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Interview: Dale Russell, CTO, Talksum on Winning the IE Big Data Startup Award


We discuss Talksum data stream router and cross-domain networking with real-time data management using data streams.



Dale RussellDale Russell, CTO, Talksum, Inc., has over 20 years of front-line applied engineering and operations management expertise. Having managed large-scale infrastructures and service delivery for major names such AOL and Salesforce.com, he has an in-depth knowledge of the enterprise technology landscape. Dale has also focused on large-scale data management and filtering technologies for large advertising networks and security companies, and his vision for the next era of computer science innovation is at the heart of the Talksum Data Stream Router solution.

Anmol Rajpurohit: Q1. Congratulations on receiving the Big Data Startup Award at the 2014 Big Data Innovation Summit. According to you, what factors played a major role in helping Talksum beat the competition in the race for this award?

IE WinnerDale Russell: Thank you Anmol. We believe the biggest factor for winning the award is that the Talksum Data Stream Router is a turn-key solution. Our solution has been developed by people who understand the challenges of working with vast amounts of data at internet-scale data centers. At some point, we’ve all heard product vendors saying, "once you get your data into our format…" or, "you can use our open-source library and write custom tools….” But if you think about it, those products require the customer to do more work: writing code, and assuming more responsibility and risk, not less! When we got tired of this in our personal careers, we founded Talksum to provide a real solution.

AR: Q2. Help us understand the market need for "cross-domain networking with real-time data management using data streams". What inspired you to focus on this market need and fill it with an innovative solution?

DR: An increasing amount of data coming from increasingly disparate data types combined with the need for real-time actionable insights reveals major problems for the market. These problems can be framed by asking three questions.
First, how do you reasonably ingest, transform, route, and analyze disparate data in real time?
Second, how can you apply more logic earlier in the pipeline while minimizing impact on ingest performance?
And, third, how can you create a holistic view of the information derived from data so that you can correlate events among multiple domains?
Talksum Data Stream Router We looked at these questions and applied them to different industries and domains. There are multiple domains of responsibility within in an enterprise company as well as across the public sector, and both of these share similarities. For example, an enterprise company has an internal team with responsibilities analogous to the public sector’s first responder team: SLAs to downstream customers internal to the business and capacity and disaster prevention planning. And one company may have many of these teams in some of the following departments: Network Engineering, Database Administration, Application Development, Business Analytics and Reporting.

Although these departments seem to be separated by domains of expertise, their results are intertwined into the success of the enterprise. Achieving a holistic view of all your data is a cornerstone of the Talksum Data Stream Router. Cross-domain, holistic views, across departments or even industries and sectors allow Talksum’s customers to react faster and more intelligently to the data that impacts their success. This same principal holds true with larger more distributed data networks such as energy, transportation, the public sector, and so on. We came to the conclusion that there is a dire need for a new approach: cross-domain networking with real-time data management. Talksum is here to fill this market with an innovative solution.

AR: Q3. What would you consider as the top three features of the Talksum Data Stream Router? What are next set of capabilities that you are working on?

DR: Good question. It’s hard to extract one feature over another in terms of importance as they are intertwined. One would have to be speed: the Talksum solution can process millions of complex events per second on a single router. Number two would be simplicity: it is a hardware-based platform for easy deployment and implementation. And, three would be value: it offers high efficiency, which relies on fewer resources and translates into less spend and greater value. Talksum Data Flow Second and final part of the interview: Dale on Building Talksum Router and Real-time Anaytics

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