1 The what and why of the data mesh


This chapter covers

  • Defining data mesh
  • Introducing the key concepts of the data mesh paradigm
  • Understanding why the data mesh is a socio-technical paradigm shift
  • Seeing the advantages of the data mesh
  • Identifying possible data mesh implementation challenges

The data mesh is a decentralization paradigm. It decentralizes the ownership of data, its transformation into information, as well as its serving. It aims to increase the value extraction from data by removing bottlenecks in the data value stream by these means.

The data mesh paradigm is disrupting the data space. Large and small companies are racing to showcase their data mesh–like journey all over the internet. It’s becoming the new thing to try out for any company that wants to extract more value from its data. This book describes the data mesh paradigm as a socio-technical architecture, with an emphasis on the socio. The main focus is on people, processes, and organizations, not technology. Data meshes can, but don’t have to, be implemented using the same technologies most current data systems run on.

But because the data mesh is a topic of ongoing debate, with only slowly emerging best practices and standards, we found the need for an in-depth book that covers both the key principles that make data meshes work and examples and variations needed to adapt this to any company. This book is designed to do just that: help you begin your own data mesh journey.

1.1 Data mesh 101

1.2 Why the data mesh?

1.2.1 Alternatives

1.2.2 Data warehouses and data lakes inside the data mesh

1.2.3 Data mesh benefits

1.3 Use case: A snow-shoveling business

1.4 Data mesh principles

1.4.1 Domain-oriented decentralized data ownership and architecture

1.4.2 Data as a product

1.4.3 Federated computational governance

1.4.4 Self-serve data infrastructure as a platform