August 2014

 

Have You Heard Of These 10 Hot Hadoop Startups ?

29 Aug 2014, Posted by Jeska Rayboy in Blog

 

As data volumes grow, figuring out how to unlock value becomes vastly important. Hadoop enables the processing of large data sets in a distributed environment and has become almost synonymous with big data. Here are 10 startups with solutions for unlocking big data value.

 

It’s no secret that data volumes are growing exponentially. What’s a bit more mysterious is figuring out how to unlock the value of all of that data. A big part of the problem is that traditional databases weren’t designed for big data-scale volumes, nor were they designed to incorporate different types of data (structured and unstructured) from different apps.

Lately, Apache Hadoop, an open-source framework that enables the processing of large data sets in a distributed environment, has become almost synonymous with big data. With Hadoop, end users can run applications on systems composed of thousands of nodes that pull in thousands of terabytes of data.hadoop 1

Here are 10 startups hoping to grab a piece of that nearly $1 billion pie. These startups were chosen and ranked based on a combination of funding, named customers, competitive positioning, the track record of its executives, and the ability to articulate a real-world problem and explain why the startup’s solution is an ideal one to solve it.

(Please note that this lineup favors newer startups. As a result, some big, well-funded names have been left off, such as Cloudera, Datameer, DataStax, and MapR Technologies, simply because they’ve been around longer than most in this new market sector.)

1. Platfora

What They Do: Provide a big data analytics solution that transforms raw data in Hadoop into interactive, in-memory business intelligence.

Headquarters: San Mateo, Calif.

CEO: Ben Werther, who formerly served as vice president of products at DataStax.

Founded: 2011

Funding: $65 million to date. The latest round ($38 million Series C) was locked down in March. Tenaya Capital led the round, while Citi Ventures, Cisco, Allegis Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, and In-Q-Tel all participated.

Why They’re on This List: As with many startups on this list, Platfora was founded in order to simplify Hadoop. While businesses have been rapidly adopting Apache Hadoop as a scalable and inexpensive solution to store massive amounts of data, they struggle to extract meaningful value from that data. The Platfora solution masks the complexity of Hadoop, which makes it easier for business analysts to leverage their organization’s myriad data.

Platfora tries to simplify the data collection and analysis process, automatically transforming raw data in Hadoop into interactive, in-memory business intelligence, with no ETL or data warehousing required. Platfora provides an exploratory BI and analytics platform designed for business analysts. Platfora gives business analysts visual, self-service analytical tools that help them navigate from events, actions, and behaviors to business facts.

Customers include Comcast, Disney, Edmunds.com and the Washington Post.

Competitive Landscape: Platfora competes with the likes of Datameer, Tableau, IBM, SAP, SAS, Alpine Data, and Rapid-I.

Key Differentiator: Platfora claims to have the first scale-out in-memory Big Data Analytics platform for Hadoop. Platfora’s focus on simplifying Hadoop and Big Data analysis is becoming a more common goal of late, but they are an early mover in this respect.

2. Alpine Data Labs

What They Do: Provide a Hadoop-based data analysis platform.

Headquarters: San Francisco, Calif.

CEO: Joe Otto, formerly senior vice president of sales and service at Greenplum.

Founded: 2010

Funding: $23.5 million in total funding, including $16 in Series B Funding, from Sierra Ventures, Mission Ventures, UMC Capital and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.

Why They’re on This List: Most executives and managers don’t have the time or skills to code in order to glean data insights, nor do they have the time to learn about complex new infrastructures like Hadoop. Rather, they want to see the big picture. The trouble is that complex advanced analytics and machine learning typically require scripting and coding expertise, which can limit access to data scientists. Alpine Data mitigates this issue by making predictive analytics accessible via SaaS.

Alpine Data provides a visual drag-and-drop approach that allows data analysts (or any designated user) throughout an organization to work with large data sets, develop and refine models, and collaborate at scale without having to code. Data is analyzed in the live environment, without migrating or sampling, via a Web app that can be locally hosted.

Alpine Data leverages the parallel processing power of Hadoop and MPP databases and implements data mining algorithms in MapReduce and SQL. Users interact with their data directly where it already sits. Then, they can design analytics workflows without worrying about data movement. All this is done in a Web browser, and Alpine Data then translates these visual workflows into a sequence of in-database or MapReduce tasks.

Customers include Sony, Havas Media, Scala, Visa, Xactly, NBC, Avast, BlackBerry, and Morgan Stanley.

Competitive Landscape: Alpine will compete both with large incumbents (SAS, IBM, SPSS, and SAP) and such startups as Nuevora, Platfora, Skytree, Revolution Analytics, and Rapid-I.

Key Differentiator: Alpine Data Labs argues that most competing solutions are either desktop-based or a point solutions without any collaborative capability. In contrast, Alpine Data offers a “SharePoint-like” feel to it. On top of collaboration and search, it also provides modeling and machine learning under the same roof. Alpine is also part of the No-Data-Movement camp. Regardless if a company’s data is in Hadoop or MPP Database, Alpine sends out instructions, via its In-Cluster Analytics, without ever moving data.

3. Altiscale

What They Do: Provide Hadoop-as-a-Service (HaaS).

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

CEO: Raymie Stata, who was previously CTO of Yahoo.

Founded: March 2012

Funding: Altiscale is backed by $12 million in Series A funding from General Catalyst and Sequoia Capital, along with investments from individual backers.

Why They’re on This List: Hadoop has become almost synonymous with Big Data, yet the number of Hadoop experts available in the wild cannot hope to keep up with demand. Thus, the market for HaaS should rise in step with big data. In fact, according to TechNavio, the HaaS market will top $19 billion by 2016.

Altiscale’s service is intended to abstract the complexity of Hadoop. Altiscale’s engineers set up, run, and manage Hadoop environments for their customers, allowing customers to focus on their data and applications. When customers’ needs change, services are scaled to fit — one of the core advantages of a cloud-based service.

Customers include MarketShare and Internet Archive.

Competitive Landscape: The HaaS space is heating up. Competitors comes from incumbents, such as Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), Microsoft’s Hadoop on Azure, and Rackspace’s service based on Hortonworks’ distribution. Altiscale will also compete directly with Hortonworks and with such startups as Cloudera, Mortar Data, Qubole, and Xpleny.

Key Differentiator: Altiscale argues that they are “the only firm to actually provide a soup-to-nuts Hadoop deployment. By comparison, AWS forces companies to acquire, install, deploy, and manage a Hadoop implementation — something that takes a lot of time.”

4. Trifacta

What They Do: Provide a platform that enables users to transform raw, complex data into clean and structured formats for analysis.

Headquarters: San Francisco, Calif.

CEO: Joe Hellerstein, who in addition to serving as Trifacta’s CEO is also a professor of Computer Science at Berkeley. In 2010, Fortune included him in their list of 50 smartest people in technology, and MIT Technology Review included his Bloom language for cloud computing on their TR10 list of the 10 technologies “most likely to change our world.”

Founded: 2012

Funding: Trifacta is backed by $16.3 million in funding raised in two rounds from Accel Partners, XSeed Capital, Data Collective, Greylock Partners, and individual investors.

Why They’re on This List: According to Trifacta, there is a bottleneck in the data chain between the technology platforms for Big Data and the tools used to analyze data. Business analysts, data scientists, and IT programmers spend an inordinate amount of time transforming data. Data scientists, for example, spend as much as 60 to 80 percent of their time transforming data. At the same time, business data analysts don’t have the technical ability to work with new data sets on their own.

To solve this problem, Trifacta uses “Predictive Interaction” technology to elevate data manipulation into a visual experience, allowing users to quickly and easily identify features of interest or concern. As analysts highlight visual features, Trifacta’s predictive algorithms observe both user behavior and properties of the data to anticipate the user’s intent and make suggestions without the need for user specification. As a result, the cumbersome task of data transformation becomes a lightweight experience that is far more agile and efficient than traditional approaches. Lockheed Martin and Accretive Health are early customers.

Competitive Landscape: Trifacta will compete with Paxata, Informatica and CirroHow.

Key Differentiator: Trifacta argues that the problem of data transformation requires a radically new interaction model — one that couples human business insight with machine intelligence. Trifacta’s platform combines visual interaction with intelligent inference and “Predictive Interaction” technology to close the gap between people and data. Read More.

 

Another Win for Cloud Computing-Cloudian Raises $24M

27 Aug 2014, Posted by Jeska Rayboy in Blog, Startups

Cloudian, a provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has closed a $24 million financing round, which will enable the company to expand its global sales and marketing reach, and develop its solutions for dealing with rapid growth of unstructured data.cloud 1

The new financing round included new investments from Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and Fidelity Growth Partners, and existing Cloudian shareholder Intel Capital.

Cloudian’s HyperStore software allows enterprises to easily deploy of private clouds on commodity hardware, but also push data to Amazon S3 cloud object storage. This allows enterprises to create tiered hybrid storage where, for instance, Amazon’s public cloud is used for long-term bulk storage, and their most critical data is kept on-premises. This is particularly useful for companies with large growing amounts of unstructured data.

According to Cloudian CEO and co-founder Michael Tso, the new funding will “accelerate the deployment of our production-proven storage solutions and revolutionize the cost, scalability and availability models for storing unstructured data in the enterprise.”  Read More.

What Happens Now? Hitachi Data Systems Acquires Sepaton

21 Aug 2014, Posted by Jeska Rayboy in Blog

More consolidation happening in the storage industry, as Hitachi Data Systems acquires Sepaton. George Crump, an IT analyst whose firm focuses on data storage and virtualization, wrote an interesting article outlining why he believes this is a win-win for both sides:

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) announced they had acquired Massachusetts-based Sepaton, an established manufacturer of purpose built backup appliances (PBBAs) that use advanced de-duplication to shorten backup times and minimize backup appliance “sprawl”. The company will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Data Systems, which is a division of Hitachi Ltd, of Japan.

Who is Sepaton?aquire

Founded in 2001, Sepaton was one of the early entrants into the disk-based, de-duplication backup market and originally focused on replacing tape-based backup systems (Sepaton’s name is actually “No Tapes” spelled backwards). But as disk backup and de-deduplication became more mainstream, Sepaton rightly shifted their focus to the advantages of their data reduction technology, building a base of some 3000 customers.

Leveraging their ‘DeltaScale’ technology, Sepaton’s PBBAs deliver some of the fastest backup and recovery performance on the market (up to 80TB per hour) in a modular, scalable, architecture. Using byte-level de-duplication Sepaton’s systems provide some of the highest, most consistent data reduction ratios regardless of data type, enabling multiple-PB, single-system capacities.

 Did Sepaton need to do this?

Sepaton participates in the fiercely competitive purpose-built backup appliance market. They have had the advantage of focusing on enterprise-level customers with a highly scalable, high performance feature set that typically appeals to that market. Their challenge, similar to any startup or small company selling to the enterprise, is building the credibility to effectively compete. While they may have had a product that some considered better suited to the enterprise, they were at a distinct disadvantage when going up against the likes of EMC.

They also faced the reality that many of their partners eventually became competitors. For example, HP was an early advocate and OEM of Sepaton’s, but now competes directly with their StoreOnce technology. The advantage of being part of HDS is that Sepaton gets instant credibility in the market and access to HDS’s resources, channel and sales organization.

Why did HDS do this?

For their part, HDS had no serious offering in the disk backup appliance market while most of their competitors did; including HP, IBM, EMC, Dell and even Oracle. HDS does have an enterprise sales organization and providing them with a quality disk backup appliance that is differentiated from their competition should be an immediate benefit. And Sepaton does create some synergies with HDS’s existing product line. HDS has also been providing the hardware platform for Sepaton’s S2100, with their AMS2100 SAS RAID-6 based storage system.

READ MORE.

PernixData, a startup that aims to boost the performance of server-side storage, took in $35 million, bringing the company’s total funding to $62 million. With the cash, the company plans on bulking up its sales, marketing and engineering staff, said PernixData’s vice president of marketing Jeff Aaron.

What PernixData says differentiates it from many other storage startups is that it lets customers pool and virtualize all their high-speed storage — like flash drives and RAM — into individual clusters. They can then allocate those resources fast, even if the storage may be in different physical locations.

If a company has to upgrade its storage capacity it won’t have to buy a ton of flash drives to add capacity and performance at the same time. Instead, it can buy lower-cost hardware to act as the storage for the data that doesn’t need fast access while the clusters handle the higher-priority, more resource-intensive data.  Read More.pernixdata

Here Come the Cloud-Based Big Data Management Services

11 Aug 2014, Posted by Rayboy Insider Search in Blog

Everyone’s well aware that the explosive growth of data is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations of all sizes across nearly every industry. A growing number of cloud service providers (CSPs) are recognizing that they can provide more than just simple storage and economical compute power to their customers who are buried in data. They also can help them manage their Big Data processing needs on an ongoing basis.big-data-318x211

Big Data wouldn’t have gotten so much attention over the past few years if it weren’t for the availability of cloud services that enable organizations to do something with all the data. Organizations have always faced challenges acquiring, analyzing and acting on data. Third-party data processing services have been a lucrative business for many years because most organizations haven’t had and didn’t want to invest in internal systems and staff to collect, collate and interpret the data themselves.

Read More.

Network Security: An Oxymoron In The Cloud Era?

08 Aug 2014, Posted by Rayboy Insider Search in Blog

Network security has always been a near-impossible task, but the cloud era is ushering in a fundamentally new model that truly renders network security an oxymoron. How so, you ask?NetworkSecurity

In the past, organizations built and controlled their own networks. Because IT could control the flow of traffic inbound and outbound, the nodes on the network, and the users, they also controlled the network security architecture. IT was responsible for where and how to place firewalls, VPNs, IDS and IPS, load balancers, web application firewalls, and other security devices. In short, when you owned the network, you also owned securing the network.

Today, with more organizations moving to the cloud, a new approach is necessary. Three fundamental differences are driving this change:

  • Cloud providers own the network
  • Traffic flows in the cloud much differently. Interdependencies between applications and services, both internal and external, are exploding
  • Network security has historically been delivered through appliances

Read More.

SMBs Tie Cloud Computing To Increased Revenue

06 Aug 2014, Posted by Rayboy Insider Search in Blog

wordcloud5Research by Oxford Economics and Windstream Communications has found that many small and midsized businesses have a strong appetite for cloud computing and tie it to increased revenues, even though they often don’t have large IT departments to support them getting into the cloud.

Oxford Economics is the research outfit frequently tapped by members of the Fortune 500 or Federal Reserve Board to draw a picture of what’s happening in different parts of the world economy. At one time, it was made up primarily of economists from Oxford University in the UK, although time has diminished that link. To conduct its “Path To Value” cloud survey, it solicited feedback in May from 350 business executives in all regions of the US; 33% were CEOs, CTOs, or COOs, while the other 67% held other executive positions.

Read More.

Government IT Priorities: Security Reigns, Cloud Crawls

04 Aug 2014, Posted by Rayboy Insider Search in Blog

If government IT professionals aren’t getting much sleep these days, it’s likely because they’re more worried than ever about catastrophic cyber-security breaches.gov

In InformationWeek’s 2014 Federal Government IT Priorities Survey, 70% of respondents said that cyber- and information security programs are “extremely important” at their agencies, making IT security the highest government IT priority. Another 24% said IT security is at least fairly important. Only 3% said security is “not important at all.”

The survey also demonstrated that security is intensifying as the top government IT priority. In last year’s survey, 67% of respondents stated that information security is extremely important.

Read More.

Avere Raises $20 Million in Series-D Round Led by Western Digital

01 Aug 2014, Posted by Rayboy Insider Search in Startups

Avere Systems, Inc. has raised an additional $20 million in venture financing, bringing the total amount invested in the company to $72 million.Avere_logo

The Series-D funding round was led by Western Digital Capital, the investment arm of Western Digital Corp., with participation from previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital.

The funding will be used to accelerate sales, marketing and continued development of the company’s hybrid cloud storage solutions.

Read More.