by Thor Olavsrud

RainStor Adds Enterprise-Grade Security, Search to Hadoop

Jun 25, 20134 mins
Big DataBusiness IntelligenceData Management

The database specialist, which boasts data compression technology that can reduce storage footprint by up to 97 percent, upgrades its database with a host of enterprise-grade security features and search functions to help large enterprises put big data into production.

The idea of big data—of unlocking the power of data you already have—is a seductive one.

Many organizations have spent the past several years kicking the tires on Apache Hadoop and associated big data technologies to see what they can do. But putting those technologies into a production environment is easier said than done, especially in highly regulated industries: Where’s the security? Where’s the audit trail?

RainStor, a database specialist with a data compression technology, that’s designed to reduce storage footprints by up to 97 percent, believes it has an answer.

Today the firm announced an upgrade to its database to add enterprise-grade security and search for Hadoop. RainStor said the upgrade will smooth the path for rapidly increased adoption of Hadoop by its customers, which include some of the world’s largest banks, communications providers and government agencies.

“Hadoop is a tremendous technology to cost effectively scale and manage big data but gaping security holes expose organizations to data breaches and malicious use,” says Mark Cusack, chief architect at RainStor. “RainStor fills this critical need. We worked closely with our customers to fully understand their requirements around data privacy, trust and integrity.”

“When you put Hadoop into production, especially if you’re a telco or a large investment or retail bank, you suddenly have to think about the sensitivity and importance of the data,” says John Bantleman, CEO of RainStor. “If you lose a webclick, nobody cares. But if you allow unauthorized users access to high-value data … the requirements are just so much more rigorous. You need good authentication. You need to manage encryption keys and have an understanding around how the data is used.”

RainStor Adds Enterprise-Grade Security Features

RainStor has added a number of security features, including the following:

  • Data encryption. The upgrade adds rapid data encryption at rest to protect massive data volumes.
  • Data masking and views. It includes new SQL functions to mask sensitive data. When combined with table-level security, unauthorized users will only see masked data.
  • Kerberos, LDAP, Active Directory and PAM support. The upgrade adds standard authorization and authentication capabilities to enable trust within a Hadoop environment.
  • Audit trail and tamper-proofing. The upgrade adds built-in auditing functionality to log and track all data changes to meet regulatory compliance requirements.
  • Configurable data disposition (with record-level delete). The upgrade adds efficient deletion of individual records from tables containing trillions of records in clustered environments, enabling efficient data lifecycle management.

RainStor Helps Speed Search in Hadoop

The upgrade also focuses on search, providing multiple access tools for business query and analysis across petabyte scale data sets on Hadoop. RainStor says its intuitive search capability performs 10 to 100 times faster than standard SQL by rapidly narrowing results to a subset of data, which analysts can then use to conduct further exploration using standard SQL and BI tools.

“Our banking and communications customers running Hadoop want a range of query tools to answer known and unknown questions, and we now offer the broadest range of options so they can pick the right tool for the job,” Bantleman says. “If you are a large bank looking at all transactions conducted by a specific trader, you can start with search and then dive in deeper using standard SQL.”

Bantleman says RainStor’s search requires minimal resource overhead from low index load (one to five percent), simple management with no index sharding and scalability to multi-petabyte data sets, allowing search across billions of records.

Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. Email Thor at