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May 15, 2014
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Hortonworks Acquires XA Secure to Provide Comprehensive Security for Enterprise Hadoop

Today we’re delighted to announce our acquisition of XA Secure to provide comprehensive security capabilities for Enterprise Hadoop. Please join us in welcoming XA Secure to the Hortonworks family.

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Hortonworks Data Platform has seen phenomenal adoption across an ever-growing number of organizations. As part of that adoption, and thanks to Apache Hadoop YARN, businesses are moving from single-purpose Hadoop clusters to a versatile, integrated data platform hosting multiple business applications – combining data sets with diverse processing needs in one place. Forward thinking CIOs are reaping the benefits of vast quantities of data that were previously ignored, thrown away, or simply underutilized.

This kind of adoption underscores the need for a broader set of capabilities for enterprise Hadoop beyond basic data management and data access.  Central to the success of enterprise adoption of Hadoop are capabilities which address operational management, governance, and security administration. We have been describing this set of capabilities, and the technologies that provide them, as the blueprint for enterprise Hadoop.

[hadoop_arch type=”lo”]

Just as CIOs have taken notice of the power of Hadoop, Chief Security Officers (CSO) are now intimately involved in the world of Big Data as well.  Consistent with our commitment to this blueprint for enterprise Hadoop and to address the growing requirements coming from CSOs, we are delighted to announce that we have acquired XA Secure in order to accelerate the delivery of comprehensive security for Hadoop. And consistent with our commitment that this blueprint be delivered in open-source, we will be contributing the capabilities developed by XA Secure to the Apache Software Foundation as a new project for continued community development.

Comprehensive Hadoop Security with XA Secure and HDP

To date, security in Hadoop has been disjointed as each individual component has attempted to address their discrete security needs. For instance, we have worked within the community to deliver Access Controls for HDFS, DBA-friendly Grant/Revoke capabilities for Hive, and most recently Apache Knox to address protecting REST-based access to Hadoop.

What has been missing is a top-down, comprehensive review of security needs across the entire platform.

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With the introduction of XA Secure to HDP and eventually, the broader Hadoop community, enterprises will benefit from a comprehensive approach to central security policy administration for the core security requirements and coordinated enforcement across all Hadoop workloads from batch, interactive SQL and real–time.

The XA Secure team has built and implemented this comprehensive approach with the enterprise in mind; to meet the demands of the CSO.  We are excited to offer these capabilities to our customers and the Hadoop community.  In the near-term, we will offer our customers support for HDP Security which includes:

  • simplified central administration of Hadoop security policies,
  • granular access control enforcement across for HDFS, Hive, and HBase,
  • universal security audit tracking,
  • and compliance conformance controls.

An Open Roadmap

Our team is already busy working with the innovative technology developed by the experts from XA Secure and defining the path forward to provide holistic and centralized authorization support for batch, interactive SQL, and real-time workloads.

We have already received requests to add support for Solr, Storm, and to provide an SDK for partners to plug-in to this central security mechanism.  So, clearly, much work remains to be done.

However, we believe Hortonworks is uniquely qualified to open source this set of capabilities and we will incubate this within the ASF as a new project; staying true to our commitment to 100% open source, developed within an open community, and ensuring our customers can maximize the value of the innovative work being developed within the Apache Hadoop community.

There should be no question about whether our customers are receiving the best of what exists within the community as our investment strategy is squarely focused on the open-source model and not proprietary extensions.  We are never conflicted about which capabilities, features, or components to incorporate within the Hortonworks Data Platform.  We listen to our customers requirements and work together with them to deliver the best the community has to offer.

Availability & Next Steps

We will make this technology available as HDP Security in late June 2014.  At this time, the product will be available for download and supported as part of our HDP Enterprise Plus subscription. In the interim, we intend to deliver a VM image along with a guided tutorial which incorporates HDP and these new security capabilities in time for Hadoop Summit San Jose 2014.  We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the event.

We also hope you will join us for our upcoming webinar to demonstrate this critical new component of the Hadoop ecosystem.



Josh Olson says:

Congratulations Hortonworks! We’ve been advocating for a long time that the heightened security required in today’s corporations is growing… Hortonworks HDP adoption is growing… the combination is fantastic and we are pleased to see more capabilities in this area helping us deliver more value for our clients!

Andrew says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Fantastic news. Any timelines for when the ASF project will open?

Hari Sekhon says:

Outstanding guys. So glad and excited to see you’re going to put it all in to Apache Foundation 100% open source, this is exactly why so many people like Hortonworks and why HW is becoming the de facto ubiquitous “CentOS for Hadoop”. Keep up the good work!

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