Apache Authors: Pat Romanski, John Mertic, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Apache

@CloudExpo: Article

Platfora Delivers ‘Hadoop for Dummies’

Platfora describes its user-friendly widgetry as the first scale-out in-memory business intelligence platform for Hadoop

Platfora, a start-up with an ace or two in the hole, came out of stealth mode this week with the intention of taking the finicky, balky, ornery Hadoop mainstream and disrupting the $35 billion business analytics market.

The company's aces include Andreessen Horowitz, the young VC with the seemingly Midas touch, and In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital arm, which together put $7.18 million into the new venture. Both, shall we say, have some pretty interesting contacts.

Platfora describes its user-friendly widgetry as the first scale-out in-memory business intelligence platform for Hadoop.

That's the fancy geek description.

Its founder Ben Werther, a former Apache Cassandra and Greenplum product strategy guy, describes the solution more trenchantly.

Hadoop, he says, is like a big cardboard box carelessly filled with Big Data. His widgetry can figure out what the data is and what it means and turn it into pictures without teams of IT staff reorganizing a data warehouse. In fact it eliminates data warehouses and ETL (extract, transform, and load) software altogether. Users can question the data right after it's collected.

Compared to what can be done now he's promising a "Hadoop for Dummies" that may mean the end of the data warehouse.

Platfora is a fundamentally different kind of BI platform. It transforms the raw data in Hadoop into interactive, in-memory BI without a traditional data warehouse and its inherent limitations. End users get a beautiful web-based analysis interface using HTML5 technology - the first of its kind.

Platfora pulls data out of Hadoop into an in-memory data processing engine, making access to the data extremely fast. It leverages Hadoop to do the heavy lifting, processing massive Big Data into highly efficient, in-memory data stores (think datamarts-on-the-fly).

The start-up's biggest innovation, however, rests with how the layers work together seamlessly. It automatically refines the in-memory data based on the questions users ask.

Werther says, "Everyone talks about the promise of Big Data, but the real innovation lies in the data agility and exploration made possible by Hadoop. Businesses want immediate answers - they can't wait days or months for insight into their own data. Unless businesses can explore and interact with this data, the promise of Hadoop is lost."

Scott Weiss, an Andreessen Horowitz general partner and a Platfora board member, says, "Platfora up-ends traditional business intelligence, unlocks the potential of Hadoop and puts the power of data in the hands of the end user."

In his opinion, "The legacy BI vendors don't have the product architecture for Hadoop or Big Data and we believe this opens the door for a new franchise to be built."

Platfora was built from the ground up to present Hadoop raw data in new ways. Its key components include:

  • Unbounded In-Memory BI: Platfora's so-called Vizboards let business users build stunning interactive visualizations. Vizboards are web-based, using HTML5 canvas technology, and feature a layer for sharing and collaboration.
  • High-Performance In-Memory Data Processing Engine: Using its trademarked Fractal Cache technology, Platfora's in-memory data processing engine is natively connected with Hadoop. As the core of the platform, Fractal Cache automatically refines itself without IT's intervention.
  • Hadoop Data Refinery: The company's Adaptive Job Synthesis automatically builds MapReduce jobs and pushes them down to Hadoop to produce aggregated in-memory representations of the data.

Platfora works with existing clusters of machines running Cloudera, Amazon Web Services, MapR and Hortonworks although at the moment Cloudera appears to be its favorite. They're partnering.

Platfora, which has less than 30 people but growing, has the widgetry in beta with 10 Fortune 500s and Global 2000s and maybe the odd web company. Werther claims there's another 70-80 companies chomping at the bit to get in and use it. Once when he showed the stuff off, he got a standing ovation, a unique experience in his career. Nonetheless, the company's being methodical. The beta will be gradually expanded. And the widgetry should go GA round about February, upsetting folks like IBM and Oracle with its new take on taxonomy.

It will be licensed on a per-server basis and can be deployed on-premise in an enterprise data center or in the cloud.

Unlike other BI software, Platfora won't be priced by the number of users. Data analysts as well as business users across organizations will be able to access and interact with their data. The company's got this crazy democratizing idea about putting the data in the hands of people who need it most without complex and rigid foreplay.

Pre-Platfora, Hadoop's annual growth rate was expected to be more than 60% year-over-year according to IDC.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Intelligent machines are here. Robots, self-driving cars, drones, bots and many IoT devices are becoming smarter with Machine Learning. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Sudha Jamthe, CEO of IoTDisruptions.com, will discuss the next wave of business disruption at the junction of IoT and AI, impacting many industries and set to change our lives, work and world as we know it.
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
OnProcess Technology has announced it will be a featured speaker at @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1 - 3, 2016, in Santa Clara, California. Dan Gettens, OnProcess’ Chief Analytics Officer, will discuss how Internet of Things (IoT) data can be leveraged to predict product failures, improve uptime and slash costly inventory stock. @ThingsExpo is an annual gathering of IoT and cloud developers, practitioners and thought-leaders who exchange ideas and insights on topics ranging from Big Data in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.