Data Virtualization and the U.S. Federal Data Strategy
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The U.S. Federal Data Strategy, announced last year, is a call for agencies to modernize their data infrastructures. This sounds complex, time-consuming, expensive, and risky, but with data virtualization, agencies can modernize their data infrastructures with significant agility, improving time-to-value, while also implementing robust data governance provisions, to greatly minimize risk.

Data Virtualization and the Modern Data Infrastructure

Data virtualization helps the modernization process by enabling real-time access to the data in current and new systems, simultaneously, so that agencies can, for example, migrate from a traditional on-premises system to a cloud-based system, without users even being aware that a migration has taken place. This means that agencies can upgrade a critical system – or completely replace it – at their own pace, with zero downtime.

How Data Virtualization Works in the Federal Data Strategy

Data virtualization is a modern data integration technology that provides real-time, integrated views of data without requiring source data to be replicated. Data virtualization works across the whole organization, as a universal data-access layer.

The data virtualization layer itself contains no actual data; it merely points to the data that is stored in the appropriate source system(s). The only data contained by the data virtualization layer is the critical metadata necessary for accessing the different sources.

With this type of approach to data integration, source systems can be moved or replaced without users being aware, as the data virtualization layer, leveraging its metadata, takes care of all of the data-access details on behalf of the user.

Because all users access all data through a single “gate,” data virtualization makes it straightforward for data stewards to control access, enabling them to specify, with granularity, which users or groups have the ability to see or modify which data.

Extended Benefits for Government Agencies in the Federal Data Strategy

With the rich metadata stored by the data virtualization layer, agencies can also easily track the lineage of any data set, identifying all users, modifications, transformations, and dependencies in the data set’s history. This means that with data virtualization, complying with increasingly stringent regulations is both quick and effortless.

Data virtualization works with existing infrastructure, regardless of how it is set up, so it is much easier to implement than other solutions, especially those that require hardware replacement. And with its support for real-time data delivery, it can support a wide variety of the use cases described in the Federal Data Strategy, beyond those that call for modernized infrastructure.

Data Virtualization and the Public Sector

For more information about how data virtualization can support government agencies and other organizations in the public sector, including white papers, deep dives, case studies, and solution briefs, see the Denodo Public Sector and Education page.

Fred Baradari
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