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Today, Ahana, managed service provider for Presto on AWS, announced new security features including multiuser support, access controls, and audit support for its Ahana Cloud for Presto managed service click-integration with AWS Lake Formation

The organization’s solution aims to provide enterprises with a foundation for high-performance SQL analytics on the data lake via Presto. 

Ahana’s managed service offers enterprises and decision makers a solution they can use to rapidly build and deploy custom analytics solutions for the data lake, while offering security features like access controls to ensure sensitive information can only be accessed by authorized users. 

The challenges of securing the data lake 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Gartner found that 52% of enterprises planned to invest in a data lake over the next two years. One of the key reasons for this investment was that many organizations were looking for a more cost-effective storage solution than data warehousing. 

While this has offered enterprises cost savings by eliminating the need to structure data before storing it, it’s also created new security vulnerabilities due to its lack of onboard security capabilities. 

“We’re seeing more companies use the data lake to store their business-critical data, and as a result more people within those companies need access to that data lake,” said Dipti Borkar, cofounder and Chief Product Officer of Ahana in an exclusive interview.

“However, the data lake itself doesn’t have security or governance built-in, and a new unified authorization layer has emerged on top of storage — that’s why we’ve focused on deep integration with that layer so that platform teams have a piece of mind when enabling company-wide analytics of their data lake,” he said.  

With the company’s latest announcement, “companies can implement fine-grained security policies on top of their data lake, ensuring the right people have the appropriate levels of access to the data they need,” he said. 

Making data lakes transparent  

The announcement comes as researchers anticipate the data lakes market to increase from a valuation of $3.74 billion in 2020 to $17.60 billion by 2026, as more enterprises look to data lakes over data warehousing, because of decreased operational and space requirements. 

It’s worth noting that Ahana isn’t the only provider to have extended security support to data lake enterprises, particularly in the realm of user access controls. 

One of Ahana’s main competitors is AWS with Amazon Athena, a serverless interactive query service that enables users to query and analyze data in Amazon S3 with SQL that comes with identify and access management capabilities, and helped contribute to the company’s wider revenue of $16.11 billion in Q3 of 2021. 

It’s also competing against data warehouse providers like Snowflake and Amazon Redshift, the former of which generated $312.5 million in product revenue last year. 

However, Ahana is aiming to differentiate itself from existing solutions by offering more control and visibility over query performance, on a managed service basis. 

“We’re seeing more companies shift from or augment their data warehouse with the data lake. The Open Data Lake Analytics stack enables companies to run their warehouse workloads on the data lake, and Ahana is the heart of that stack. Now with these new security and governance features, we’re bringing even more ‘warehouse’ capabilities to the data lake,” Broker said. 

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