General FAQ

General FAQ

What is a Data Platform?
A Data Platform is an integrated technology solution that allows data in the data hub to govern, access, and deliver to users, data applications, or other technologies for strategic business purposes. A Data Platform combines all data from various data sets and acts as a centralized data hub for analysis and integrations. 

The benefits of Data Platforms include their abilities to give users a cohesive view of data from multiple sources, make data available throughout an enterprise to those with proper permissions, and improve data governance. Get more information at Data Management Platform in Wikipedia.

What is Architecture as a Service?
Architecture as a Service promotes solutions that focus IT efforts on meeting business needs and supporting corporate goals. Architecture Blueprints define the guiding principles and approach to development that lead to our target architecture, the underlying framework, the shared services, and the standardized components used to build new architecture. snapblocs provides a collection of Architecture Blueprints for creating prebuilt Data Platform stacks.

Below are just a few of the Architecture Blueprints snapblocs provides:
  • Data Flow - for moving data from various input data sources to target data destinations in-stream or bulk mode.
  • Data Transformation - for converting data from one format or structure into another format or structure.
  • Data-as-a-Service - for simplifying access, accelerating analytical processing, securing and masking data, curating datasets, and providing a unified catalog of data across all data sources.
  • Data Lake - provides a set of integrated solutions (Data Flow, Data Transformation, Data Analytics, Data Lake) that ingests data from multiple data sources into a Data Lake. It also provides the data workflow to orchestrate data transformation and data curation processes for analytics for business and operations.
  • Elastic Stack+ - provides the ability to aggregate and analyze logs from all systems and applications. Create visualizations for applications and infrastructure monitoring, troubleshoot faster, and view security analytics on the Kubernetes platform. Businesses can focus on their business applications without having to manage Elastic Stack clusters.
  • Kubernetes+ - provides managed service for Kubernetes on AWS EKS. Allows a snapblocs user to create a Kubernetes stack by configuring AWS and Kubernetes options such as VPC, Subnets, and Kubernetes version and cluster capacity. Businesses can focus on their business applications without having to manage Kubernetes clusters.
  • Kafka+ - provides managed event streaming platform using Confluent Kafka on Kubernetes for moving data from various input data sources to target data destinations in the stream. Allows a snapblocs user to create managed event streaming Kafka stack by configuring the data flow options, such as input source and target destination settings, and operational configuration for target runtime environment such as Kubernetes on Cloud platform (AWS, etc.). Businesses can focus on their business applications without having to manage Kafka clusters.
  • Microservices+ - provides complete lifecycle management of Microservices on Kubernetes. snapblocs users can provision/pause/resume/monitor/teardown Microservices on the managed Kubernetes platform. Businesses can focus on their business applications without having to manage Microservices infrastructure.
  • StreamSets Data Collector+ - provides data ingestion pipelines integrated with ETL processing for streaming and batch and change data capture (CDC). snapblocs users can create a data ingestion pipeline stack by configuring the data ingestion options such as input source and target destination settings and operational configuration for target runtime environment such as Kubernetes on Cloud platform (AWS, etc.). Businesses can focus on their business applications without having to manage StreamSets DC clusters.
  • More will be coming soon.
What is a Stack?
Stack is a Data Platform instance of an Architecture Blueprint. It has configuration and components to deploy to an environment ready to use, along with all the tools needed for day-2-operations.

Does snapblocs have a UI?
snapblocs has an easy-to-use user interface allowing a user to quickly design, configure and deploy a Data Platform Stack from predefined Architecture Blueprints. snapblocs also provides management tools for managing Projects, Users, Stacks, Permissions, and monitoring tools for observing system behaviors.

What Architecture Blueprints are available?
As of the first release, snapblocs supports the following Architecture Blueprints:
Other Architecture Blueprints will be coming soon.

Can new Architecture Blueprints be requested by customers?
The snapblocs engineering team will review all requests for new Architecture Blueprints from customers and add approved Architecture Blueprints to the snapblocs Architecture Blueprint Roadmap.

In the future, a plugin will allow open communities to build and contribute their Architecture Blueprints to the snapblocs catalog.

Why snapblocs and not open source products?
Open source is great, but it can prove challenging to manage and support in a standardized way, at scale, for mission-critical applications. Installing each open source component on Kubernetes is time-consuming and error-prone due to a lack of central visibility, inconsistent security practices, and complex management processes.

snapblocs combines the power of SaaS with best-of-breed open source products that deliver Architecture as a Service in a single, unified platform. Significantly reduce the time required to install, integrate and check compatibility for individual components.

For example, installing and configuring Elastic ELK (Stack) on Kubernetes and allowing only HTTPS connection to Kibana with basic authentication is not available out of the box. It requires research from the open community forums and a lot of work to make them secure. Also, making Elasticsearch securely connect to other components on Kubernetes is a difficult task. However, snapblocs can provide solutions based on best practices through thoroughly tested integrated solutions.

What is a Free Trial?
To test drive snapblocs, register for a Free Trial. Experience most of the features with the following restrictions:
  • Free Trial period: 15 days
  • Number of stacks: 5
  • Number of deploys: 3
  • Number of users: 3 
Are there any costs associated with running a Free Trial?
There are no costs for using snapblocs during the Free Trial. However, charges will apply for AWS or GCP resources in use by the customer's AWS or GCP account while running provisioned stacks. Terminate the running stacks that are not in use to avoid charges.

Can the stack and data created during the Free Trial still be accessed at the end of the Free Trial?
After the Free Trial is over, the stack and all data will no longer be available.
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Can the data still be accessed after terminating a Stack?
During the termination of a stack, there are two options; retain or delete the data. To retain and access all data attached to a stack, do not delete the Kubernetes Volume associated with the stack otherwise all of the data will be wiped out and can no longer be accessed.

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