Data Management

What is a Data Fabric and Why Do You Need It?

Teresa Wingfield

December 20, 2022

Abstract image of a digital network connected by lines and dots representing what a data fabric is

What is a Data Fabric, Anyway?

The data fabric has become a rising trend in technology over the last several years. Gartner defines a data fabric as:

“a design concept that serves as an integrated layer (fabric) of data and connecting processes. A data fabric utilizes continuous analytics over existing, discoverable, and inferenced metadata assets to support the design, deployment, and utilization of integrated and reusable data across all environments, including hybrid and multi-cloud platforms.”

A data fabric provides a consistent set of data services and capabilities across on-premises and cloud environments. It allows users to abstract data from logically and physically different systems into a common set of data objects, so you can treat them as a unified enterprise data set.

What is a Data Fabric Used For?

Data fabrics are not new; they originated in the mid-2000s when computing began expanding from data centers into the cloud. Over time, data fabrics increased in popularity as businesses embraced hybrid clouds. Lately, data fabrics have garnered significant attention as organizations move processing to multi-cloud environments and the edge. Companies are looking for a framework that can move and manage these new loads and securely integrate them into their systems.

Data fabrics are crucial in supporting digital transformation initiatives, as companies must leverage a variety of systems that may be spread across multiple clouds, on-premises, or remote deployments. Companies can share data across systems more efficiently by using a data fabric, resulting in better business insights and agility.

The data fabric design concept helps solve an age-old data problem – making things that are fundamentally different look and act similar enough to treat them as though they are the same. More significant challenges arise as analytic environments grow and develop, creating more urgency for the best possible solution.

Data fabrics provide a framework for teams to better handle complexities such as:

  • Diverse data sources and types.
  • Demand for real-time data for fast-paced decision making.
  • Data siloes across business functions.
  • IT systems spread across operating environments (on-premises, multi-cloud, mobile, etc.).
  • Growth in operational analytics and business-led data modeling.

Discover More About Data Fabrics

If you’re working in a complex analytics environment and decision makers want real-time data, you should consider working with a data fabric. The Actian Data Platform offers users capabilities to implement a modern data fabric and access the data in real-time for informed business decision making. The platform’s built-in integration can also help you manage the flow of data across your organization. Learn more about how Actian can support your company’s data fabric journey by viewing the variety of data services we provide:

About Teresa Wingfield

Teresa Wingfield is Director of Product Marketing at Actian where she is responsible for communicating the unique value that the Actian Data Platform delivers, including proven data integration, data management and data analytics. She brings a 20-year track record of increasing revenue and awareness for analytics, security, and cloud solutions. Prior to Actian, Teresa managed product marketing at industry-leading companies such as Cisco, McAfee, and VMware.