Olivier Le Moal - stock.adobe.co

Solix eyes data lakes as it builds out archive platform

Solix Technologies' latest Common Data Platform update focuses on archiving, sorting and storing customer data for data lake creation and, ultimately, AI.

Solix Technologies continues a years-long pivot from data archiver to data platform aimed at powering AI capabilities with its latest release of Common Data Platform.

On Dec. 13, the vendor added new capabilities and features to Solix Common Data Platform (CDP) 3.0, the company's flagship software suite. New items include SafeArchive, a multi-cloud archiving storage service deployable by the customer as well as security services, such as audit trails and user access controls.

Solix's push to play a more active data management role can have value for organizations attempting to wrangle data across cloud applications and on-premises storage sources as well as into data lakes, said Marc Staimer, president and founder of Dragon Slayer Consulting.

But customers should be prepared for the sticker shock of a multi-cloud lifestyle due to egress fees should they start shifting that data across clouds.

"That's a big problem today in multi-cloud," Staimer said. "Most users discover it today by accident, and it's not a happy one."

Hybrid cloud management

Solix CDP, although built on the vendor's archiving tools, provides data integration, governance and analytics features for 140 different types of data sets using metadata. These data sets include structured and unstructured data, ranging from Oracle databases to Microsoft 365.

CDP competitors include products that provide a global namespace through metadata software such as those from Hammerspace and Komprise, as well as data processing and analytics vendors such as Databricks. The software is built off open source software including Apache Spark and Iceberg for data management capabilities, and AI tools such as MLflow and Meta's Llama 2 for machine learning and large language models.

CDP enables customers to create an organization-wide data fabric, a uniform collection of data assets, and add governance controls such as application retirement for archiving and data maintenance for enterprise apps no longer in service.

Solix opened its doors in 2002 and has more than 200 customers. Founder and CEO Sai Gundavelli said the company has continued to evolve from an archiving service into a more comprehensive suite of features and capabilities, specifically poised to ready data for enterprise AI.

"While our energy was focused on helping [optimize data], now we can help customers monetize their data as well," Gundavelli said.

Next steps

CDP is sold as a SaaS through Solix or privately hosted by the customer either on premises or in a cloud. Having hybrid cloud flexibility for customers in place is important, Gundavelli said, as the debate continues over cloud repatriation.

The data situation that existed 20 years ago is very different from now.
Robin BloorFounder, Bloor Research

"We're seeing both sides," Gundavelli said. "Some of our customers are moving to the cloud, [and] some are bringing the data back into their own environment."

Compared to some of the other big data management software available, the capabilities of Solix CDP are more specialized, Staimer said.

"It's not outdated in any way, [but] it's a bit limited in what it's doing," Staimer said.

The variety of data sets supported by the platform shouldn't be brushed off, according to Robin Bloor, founder of Bloor Research. Archiving and application deprecation capabilities are becoming more valuable as unstructured file data permeates enterprise networks unchecked and is often unsecured.

"The data situation that existed 20 years ago is very different from now," Bloor said. "Most of the stuff that mattered was in structured data. [Solix has] grown into unstructured data."

Tim McCarthy is a journalist from the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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