Gazzang buy gives end-to-end encryption for Cloudera Hadoop

The acquisition means that industries with strong security regulations will be able to use Cloudera's Hadoop distribution

Cloudera will incorporate technology from its acquisition of encryption software provider Gazzang into Apache Hadoop so that industries with stringent security regulations can use the big-data processing platform.

Gazzang's technology will permit Hadoop use by organizations that have legal requirements to encrypt data across the entire system, said Mike Olson, Cloudera chief strategy officer. Terms of the acquisition, announced Tuesday, were not disclosed.

Regulations such as the U.S. health-care industry's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, retail's Payment Card Industry and Europe's Data Protection Directive, all require end-to-end encryption.

"Those folks need very strong security guarantees," Olson said.

Cloudera has already made Gazzang's encryption and key management software available for download to Cloudera customers and is currently folding the technology into the Cloudera Enterprise distribution.

Cloudera Enterprise already comes with many encryption capabilities -- for instance, data stored on the HDFS (Hadoop File System) can be encrypted.

But other parts of Hadoop do not have built-in encryption. Data that comes into the system from one of the streaming engines, such as Apache Sqoop, is not encrypted. Nor is metadata, the catalog data that describes the data being stored. Configuration information about a Hadoop cluster is not routinely encrypted either.

"There are pockets of data that need to be encrypted. Gazzang does that across the platform," Olson said.

Gazzang also provides a central, industrial-strength, registry for the keys used to encrypt and decrypt data.

"No vendor in the Hadoop space right now offers integrated security encryption and key management for the platform," Olson said.

Gazzang's key management software operates separately from a Hadoop implementation, which is a separation required by many security regulations, Olson said.

Cloudera will also make use of the Gazzang engineering team, who will tackle other Hadoop security challenges, such as security testing and certification, improving the security of the Hadoop core, and helping to integrate software and services from other security vendors into Cloudera Enterprise.

Cloudera is also part of a project founded by Intel, called Rhino, to strengthen Hadoop security, focusing on perimeter security, access control and data protection.

Based in Austin, Texas, and formed in 2010, Gazzang specialized in providing encryption capabilities for applications and databases running on Linux, with a speciality in big data-styled analysis systems. The company's products have been tailored and certified to work with IBM Informix, Amazon Web Services, as well as the DataStax Enterprise and Pivotal HD Apache Hadoop distributions.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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