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Elevating data fabric to data mesh: Solving data needs in hybrid data lakes

Tune in for the next post in the Trino Summit 2022 recap series. In this post, we’re joining Saj from Comcast, to talk about their migration from a data fabric to data mesh. Saj shows you that there is more to the buzzword than meets the eye. He gives a solid overview of why Comcast is taking data mesh to heart.

Check out the slides!

Recap #

Comcast engineer Sajuman Joseph brings us through Comcast’s process to move from their initial use case of using Trino to power their data fabric architecture to include more governance features by leveraging Trino. Data fabric enables querying data across distributed data sets, but importantly, it allows Comcast to transparently migrate data across on-prem and cloud storage without impacting users.

Despite offering query federation, data fabric still misses out on a higher-quality experience that data mesh aims to solve. Not only does having access to the data matter, but also adding data quality checks and a dedicated owner to ensure the data is correct and consumable. The ownership is split by domains defined by Comcast. It is the responsibility of the owners to ensure data quality, compliance, and security on the data they own. This data can be exposed internally or externally as a data product. While many of the drivers for this are done through company policy, there are technical means to make this possible. This includes improving metadata on the data, access logs, global data catalogs, and managing data access.

Trino facilitates a single point of access and is the a primary location where policies are enforced. Comcast created an engine called the Enterprise Policy Hub which syncs with all data stores and compute engines to enforce company policy and update metadata on all data across Comcast. Trino, along with other query engines, consults this engine to determine what information a user has access to, who owns the data, and creates an audit trail of what queries are run.

There are still some open challenges Comcast is looking to overcome. Data discovery is a large challenge for anyone looking to find a specific table and who is responsible for updating it. Another interesting area Comcast is researching is creating automated retention and minimization of data copies. This talk was exciting and gives a pretty clear roadmap to some beneficial changes many teams can make to improve the quality and governance of their data sets.

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