Data Mesh: An Innovation or a Catchphrase?

October 18, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[2]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

Have you ever heard of data mesh? It’s a concept that has been around the tech industry for a while but is gaining more traction through media outlets. Most of the hubbub comes from press releases, such as TechCrunch’s: “Nextdata Is Building Data Mesh For Enterprise.”

Data mesh can be construed as a data platform architecture that allows users to access information where it is. No transferring of the information to a data lake or data warehouse is required. A data lake is a centralized, scaled data storage repository, while a data warehouse is a traditional enterprise system that analyzes data from different sources which may be local or remote.

Nextdata is a data mesh startup founded by Zhamek Dehghani. Nextdata is a “data-mesh-native” platform to design, share, create, and apply data products for analytics. Nextdata is directly inspired by Dehghani’s work at Thoughtworks. Instead of building storing and using data/metadata in single container, Dehghani built a mesh system. How does the NextData system work?

“Every Nextdata data product container has data governance policies ‘embedded as code.’ These controls are applied from build to run time, Dehghani says, and at every point at which the data product is stored, accessed or read. ‘Nextdata does for data what containers and web APIs do for software,’ she added. ‘The platform provides APIs to give organizations an open standard to access data products across technologies and trust boundaries to run analytical and machine-learning workloads ‘distributedly.’ (sic) Instead of requiring data consumers to copy data for reprocessing, Nextdata APIs bring processing to data, cutting down on busy work and reducing data bloat.’’

NextData received $12 million in seed investment to develop her system’s tooling and hire more people for the product, engineering, and marketing teams. Congratulations on the funding. It is not clear at this time that the approach will add latency to operations or present security issues related to disparate users’ security levels.

Whitney Grace, October 18, 2023


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