Is distributed data realistic? | InfoWorld Otesanya David April 1, 2022

Is distributed data realistic? | InfoWorld

Is distributed data realistic? | InfoWorld


The idea of distributed data is an old concept that lived in white papers and PhD theses more than in the real world. I remember talking about distributed data in my database design college class back in the late 80s, with the belief that it would likely show up the next year. It never did.

The idea has been consistent throughout the years: No matter where we store data, by using a common set of services or data management control plane, we’re able to deal with it all, no matter where it physically exists, as one logical grouping of data. This data is available at any time, by anybody, for any purpose. It’s federated, democratized, and it’s completely transparent as to how this magic occurs across clouds, edge computers, devices, and legacy systems.

Fast forward to 2022, and we’re talking about much the same concept as we did 40 years ago. What’s different is that we now have the ability to pull it off at a reasonable price. Also, we have emerging concepts such as cloud native, which we’re defining as a common stack where the private and public clouds are the foundation, but the foundation clouds don’t typically provide services (or data) directly to the applications or analytical tools. 

A few things are driving this right now.

First, we finally have a working and reliable global network; certainly, that will hopefully be the case when 5G completes its rollout. 

Second, there’s interest in maintaining data on edge systems outside of the data center and cloud providers, meaning any device or server that can store and process data.

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