Presented By O’Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
September 11, 2018: Training & Tutorials
September 12–13, 2018: Keynotes & Sessions
New York, NY

Architectural principles for building trusted, real-time, distributed IoT systems

Dan Harple (Context Labs)
4:35pm–5:15pm Wednesday, 09/12/2018
Secondary topics:  Blockchain and decentralization, Data Platforms

Who is this presentation for?

  • Data analysts, data engineers, data scientists, architects, and administrators

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with hybrid technology environments, such as cloud, edge, and on-premises environments and real-time machine data and non-real time IT networks, and risk and compliance-sensitive technology and data markets, including regulatory and market or industry requirements-based
  • Expertise in one or more of the following: cybersecurity, privacy/DAM/DRM, analytics or ML, operational technology (OT) or information technology (IT) environments, or risk modeling

What you'll learn

  • Explore frameworks for defining and delivering trusted data in distributed systems when risk management is the priority, even as new rules in DAM/DRM are the order of the day, various operational, financial, and social impact goals are driving customers, and context generation is key to rapid, specific, verifiable outcomes


Distributed, decentralized systems are increasingly at the core of the emerging future. This is true of both the physical and digital components of those systems. In fact, advancements in decentralized and distributed digital systems are enabling the distributed/decentralized restructuring of energy infrastructure, industrial production, food systems, and more. Those digital systems must deliver trusted data to the edges of operational, financial, and a number of other networks. That trust must extend from the point of inception of a digital twin or digital thread throughout the chains of custody that will enable multiple parties to have access to that data for exploitation in multiple applications. From autonomous mechanical systems to peer-to-peer transaction processing networks, the demands for trust, at scale, within context, at the edge, are putting greater pressure than ever on the resilience of digital systems and creating a new generation of opportunities for innovators.

Dan Harple explains how distributed systems are being influenced by and are influencing operational, financial, and social impact requirements of a wide range of enterprises and how trust in these distributed systems is being challenged, elevated, and resolved by engineers and architects today. Dan then shares case studies highlighting how this is happening, along with new approaches to identity management, proofing, the blockchain, and other tools. Dan effectively offers a starter kit to building trusted, real-time, distributed IoT systems, detailing common design requirements, elements, approaches (and assessments of the maturity of selected approaches), examples of companies that might offer some leadership, and what comes next.

Photo of Dan Harple

Dan Harple

Context Labs

Dan Harple is the founder CEO of Context Labs, a leader in delivering at-scale enterprise blockchain-enabled systems and advising global market segments and countries on the development of highly efficient ecosystems and interoperable standards to accelerate positive change for stakeholders. Recent work at Context Labs has resulted in work taking blockchain-enabled platforms from proof-of-concept (POC) stage to at-scale production, with reference deployments in global printing/publishing, global environmental data, and cybersecurity. A technology entrepreneur for more than 25 years, Dan has founded and built technologies, companies, and products that have been used by billions of internet users, merging companies with Netscape Communications and Oracle and leading a joint venture with China’s Sina. Each of Dan’s firms successfully raised multiple rounds of Silicon Valley-based venture capital and had liquidity events at various stages. He has been a founder and CEO of technology companies, held senior executive and CEO roles for three NASDAQ-listed tech companies, and served as an advisor and investor in many others, including acting chief innovation strategy officer at RR Donnelley. He has served as a director and/or advisor for a variety of nonprofits and educational institutions, including the Berklee College of Music, Stichting Nexuslabs Foundation, International School of Amsterdam, Tabor Academy, University of Rhode Island College of Engineering Advisory Board, Friends Academy, Marlboro College, and Harrisburg Academy. Dan has received numerous awards, including Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the NEA President’s Award. He was a coauthor with internet pioneer Vint Cerf of Disrupting Unemployment, focusing on technology’s impact on employment and the economy, and has published in a variety of conference proceedings dealing with the application of CAE/CAD/CAM and finite element analysis in distributed computing environments, specifically in the field of mechanical design and ergonomics. Dan holds an MSc from MIT and degrees in mechanical engineering and psychology from the University of Rhode Island. He also attended Marlboro College.