Welcome!

Apache Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Christopher Harrold, John Mertic

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
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, will discuss how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees will learn how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He will also look at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers ca...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ca...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business. Though, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected with a majority of IoT projects having failed. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief IoTologist at Wipro, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology portfolios and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will delve in...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, will discuss new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of securit...
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.