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Cloudera Open Sources Sentry Tech to Secure Big Data

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Posted July 24, 2013 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

How do you secure access to Hadoop? Cloudera has an answer.

In all the hype surrounding Big Data and its potential benefits, little time has been spent talking about its security implications. That is, until now.

Hadoop vendor Cloudera today announced its new open source Sentry technology that aims to help provide a new level of security for Big Data.

Justin Erickson, Cloudera's director of Product Management explained to eSecurity Planet that Sentry provides secure, fine grained, role-based access control for Hadoop. The system also provides for multi-tenant administration that enables multiple levels of management on a per-database basis.

Sentry is open source technology, and Cloudera is submitting to the Apache Software Foundation as an incubated project. Apache is home to the mainline Hadoop effort and its associated projects.

With Sentry, Cloudera's goal is to expand the usefulness of Hadoop so organizations will feel more confident about storing and analyzing sensitive Big Data information.

When deployed the system will work with existing identity stores including Microsoft Active Directory and LDAP. Those identity systems can then be mapped against a Hadoop system with users and groups assigned policies for access via Sentry.

The Sentry system can plug directly into Cloudera's CDH 4.3 Hadoop distribution today. Moving forward, Erickson said Sentry will be an integrated part of CDH 4.4 when that distribution becomes available later this year.

Over time, Cloudera's plan on the commercial side is to have some management dashboard overlays in the Cloudera Enterprise release. Erickson said that some form of an enhanced Graphical User Interface that will make Sentry easier to manage is likely. There will also be other forms of integration for Sentry and Cloudera Enterprise for security policy.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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