Seven Free Technologies To Secure, Scale and Accelerate IT

Seven Free Technologies To Secure, Scale and Accelerate IT

AI art image implying future IT tech opportunities

In this post I’ve listed seven (7) technologies from some recent analyst interviews that I think are especially interesting going into the new year. I’m sure you’ve got fresh new IT goals to make your data safer, increase it’s value, and “do more with less!” Investigating these technologies would be a great way to start progressing your IT career in 2023.

Are these really free? These are mainly open source based solutions. But of course, nothing is totally free because there could be good argument for paying for ongoing or enterprise versions if you do roll the tech into production. One or two of these (as noted below) are free trial offers hoping you’ll want to subscribe and put them into ongoing operations, but they also can be so illuminatingly useful just in trial mode that you’ll still want to check them out. Still, it’s all free today!

  1. First up is an easy win if you have any historical databases and any user requests to squeeze some more value out of them, implement Machine Learning (AI/ML) in some useful easy way, or just want to wow some business folks. Mindsdb (open source) superpowers existing relational databases by layering on an SQL way to make ML-powered predictive queries over existing database tables. Imagine being able to suddenly query to either fill in missing data based on other fields, or predict future values beyond the current records (using full features-driven ML models, not simple linear extrapolation). You don’t even have to know much about implementing or supporting ML – it sets up fairly automatically. Check out my video chat with Mindsdb, or just skip over to their online demo if you want to play right now.
  2. How about taking a deep look at your key application’s software supply chain? Not just the first level of dependencies (e.g. included 3rd party libraries), but all of them all the way down the chain (or is it up?). Is absolutely everything you run in that production app all current, patched, secure and even licensed? Easy enough to audit with the SCA solution. Our interview video is still in production (I’ll edit this when it’s up), but feel free to get in touch with them now (just let them know I sent you over). This one is a trial offer, but even that first audit might make you an IT hero. Knowledge is power!
  3. Who doesn’t deploy caching somewhere in their architecture? And I bet you have at least one key Redis (open source) instance. I hosted a recent webinar event with Redis where they explained some of the better and higher value ways to deploy enterprise grade caching beyond the simple and obvious. That’s worth watching just for the educational value of how caching can be used today to solve different data flow, replication, and acceleration challenges at scale. If you want to get technical quickly, there is a free Redis enterprise caching assessment you can take now to highlight some possible cache improvement opportunities. Time is money!
  4. Do you have a lot of containers? I mean, a lot of containers? It’s pretty hard to understand who’s talking to whom in a complex K8 environment. Starting with an outside facing service, just how far into the environment can hackers get with that SQL injection attack? would like to help you out. If you want to dive in a bit more first, our analyst video is here. This is another free demo and test drive that could really open your eyes wide (like an ox, yes?). Just let them know I sent you and you’ll get white glove service 🙂
  5. We all know about S3 (if you don’t the latest check out my interview with the S3 PM), but AWS has also been developing a highly functional and efficient unified Business Intelligence service for many years now and it has a lot to offer, especially those with a lot of data in and out of AWS! I hosted some of the leads for AWS Quicksight for a deeper dive into what’s new and forthcoming here, but you can also just jump into an online demo sandbox and play around for free. It’s almost not really BI anymore, it’s really data analysis on demand.
  6. If you are interested in object storage and know all about S3 (from above), you really need to check, the open source object store. It’s free, multi-cloud, cost competitive, hyper-performing, and now offers active-active replications features. Hey, 1B docker downloads definitely attests to its all-around goodness. I’ve got a cool interview with them here, but you can just go get it and install it on anything to start playing around with your very own object store!
  7. Finally, I know some of you actually have big data. Really big data. And fast data. Really fast data. Everyone is building or thinking of building that next great app that leverages big and fast data in real-time to make super-important business happen! Apache Druid (open source) from Imply (managed service) is probably part of those world domination plans as its the database that now marries scale and speed to support modern “analytics applications” that need trillions of rows, analytic queries, and in real-time. Check out our interview here that talks about how Imply Druid is empowering developers to build real next-gen stuff with their wrapped up Druid services. You can also just go get it!

So there you go, an list of seven things you can charge off and investigate today for free! Let me know if any of these gets you going in 2023, or if you have other free pointers of note to share!

(post feature image drawn from – jan 2023)