, and the ability to integrate that data with other tools to obtain an end-to-end view of a service," Elliot said. "For efficient and effective root cause analysis and resolution, this is becoming paramount."

With new public cloud-based database models, users are now asking for more platform coverage, and the ability to integrate that data with other tools to obtain an end-to-end view of a service.
Stephen ElliotAnalyst, IDC

Database Mapper brings data lineage to DataOps

Rohini Kasturi, chief product officer at SolarWinds, said understanding how data changes over time is a core capability that the Database Mapper tool has refined.

Kasturi noted that databases are often tied to applications, and keeping track of where data originated from can be complicated. With data lineage, Database Mapper now provides more visibility to database administrators to identify the path that data has taken into a database, and then ultimately out to an application.

Another new area for Database Mapper is dependency mapping for applications. Kasturi explained that as organizations scale out application workloads, they often realize that they are dependent on the scalability of an underlying database. So it's important for organizations to understand a given application's database dependencies to provide better visibility and options for workload scaling, he noted.

Database documentation for DataOps workflows

Kasturi also highlighted a new feature in Database Mapper that SolarWinds refers to as automated database documentation.

The documentation feature is not focused on documenting how the database works, but rather on generating metadata documentation for what's in the database. The documentation feature is similar to capabilities provided by a data catalog, as it enables tagging of data, such as personally identifiable information.

The data documentation in the SolarWinds Database Mapper can cover both on-premises and cloud data sources, including Salesforce.

Task Factory brings low-code to DataOps

The Task Factory tool now provides a new interface to help users build out complex DataOps workflows, with a low-code interface.

Kasturi said the updates abstracts the complexity of data transformation from different sources into databases.

"Users can select from pre-built blocks that are there to do batch data operations," he said.

Looking forward, Kasturi explained that the direction that SolarWinds is taking with its DataOps tools is to help enable data migration to the cloud.

"We want to tie more closely to cloud migration scenarios and make it easy for customers, whether data is on premises or in the cloud, to move from one place to another place," he said.

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