The Control Plane

At the heart of Ascend's data pipeline automation is a DataAware™ control plane with intelligence to detect and propagate change across your ecosystem.

Data pipeline automation platform diagram with control plane for automated change management highlighted in red.

What Is The Control Plane?

An always-on engine that manages and propagates change for you.
Visual representation of Ascend's automated change management that detects and propagates change in data pipelines.

This Is DataAware™

The control plane always knows with certainty the exact state of every node in every pipeline, at any scale of the network. This fully autonomous engine constantly detects changes in data and code across vast networks of the most complex data pipelines, and constantly responds to those changes in real time. The control plane keeps the data pipelines synchronized without any explicit orchestration code.


As soon as any code or data is introduced to the system, the control plane automatically fingerprints it.


The fingerprints are then compared to pinpoint each change and the affected downstream data sets.


The control plane senses changes in the fingerprints, and propagates them with 100% reliability to all downstream nodes.

Visual representation of the fingerprinting framework that allows automated change management in Ascend's data pipeline automation platform.


A powerful SHA (secure hashing algorithm) mechanism in the control plane creates a unique “fingerprint” for every set of data that arrives in the system. It also fingerprints every snippet of code that users provide to define the transformation steps in the data pipelines. The control plane links them into DAGs (directed acyclic graphs) to lock in their dependencies. This results in a lightweight immutable web, enriched with unique metadata to drive the autonomous orchestration processes.

Visual representation of the fingerprinting framework that allows automated change management in Ascend's data pipeline automation platform.
Diagram to represent how Ascend's data pipeline automation detects change.


The autonomous control plane compares all the SHA fingerprints to detect change as soon as it is introduced. For each change, the control plane follows the lineage in the code to identify the dependencies in the downstream transformations and linked pipelines. It then automatically generates a plan from these dependencies to propagate the change.


The control plane propagates all changes autonomously through the pipelines end-to-end. It does this by sending discrete workloads for each transformation step to the connected data clouds where the data is stored. If any one operation breaks because of errors in the code, the platform pauses for a fix by the user. It then resumes from the point of breakage with the latest data sets, without reprocessing any workloads. DataAware™ intelligence guarantees integrity of the change from source to sink.

Diagram to represent how Ascend's data pipeline automation propagates change.

Learn More About DataAware™

Innovation anchored in foundational computer science.

The control plane implements a sophisticated, massively scalable computing paradigm. Based on proven computer science concepts, the technology uniquely guarantees reliability, recoverability, and integrity of large-scale data networks.

The Fingerprinting Technology

Discover more about the mechanism in the control plane that creates a unique “fingerprint” for every data set in the system.

Intelligent Orchestration: Data's Missing Link

In this session, Sean Knapp, CEO & founder of Ascend, discusses what led us to essentially rearchitect pipeline orchestration from the ground up.

Automating Data Workloads for Success

Is your automation architecture data aware? Discover the answer with Jon Osborn, Field CTO at Ascend.

Ways to Get Started


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