DataTorrent today announces the finalization of $15M in Series B funding. The funding round is led by Singtel Innov8, with additional participation from GE Ventures and Series A investors August Capital, AME Cloud Ventures and Morado Venture Partners. DataTorrent’s platform provides an infrastructure for processing, storing and running analytics on streaming big data sets. The platform can ingest and analyze massive amounts of data by using over 75 connectors as well as 400 Java operators that allow data scientists to perform advanced analytics on multiple datasets in parallel. DataTorrent differentiates itself architecturally by performing in-memory processing that runs directly on Hadoop without the overhead that results from scheduled batches of Hadoop data for processing. The platform boasts massive scalability at sub-second latency while maintaining the capability to process batch and streaming datasets alike. Use cases for DataTorrent include internet of things analytics as well as web-analytics that push the limits of the platform’s ability to scale and ingest massive amounts of data. Today’s capital raise brings the total funding raised by DataTorrent to $23.8M. Building on its recent distinction as a Gartner Cool Vendor, DataTorrent stands to consolidate its early traction in the heavily contested Big Data analytics space with today’s infusion of capital and the guidance brought to its team by Innov8 Managing Director Jeff Karras, who joins DataTorrent’s board of directors as a result of the finalization of the Series B funding round.
MapR has declined the invitation to participate in the Open Data Platform (ODP) after careful consideration, as noted in a recent blog post by John Schroeder, the company’s CEO and co-founder. Schroeder claims that the Open Data Platform is redundant with the governance provided by the Apache Software Foundation, that it purports to “solve” Hadoop-related problems that do not require solving and that it fails to accurately define the core of the Open Data Platform as it relates to Hadoop. With respect to software governance, Schroeder notes that the Apache Software Foundation has done well to steward the development of Apache Hadoop as elaborated below:
The Apache Software Foundation has done a wonderful job governing Hadoop, resulting in the Hadoop standard in which applications are interoperable among Hadoop distributions. Apache governance is based on a meritocracy that doesn’t require payment to participate or for voting rights. The Apache community is vibrant and has resulted in Hadoop becoming ubiquitous in the market in only a few short years.
Here, Schroeder credits the Apache Software Foundation with creating a Hadoop ecosystem in which Hadoop-based applications interoperate with one another and wherein the governance structure is based on a meritocracy that does not mandate monetary contributions in order to garner voting rights. In addition, the blog post observes that whereas the Open Data Platform defines the core of Apache Hadoop as MapReduce, YARN, Ambari and HDFS, other frameworks such as “Spark and Mesos, are gaining market share” and stand to complicate ODP’s definition of the core of Hadoop. Meanwhile, Cloudera’s Chief Strategy Officer Mike Olson explained why Cloudera also declined to join the Open Data Platform by noting that Hadoop “won because it’s open source” and that the partnership between Pivotal and Hortonworks was “antithetical to the open source model and the Apache way.” Given that 75% of Hadoop implementations use either MapR or Cloudera, ODP looks set to face some serious challenges despite support from IBM, Pivotal and Hortonworks, although the precise impact of the schism over the Open Data Platform on the Hadoop community remains to be seen.
Microsoft recently announced the release of Microsoft Azure Service Fabric, a platform that supports the development of applications created using an assemblage of independent microservices as exemplified by the concept of Docker containers, for example. While Azure will be supporting Docker in a subsequent release of Windows Server, its support for microservices by means of the Microsoft Azure Service Fabric allows developers to enjoy the benefits of an architecture that uses Microsoft Azure’s indigenous microservices technology to create discrete application components that collectively enable enhanced scalability and the design of low latency, computationally intensive applications. Not surprisingly, Microsoft Azure Service Fabric features the ability to orchestrate and automate microservices in conjunction with application lifecycle management functionality for the distributed systems that are typically characteristic of applications composed of microservices. The platform also supports Visual Studio tools such as designers, editors and debuggers that facilitate the development, deployment and ongoing management of applications across a variety of operating systems, environments and devices. In the same way that Amazon Web Services recently rendered available the same machine learning and data science platform used by its own data scientists in the form of Amazon Machine Learning, the Microsoft Azure Service Fabric delivers the same core technology that Microsoft Azure has thus far used for Skype for Business, DocumentDB and Bing Cortana.
The platform’s deep experience with enterprise-grade applications that serve millions of users and files means that it “intrinsically understands the available infrastructure resources and needs of applications, enabling automatically updating, self-healing behavior that is essential to delivering highly available and durable services at hyper-scale.” As a result of its ability to understand the interplay between infrastructure, applications and distributed systems, the Microsoft Azure Service Fabric delivers a platform for development based on microservices designed to accommodate the needs of hyperscale applications. As such, Microsoft Azure Service Fabric constitutes a pre-packaged response and counterweight to the increasing traction of Docker technology by presenting Azure customers with a production-grade platform that supports stateless and stateful microservices while additionally featuring micro-services orchestration and automation, even though Microsoft plans to support Docker containers on its Azure platform in the future. In a nutshell, the Microsoft Azure Service Fabric gives developers much of the functionality of Docker and an attendant Docker management platform with the added feather in its cap that the platform has been used for years in production-grade environments for household name products such as Skype and Bing, while concurrently paving the way for streamlined usage of Docker containers on the Azure platform as well.
Cloud application security vendor Elastica recently announced a partnership with Cisco that allows Cisco to resell Elastica’s Cloud Access Security Broker solutions to its customers. The partnership between Elastica and Cisco gives Cisco customers access to Elastica’s CloudSOC portfolio which includes IT risk assessments, deep visibility regarding live cloud application traffic and the ability to detect risky actions on the part of enterprise employees. Elastica’s Shadow IT risk assessment enables customers to prioritize risk ratings of applications in addition to analytics on cloud application usage within an organization. Meanwhile, Elastica’s Shadow Data analytics provide insight into data governance and compliance-related risks with a view toward providing direction regarding how improved data governance and renewed approaches to IT compliance can mitigate an organization’s overall IT risk. Another core Elastica CloudSOC product offering provides deep insight into live cloud application traffic and user activity by leveraging machine learning and semantic technologies that can identify compromised user accounts, high risk transactions and threatening user accounts by means of a proprietary, algorithmic ThreatScore. Elastica’s cloud application security solution draws upon cloud application API data via Elastic securelets that connect to the backend of cloud applications, live cloud application data regarding networking traffic as well as usage patterns and log data from third party security solutions. Elastica’s partnership with Cisco complements solutions such as Cisco’s Cisco Cloud Web Security (CWS), Web Security Appliance (WSA) and Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance by providing deep visibility into analytics related to the security of SaaS and cloud applications more generally. Moreover, Elastica stands to gain access to Cisco’s expansive channel of customers while Cisco benefits from the data science expertise that Elastica brings to the conversation regarding cloud security. Expect to hear more about Elastica as its partnership with Cisco deepens and fuels accelerated product innovation in collaboration with the needs of its evolving customer base.
451 Research Group Report Shows AWS Leads IaaS Space Amidst Increased Competition From Microsoft Azure And Rackspace
According to a 451 Research Vendor Window assessment, the battle for IaaS leadership has intensified even though Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the clear front-runner. Respondents to the 451 vendor evaluations revealed that 57% of enterprise customers use AWS whereas Microsoft Azure is used by 42% of customers. AWS was cited as the most important customer in 35% of all cases, ahead of Microsoft Azure, which garnered 20% of votes in the same category. Rackspace earned the highest ratings for the IaaS vendor capable of fulfilling Guaranteed SLAs and was tied with AWS for its ability to fulfill customer needs. While AWS received high ratings with respect to Experience and Technical Innovation, Microsoft Azure, in contrast, was rated lower than most of its competitors with respect to Experience and Support for Open-Source Software. Meanwhile, in the private cloud market, the 451 Research Vendor Window Assessment found that VMware claims a presence in 70% of enterprises with its ESX and vCloud virtualization platforms. Nevertheless, the survey also found that more than 70% of VMware customers have deployed other solutions for private clouds such as OpenStack or Microsoft Cloud OS, for example.
Michelle Bailey, Senior Vice President, Digital Infrastructure and Data Strategy at the 451 Research Group, remarked on the significance of the findings as follows:
While the 2015 Vendor Window for IaaS shows Amazon Web Services as the clear leader based on multiple metrics, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and VMware’s vCloud Air are becoming competitive challengers. As more mainstream customers move business-critical workloads to cloud environments, the decision criteria for evaluating potential vendors change relative to early cloud adopters, and in turn so do the vendors under consideration.
Here, Bailey notes how the IaaS assessment reveals the emergence of “competitive challengers” to the leadership role of Amazon Web Services as the criteria for IaaS vendor selection evolves in relation to the evolving maturity of cloud adoption within the enterprise. The bottom line here is that, even though Amazon Web Services remains the most widely used and, in many ways, respected vendor within the IaaS space, enterprises are increasingly reviewing alternative options to AWS, particularly as the space features an increasing number of robust options that can variously go toe to toe with AWS regarding attributes such as customer service and ability to support SLAs. More importantly, the battle for IaaS market share is likely to become even more competitive as the progressive maturity of Big Data technologies and analytics means that enterprises are likely to seek cloud platforms that can not only support, but also streamline and simplify the adoption of Hadoop and NoSQL. Regardless, exciting times are ahead for the cloud industry as IaaS vendors mature their product and service offerings in ways that give customers the confidence to select multiple vendors to minimize risks of vendor lock-in while concomitantly enriching their knowledge of the IaaS space by sampling the heterogeneity of offerings available on the market today.