Ciena is a networking systems, services and software company that provides best-in-class networking solutions that support 85 percent of the world’s largest communications service providers, as well as regional service providers, submarine network operators, data and cloud operators, and large enterprises.
In 2020, Ciena’s data team was looking for a way to build an advanced, self-serve data and analytics ecosystem — but to do that, they first had to find a way to cut down the hours-long process traditionally required to replicate and aggregate data from multiple enterprise systems. They launched the search for a solution to help them stream data from operational systems to Snowflake and other cloud applications in near real-time.
Rajesh Raju, Director of Data Engineering at Ciena, knew he needed a real-time data streaming solution. As the one overseeing Ciena’s entire data ecosystem and delivery, he wanted a way to ensure each department and team would always have access to the data they need to make informed business decisions.
After researching several platforms to compare speeds, feature sets, and ease of adoption, Ciena chose Striim as their data integration and streaming solution. Rajesh now trusts the platform to replicate changes from Oracle at scale, without disruption to the business or their customer experience.
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Building the Foundation for Digital Transformation
Last year, Rajesh and his team agreed on a roadmap for their latest digital transformation initiative. Ciena has traditionally leveraged a single platform model, one that was excellent at replicating data within the same cloud ecosystem. For solutions that required data to flow outside these systems, however, they were relying on a batch processing solution that took hours to replicate changes.
“The choice to use Snowflake was part of our platform’s evolution. We needed Striim to complete the vision.”
Ciena and its core business operation teams wanted to see changes updated in near real-time. They had already decided on Snowflake as their data platform — the solution would help them build applications that rely on up-to-the-moment, comprehensive data in Snowflake.
Speed as the Biggest Differentiator
“The power of cloud is amazing,” says Rajesh, “but it’s really all about speed.” He needed to know that Ciena could consistently deliver data to their consumers and applications in near real-time.
They ultimately chose Striim for its ability to move data rapidly through autonomous data pipelines.
“It really gets the job done,” says Rajesh. For Ciena, this means moving massive volumes of data rapidly into the cloud-based architecture that powers their solutions. Rajesh estimates that Striim updates 40-90 million business events to Snowflake every 24 hours, across systems that manage sales, manufacturing, accounting, and dozens of other crucial business functions.
“I love the product. We’re ready to adopt any new source the platform adds.”
For Rajesh’s team, data streaming speed makes all the difference. Ciena’s data customers no longer have to wonder when they’ll be able to see their data because it appears immediately after changes occurred in the source platforms.
A Roadmap to Broader Innovation
As Rajesh guides his team farther down the digital transformation path, he expects to expand Striim’s use case. He’s constantly exploring new sources, targets, and applications of streaming event data. Today Ciena uses Snowflake for internal operational reporting and analytics, but eventually they plan to build new applications and expand to include external data.“When we want to build new applications on Striim’s streaming data, it only takes a couple of days — as opposed to months — to deploy.”
When they’re ready, Rajesh is confident there won’t be friction. “Because of Striim, we have so much customer and operational data at our fingertips. We can build all kinds of solutions without worrying about how we’ll provide them with timely data.”
Ciena’s goal is clear. They want to build a modern, self-serve data and analytics ecosystem that removes silos and empowers every team to make data-driven decisions. This can’t be done without streaming, Rajesh explains.
Rajesh’s confidence in Striim as a long-term partner comes out when he talks about why he’d recommend the platform to others on a similar journey. “We’ve done a lot of analysis on Striim data and we haven’t seen any losses or holdups. Striim’s approach to data is one of the best, and when you want the data it’s already there waiting for you.”
His advice? To move data from legacy systems to a data warehouse or data lake, Striim is the answer. “It’s so lightweight. And it’s faster than any other platform.”