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Alluxio 2.8 improves data orchestration platform security

Open source-based data platform provider Alluxio is updating its namesake technology with enhanced Amazon S3 support and improved security for cloud data access.

Data orchestration vendor Alluxio on Wednesday is out with the general availability of the 2.8 release of its namesake platform, providing users with new options and controls for connecting data across different environments.

The vendor, based in San Mateo, Calif., has been building out its data orchestration platform as an open source project, as well as in an enterprise edition that provides organizations with support and enhanced features for visualization and security.

The new release is the first major update of the vendor's platform since November 2021, when it released version 2.7 alongside a $50 million Series C round of funding. For most of Alluxio's history, the data orchestration platform has focused on enabling data analytics applications with technology that brings data together for analysis. With the 2.8 version, the vendor is now also targeting general data virtualization applications.

Among the new features in both the open source and enterprise versions of Alluxio 2.8 is an enhanced Amazon S3 API for better connecting and managing cloud data. For enterprise users, Alluxio 2.8 now also provides data encryption support and an enhanced policy engine for data management across cloud and on-premises resources.

Kevin Petrie, an analyst with Eckerson Group, said that with Alluxio's latest release the vendor is seeking to improve data access while minimizing unauthorized usage.

Enterprises struggle to stay agile and still control risk as they manage data science, analytics and data applications in complex distributed environments. Alluxio understands these challenges.
Kevin PetrieAnalyst, Eckerson Group

"Enterprises struggle to stay agile and still control risk as they manage data science, analytics and data applications in complex distributed environments," Petrie said. "Alluxio understands these challenges."

Alluxio data orchestration enables a new data virtualization layer

Adit Madan, senior product manager at Alluxio, said the vendor's platform provides a way for organizations to more easily access data, wherever it may reside. Alluxio serves as a middle layer connecting applications to source data, without the need for users to copy data, he said.

"We as a company are introducing this layer, which sits between the applications on different compute engines, and the storage systems, be it in one or many  data centers or across a cloud," he said.

With Alluxio 2.8, a key enhancement is to the Amazon S3 interface to make it more generic, so it will work for any type of application.

Alluxio has long focused on data analytics as a primary use case, but in recent years has found increasing success as a data virtualization layer for applications of all types. Alluxio has long supported S3 as a source for data, though there were some capabilities lacking that didn't matter for analytics, Madan noted.

One of the new capabilities that is part of the enhanced S3 API in Alluxio 2.8 is support for metadata tagging. With metadata tagging, more information can be associated with data objects. Associated metadata is often useful for data exchange and can help enable more applications than just data analytics, according to Madan.

Security gets a boost in Alluxio 2.8

S3 support is also getting a security upgrade in the Alluxio 2.8 release.

Madan said an increasing number of Alluxio users are moving data from on-premises data centers to the cloud. Users have existing encryption and controls for access on premises and now need the same types of capabilities in the cloud.

For S3 access, Alluxio 2.8 supports a capability known as master delegated S3 tokens. Delegated S3 tokens provide access with AWS Identity and Access Manager for overall control. A master delegated token makes it easier to have visibility over what applications are accessing storage.

Alluxio data orchestration improves data management policies

Organizations are also using Alluxio to move data to the most optimal location for storage, in terms of cost and performance.

Alluxio 2.8 now provides advanced storage tiering policies, with which users can define where different types of data should reside. For example, data that is more commonly accessed and is needed for real-time access requires a higher degree of performance, and often cost, than data is less often accessed.

Looking forward to the next release of Alluxio, Madan said the vendor will keep its focus on improving the platform's performance as organizations increasingly use large volumes of data.

"For the next release in particular we're looking at bringing down latencies across multiple regions and also scaling the system up," he said.

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