The NSA and Big Data: What IT Can Learn

Jul 19, 2013


The NSA and Big Data: What IT Can Learn 

Recent revelations about the NSA's cyber-spying capabilities are an IT version of sausage-making: Everyone knew something was going on, but it all seemed much more disturbing once the messy details were exposed. While there's plenty for privacy advocates and civil libertarians to grouse about, the technologies underpinning the NSA's data collection and analysis programs provide much for IT pros to cheer. The agency has built a scalable, extensible, secure big data system that rivals, and in some cases exceeds, anything cloud heavyweights like Google, Amazon or Apple have deployed.

We’ll examine the open source and commercial technologies the agency uses in its big data collection and analysis infrastructure, diving into details about Accumulo, the BigTable- and Hadoop-based system it developed and later open sourced, and discuss promising applications for the enterprise. These cyber swords in the war on terror can indeed be bent into IT plowshares in the quest for business success. (S7250713)


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