What Is RDM?


Within the IT world and the MDM world, RDM has become a hot topic. Different forms data management, such as RDM and MDM, have become useful sciences for managing the large databases that are paving the way for the future of the twenty-first century. A large part of our machine learning relies on data management and because of the huge datasets that are needed to manage all of the metadata that is being gathered and aggregated for various applications: image recognition, facial recognition, speech recognition, driverless cars, probability calculation through logistic regression, security verification, compliance, blockchain technology, medical research, health care, insurance calculations, law enforcement, military defense, etc. This list of applications using data management for some type of data model is potentially endless.

So, if you do not already know, it is probably time to ask, ”what is RDM?”

RDM Defined

RDM stands for reference data management. Of course, that answer only helps if you can answer the question, “What is reference data?”

Reference data is a subset of master data. It is used for classifying and categorizing other data. Therefore, reference data is data that is used to classify, categorize, and organize other data. If we were to use a library analogy, reference data is to a reference card with a Dewey decimal filing number, what data is to the books that you would use that reference card to find.

This reference data usually constitutes data that is not going to change over time, static datasets that would include complex hierarchies, mappings, and various codes like country codes and corporate codes. Also included would be measurements and fixed conversion rates, such as kilograms to pounds.

It should be noted, however, that RDM is actually a popular acronym in the technology world. Therefore, RDM in this context should not be confused with raw device mapping, research data management, or remote device management, the latter being what an RDM message and an RDM controller refer to.

Raw Device Mapping

Raw device mapping is an option, or mapping file, that grants the ability to connect an LUN (logical unit number) directly to a VM (virtual machine) from the SAN (storage area network) within a VMware virtualization environment. The other option that enables you to do this is a VMFS (virtual machine file system).

Obviously, that definition simplifies everything, right?

In normal-speak, Raw Device Mapping is a type of mapping file the that acts as a go-between, or proxy between some type of raw physical storage device, like a hard drive, an SAN, or an LUN, and a virtual environment, such as a virtual machine, a VMware virtualization environment, or a virtual box. The advantage of this is that you can have the convenience and speed of a raw physical storage device with the safety of virtual environment.

Remember what they say in Vegas?

“What happens in the virtual box, stays in the virtual box!’

Research Data Management

Good news! Research data management is actually simple. It is the management of data as it specifically relates to research projects. Large research projects, such as longitudinal studies, have many participants with many data entries. This creates massive amounts of data, sometimes raw data, that needs to be managed and aggregated appropriately. This data can in turn be applied to various types of analytics, such as data analytics, virtual analytics, and business analytics.

Remote Device Management

Remote device management (RDM) is a collection of compliance standards and best practices related to the monitoring and controlling of smartphones, tablets, and desktops from a centralized location. An example would be “syncing” all devices of all employees within a company. It is necessary for protecting sensitive data from malware and theft.

The conclusion is that RDM means a lot of things to a lot of different people: reference data management, raw device mapping, research data management, remote device management. What is important is that those who want to be competitive in the technology field at least know the definitions of these terms.

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