@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Andreas Grabner, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

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.

@CloudExpo Stories
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Nick Son, Vice President of Cyber Risk & Public Sector at Coalfire, will discuss the latest information on the FedRAMP Program. Topics will cover: FedRAMP Readiness Assessment Report (RAR). This new process is designed to streamline and accelerate the FedRAMP process from the traditional timeline by initially focusing on technical capability instead of documentation preparedness. FedRAMP for High-impact level systems. Early in 2016 FedRAMP officially publishe...
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Security, data privacy, reliability, and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house, client-hosted environments to a cloud platform. Quality assurance plays a vital role in ensuring that the appropriate level of risk assessment, verification, and validation takes place to ensure business continuity during the migration to a new cloud platform.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, will provide economic scenarios that describe how the rapid adoption of software-defined everything including cloud services, SDDC and open networking will change GDP, industry growth, productivity and jobs. This session will also include a drill down for several industries such as finance, social media, cloud service providers and pharmaceuticals.
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...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
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.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime 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. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer 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. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
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 ...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...