2015 EMC World & Federation Business Data Lake

By David Dietrich April 30, 2015

In late March, EMC announced its Federation Business Data Lake solution. Earlier in Q1, I also changed roles and joined the Big Data Solutions group as Director of Technical Marketing, where I now focus on the Federation Business Data Lake platform and related technical marketing initiatives.

Although it has been used over the past 3-4 years, the term Data Lake still seems new and foreign to many people. Most often, I find there is a misperception that the data lake represents a data repository only. In this case, isn’t it akin to storage? How about a database? Is it a database – naturally, that stores data too… ? The reality is what EMC is providing is a full technology stack to ingest, store, and analyze data ,  to surface insight and act on it.  Below is a high-level view of the architecture.

EMC Business Data Lake 1-0

As you can see, the storage and databases and data stores are not the sole focus.  Rather, the intent is to provide organizations with a mechanism to solve the problems of data acquisition, data storage (hardware and software), analytics capabilities, and then the ability to access these data layers via API’s and Cloud Foundry toward the top of the stack. The result of this reference architecture and set of supporting services is that organizations have an opportunity to go from knowing they need to do something with Big Data but not knowing how to begin, which technologies to choose, and which people to get to assemble and configure the Big Data technologies, to having a ready-made technology stack that can address these needs in as little as one week.

This represents a massive jump in productivity and time to value, because it changes the questions within the enterprise from “which tools do we need?” and “do we have anyone in IT who can work with each of these strangely named tools?” to “OK, we know the stack now, so which Big Data projects do we want to focus on first, second, and third?”. With this new-found understanding, IT is equipped to re-orient the relationship it has with the business units from one in which IT is expected to troubleshoot problems and configure systems, to one in which they have an opportunity to provide more value to achieving a company’s Big Data vision and strategic Big Data initiatives.


This is one of the topics I will discuss during several sessions at EMC World in Las Vegas. I invite you to attend my session – EMC IT: How We’re Creating New Business Value From Big Data & Business Data Lakes – where I will touch on the Federation Business Data Lake that EMC is offering as well as some of the skills organizations need to take advantage of these tools. To give you an insider’s perspective, I will be joined by Sean Brown who has spent the last few years at EMC building out the big data platform for EMC IT, and he describe how EMC IT has undergone this transformation over the past few years.

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