What's the difference between greenfield, brownfield & bluefield technology?

You might be familiar with greenfield and brownfield projects - but what about bluefield?

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Data is in flux. Everywhere you look data is being moved from one system to another, from one device to another, from one cloud service to another… and even perhaps from one cloud formation (i.e. private, public or hybrid) to another.

But not all data is created equal, and many firms will now be faced with the flux of data movement passing over an unequal sum of existing parts. Popular science (and you might say common sense) argues that standing back, defining, demarcating and auditing your current pool of data is a good starting point.

Greenfield, brownfield, bluefield

So, it's obviously important to know where you're starting from, and we normally talk about a completely new installation of software and data management technologies as a greenfield project. Aside from more nuanced system conversions (also known as lift and shift projects), we also talk about brownfield projects where a degree of ploughing (actions including data preparation, deduplication, parsing and so on) has already been carried out.

But there is a third type and colour field we need to consider. The notion of bluefield projects is meant to describe a combination of both brownfield and greenfield, where some streams of information are already in motion and some will be new instances of technology.

Quite apart from the fact that brown and green combined makes olive green not blue (you can try it out at https://trycolors.com/ -- just add 2 yellow, 2 red, 2 blue to make brown and then add 3 green), it's an arguably very valid point in that many firms will be dealing with a real mix of many types of earth and soil at the heart of their data foundations, the applications they are running now and the applications that they would like to run in the future.

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