Earlier this year, Information Insights announced a partnership with jSonar, enhancing data security capabilities with the SonarG solution for further optimizing Guardium environments. Led by Ron Ben Natan, former CTO/founder of Guardium, this additional layer of protection takes advantage of next-generation Big Data technology to enhance and expand the platform’s resources in a number of key areas.
Since that announcement, I’ve met with many of jSonar’s Guardium clients to discuss SonarG, receiving feedback on our approach, along with insight into current challenges and goals for expanding the functionality and value that they get from Guardium.
We were quickly able to pinpoint the source of SonarG’s enthusiastic adoption - it provides a powerful set of capabilities that perfectly complement the challenges and goals that the majority of Guardium deployments are facing.
Over the next few weeks, we will outline the findings from these conversations to address common concerns from customers, along with insight into how these are solved via SonarG – focusing on three major areas of enterprise data management: infrastructure optimization, improving data access and enabling security analytics.
Challenge One: Secure Infrastructure Optimization
The majority of clients that I spoke with are continuing to expand their Guardium footprint, driven by increasing database counts and a need to open up their policies to capture and monitor more sensitive data. Knowing that this growth directly translates into increased infrastructure and operational costs, they are looking for complementary technology that would allow them to minimize the “care and feeding” overhead of Guardium while also reducing costs. The overwhelming message was How can we….?
· …reduce infrastructure and storage costs while collecting more data?
· …simplify the collection architecture to enable better use of the data?
· …kill aggregators and their processes, latency, instability, etc?
· …increase retention periods from 15-45 days to a year or more?
We designed the SonarG architecture to simplify Guardium architecture and help customers focus more on the data output and less on the challenges of collecting and managing what is often many TBs of activity data distributed across many appliances.
Looking at the architectural diagram, a key change is clear: Aggregators are eliminated. All Collectors send their data to a common SonarG warehouse, which is typically a single commodity server or instance optimized for low cost, large storage and high performance queries.
Nothing changes on the STAP, Collector and Central Manager fronts, other than enabling the collectors to push data to the warehouse using an extraction method that was jointly developed with IBM using data mart technology. With the right patch level and a couple of simple scripts, data extraction is up and running. You can even test this in parallel with your aggregators, since the SonarG system can run concurrently.
With the SonarG approach, you can embrace broader policies and collect much more data without fear of negatively impacting their Guardium environment.
This simple change in architecture provides a number of key benefits that tie directly into the challenges highlighted earlier:
- We’ve eliminated Aggregators completely while consolidating data into a central data warehouse and cost effectively extending retention periods
- We’ve reduce Collector storage from 600GB to 60GB and eliminated the challenge of managing long term data on the collectors
- We’ve reduce collection latency from 24 hours to 1 hour
- We’ve increase collector throughput by 10-20%
The next blog in the series will look into how SonarG can greatly improve access to increasingly large volumes of data, securely, across teams. Think self-service reporting and hundreds of different tools that your team can use to securely access relevant data.
Guest Author: Chris Brown, jSonar