How Centrify is Innovating in the Four Biggest Trends in IT … #1 Big Data

Recently at a CEO summit hosted by one of our investors I heard the CEO of VMware say that the four top of mind items for CIOs are Big Data, Mobile, Cloud and Security. This echoes what Gartner has been saying since late 2012 that these are the top 4 “big trends” that will “change IT.” Even IBM announced this week as part of their restructuring that these four areas are their most significant “strategic imperatives.”

big 4

As I reflect on these “Big 4” items of Big Data, Mobile, Cloud and Security, I truly believe that Centrify has a great and differentiating story in all four areas and can add value to any CIO initiative in any and all of these. In fact I think we are setting that bar for innovation vis a vis identity and the Big 4 trends, e.g. being the first identity vendor to deliver comprehensive privilege management for Hadoop, the first vendor years ago to deliver an integrated identity and mobility management solution delivered entirely in the cloud, etc. This also means Centrify can take advantage of multiple “rising tides” that will let us further accelerate our business vis a vis other identity vendors who may take advantage of just cloud or security. In a series of four blog posts I want to discuss how we address each one of these“Big 4” items of Big Data, Mobile, Cloud and Security, and the recent product enhancements we have introduced in these four areas.  Today’s post will focus on Big Data.

Big Data

The Big Data market is exploding — one analyst says it will grow from $2 billion in 2013 to more than $50 billion in 2020 — and with any solution that can store all your sensitive and business critical data including customer, financial and personally identifiable information (“PII”), there is a need for additional security that complements and extends what is provided by the platform vendor. Hadoop is one of the most top of mind solutions vis a vis Big Data, and given the strategic nature of the data being stored and analyzed in Hadoop clusters, user access to Hadoop should be secured and audited. Only the right people with the right privileges can and should access Hadoop. In addition, user activity needs to be closely audited to address regulatory compliance requirements such as PCI, SOX, HIPAA, NERC/FERC, FISMA, and others.

Hadoop Market Size Courtesy of Wikibon
Hadoop Market Size Courtesy of Wikibon

At the same time, Big Data deployments represent a major net new infrastructure. It is imperative that Hadoop customers can leverage existing skillsets and infrastructure so resources can be focused on getting their Hadoop clusters up-and-running vs. spending time setting up parallel infrastructures to pre-existing solutions such as Active Directory.

With that in mind, Centrify recently announced the industry’s first privileged identity management solution for Hadoop-based Big Data infrastructures, as well as partnerships with industry-leading Big Data vendors Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR. With the release of Centrify Server Suite version 2015, organizations can now leverage their existing Active Directory infrastructure to control access, manage privilege, address auditing requirements, and secure machine-to-machine communication with and across their Hadoop clusters, nodes and services.

I must admit this is one of the cutest logos out for a product I have seen
I must admit this is one of the cutest logos out for a product I have seen

Specifically, Centrify has built a number of features and compatibility enhancements in the areas of Kerberos network authentication, service account management and Active Directory and Hadoop interoperability into Centrify Server Suite 2015 to address these concerns and further extend the security capabilities provided by the Hadoop platform vendors to now offer robust privilege management for Hadoop environments. Key to Centrify’s solution is that it lets an organization leverage its existing investment in Active Directory to audit and secure access across Hadoop clusters, nodes and services. This approach also simplifies and streamlines Hadoop deployments by allowing organizations to utilize existing identity infrastructure and skillsets. In addition, to ensure compatibility as well as vendor collaboration when it comes to technical support, Centrify has built comprehensive integration guides and received product certifications from each of the major Hadoop providers.

Centrify offers comprehensive Identity Management for Hadoop
Centrify offers comprehensive Identity Management for Hadoop

We did not build this stuff in a vacuum. Starting more than a year ago, dozens of our enterprise customers begin to embark on their Big Data journey, and in doing so they saw immediate significant value in their Centrify identity management solution being applied to their new Hadoop deployments. These customers encouraged us to optimize our solution for Hadoop, which we gladly did, and by collaborating with them and the major Hadoop vendors, over the past year we have built a number of Hadoop-specific enhancements which cumulated in the shipment of Centrify Server Suite 2015.

Net net we are very proud that we already have more than 50 large enterprises today doing some form of Centrify and Hadoop integration. And based on the initial reaction to this product release, there are have many more customers looking to “Centrify” their Cloudera, Hortonworks and/or MapR deployments. We look forward to working further with these customers and vendors to deliver even better identity management solutions for Big Data.

In my next blog post I will talk about how we address another one of the “Big 4” — mobility — and discuss some of the newer capabilities we have just introduced.