On March 9, the Apache Software Foundation announced the availability of Apache Tajo version 10.0. Less well known than its counterpart Apache Hive, Apache Tajo is used for ETL on big data in addition to SQL-compliant querying functionality that delivers scalable, low latency results. Version 10.0 features enhancements to Amazon S3 and an improved JDBC driver that renders Tajo compatible with most major BI platforms. Hyunsik Choi, Vice President of Apache Tajo, remarked on Apache Tajo’s progress as follows:
Tajo has evolved over the last couple of years into a mature ‘SQL-on-Hadoop’ engine. The improved JDBC driver in this release allows users to easily access Tajo as if users use traditional RDBMSs. We have verified new JDBC driver on many commercial BI solutions and various SQL tools. It was easy and works successfully.
As Choi notes, Tajo attempts to bring the simplicity and standardization of SQL and RDBMS infrastructures to the power of Hadoop’s distributed processing and scalability. Designed with a focus on fault tolerance, scalability, high throughput and query optimization, Tajo aims to deliver low latency in conjunction with a storage agnostic platform that notably boasts Hbase storage integration that allows Tajo users to access Hbase via Tajo as of this version. Tajo plays in an increasingly crowded SQL on Hadoop-space featuring the likes of Hive, Cloudera’s Impala, Pivotal HAWQ and Stinger although it claims some early adoption in South Korea, the country of its origin, with organizations such as Korea University, Melon, NASA JPL Radio Astronomy and Airborne Snow Observatory projects, and SK Telecom. The key question for Apache Tajo now is whether its new release will usher in greater traction outside of South Korea, particularly given its enhanced integration with Amazon S3 and Amazon’s Elastic Mapreduce (EMR) platform.
As reported in The Wall Street Journal, Bank of America is ramping up its push to leverage cloud-based infrastructures by aiming to transition 80% of its workloads to software defined data centers by 2018. To help facilitate the transition to software-defined datacenters, Bank of America is engaged in conversations with vendors building hardware according to specifications from the OpenCompute Project, an open source hardware movement started by Facebook that seeks to reduce the cost of hardware by revealing Facebook’s hardware specifications to the industry at large. The Open Compute-compatible data center leverages commodity hardware that conforms to the hardware specifications used by Facebook to build its giant infrastructure. Bank of America’s reported interest in using OpenCompute-compatible hardware and transitioning to software-defined datacenters illustrates the depth of the transformation of enterprise IT toward computing resources with enhanced operational agility, the ability to elastically scale and ingest and run analytics on massive volumes of transactional data. Although Bank of America’s exploration of private cloud development and commodity hardware has been underway for well over a year, its recently reported target of transferring 80% of its workloads to software defined data centers wherein applications provision and manage computing resources underscores how cloud computing and the transformation of the contemporary datacenter extends well beyond the purview of internet and technology startups to highly regulated industries such as financial services as well. The other obvious implication of the increasing use of commodity hardware is the concomitant pressure on players such as HP, Dell and Lenovo to transform their product lines and business model in tandem with the industry-wide migration toward commodity hardware and the transformation of the contemporary datacenter as evinced by technology from vendors such as Vapor IO and Mesosphere.
Vapor IO today emerges from stealth mode to reveal details of its hyper collapsed data center technology that aims to revolutionize the economics of operating and maintaining datacenters. Vapor IO integrates sensor technology into datacenters to help customers more effectively understand attributes about datacenter operational performance. The integrated sensor technology enables the optimization of datacenter resources by tracking metrics such as rack temperature, humidity, cost per kilowatt hour, cost per VM in a public cloud and measured PoE by means of its Open Data Center Runtime Environment technology (Open DCRE). In addition to Open DCRE, the principal components of which have been contributed to the Open Compute Project, Vapor IO introduces Core Operating Runtime Environment (CORE), a product that works in both Open Compute and traditional IT environments. While details of Vapor IO’s CORE solution remain scarce, we do know that its larger vision of rendering datacenter management more efficient roughly coincides with Mesosphere, the company that aims to manage datacenters as one discrete machine in contrast to a heterogeneous assemblage of networking, software and hardware. As told to Cloud Computing Today in an interview with Vapor CEO Cole Crawford, Vapor IO aims to increase datacenter density to reduce capex and opex in recognition of the enhanced computing power and resources required for the emerging internet of things space and its attendant deluge of data. Expect Vapor IO’s technology to gain traction as enterprises increasingly seek methods to manage ever increasing data ingestion volumes and their concomitant requirements for operational simplicity and intelligence with respect to computing resources.
The National Institutes of Health recently launched the Alzheimer’s Big Data portal, a website that represents part of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) featuring a collaborating between the NIH, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and scientists from a variety of disciplines. The AMP-AD Knowledge Portal is intended to facilitate the sharing of large datasets that accelerate the development of drug discovery as it relates to Alzheimers Disease (AD). Developed by Sage Bionetworks, a non-profit organization that promotes “open science,” the site will not only serve as a data repository for data about Alzheimers but also accelerate data sharing that leads to predictive modeling of the disease as well as the identification and elaboration of molecular pathways associated with the progression of Alzheimers Disease. Sage Bionetworks will work with academic teams and research collaborators to analyze data from over 2,000 post-mortem Alzheimer patient brain samples in addition to fostering sharing about methodologies for cutting-edge, big data analytics as it applies to Alzheimers, more generally. The portal promises to transform Alzheimers treatment by unlocking the power of Big Data analytics to facilitate disruptive and novel approaches to drug discovery and therapeutic approaches toward Alzheimers.
Alation today announces the finalization of $9M in Series A funding led by Costanoa Venture Capital and Data Collective Venture Capital, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Bloomberg Beta and General Catalyst Partners. The funding will be used both for product development and the expansion of Alation’s sales and marketing operations. Still in stealth mode, Alation intends to enhance the ability of organizations to access and retrieve data. Based on the premise that organizations continue to struggle with respect to locating data housed within their own infrastructures, Alation intends to improve data accessibility as well as to help customers more effectively understand the quality and significance of their data. Alation CEO Satyen Sangani remarked on Alation’s value proposition as follows:
Organizations still struggle with quickly finding, understanding and using the right data. Data-driven enterprises have voracious appetites for information and continue to make massive investments in data management platforms like Hadoop and business intelligence software like Tableau. While these technologies help with computation, storage, and visualization, ironically they make it harder to navigate the ocean of data. Alation helps people get to key insights faster.
Although business intelligence platforms such as Tableau facilitate data visualization and analysis, Sangani notes, organizations continue to wrestle with the problem of maneuvering within their “ocean of data” and finding the right data for analysis. Led by a team of founders with prior experience at Oracle, Google and Apple, Alation is gearing up for a general availability release of its platform in mid-2015. As told to Cloud Computing Today by CEO Satyen Sangani, the company’s solution focuses on structured and semi-structured data and claims several large, data-driven companies within its roster of customers. Expect more details regarding Alation to emerge within the upcoming months as it comes out of stealth and takes the wraps off its platform for managing big data complexity and increasing data accessibility more generally.
Cloud-based analytics vendor Numerify recently announced the addition of notable product enhancements to its Numerify360 for IT platform marked by solutions dedicated to the needs of managed service providers and retail and higher education institutions. In addition, Numerify revealed a slew of updates to its portfolio of products that facilitate the operation of IT as a business by enhancing its change management, location analytics, incident analysis and text analytics solutions. Unlike many IT analytics vendors that focus on infrastructure and application-related metrics such as latency and throughput, Numerify differentiates itself by building applications focused around empowering IT leadership to obtain visibility regarding its performance as a business that serves other business units within the organization. For example, Numerify’s location analytics capability enables IT to derive granular business intelligence about technology performance in different geographies to facilitate proactive interventions to mitigate technology-related disruptions. Similarly, Numerify’s change management analytics facilitate the identification of changes resulting in service interruptions to minimize the disruptive effect of changes to applications and infrastructure.
News of Numerify’s updates to its platform arrives in conjunction with company announcements of “significant growth” since its April 2014 stealth launch marked by quarterly revenue growth in the triple digits and a bevy of new customer signings. Backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, Numerify delivers a unique level of analytics that empowers IT to focus on the metrics that impact the satisfaction of their customers rather than remaining mired in technology-related metrics that require the imposition of another level of abstraction to understand their business value and significance. The bottom line here is that the increasing heterogeneity of contemporary IT infrastructures means that the application and infrastructure analytics space is red hot, and likely to continue burning brightly given the sprawl of on-premise, cloud-based and distributed applications. Expect Numerify to continue building on its impressive market traction in the remainder of 2015 and expanding a customer roster that currently includes Netflix, Aruba Networks and the University of San Francisco.
Meru Networks today announces the Meru Xpress Cloud, a Wi-FI solution that delivers enterprise-grade Wi-Fi to small to medium-size businesses that grapple with the challenges posed by the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace. Architected using the Meru XP8i access point, the Meru Xpress Cloud boasts enhanced data security by ensuring that all corporate data remains behind the firewall. The Meru Xpress Cloud boasts a degree of operational simplicity that allows office staff with little to no specific IT expertise to deploy the Meru wireless solution alongside high performance, scalability, redundancy and security. Monetized by way of a subscription or a resale pricing model, the Meru Xpress Cloud competes with the likes of Cisco and Aruba by targeting SMB customers that have less upfront capital to invest in cloud-managed Wi-Fi and more operational capital to support deployment, operation and support of a long-term solution. Today’s announcement highlights yet another use case for cloud-based infrastructures in the form of cloud-managed Wi-Fi for SMBs that require enterprise-grade scalability and high performance in a technology environment characterized by the radical prolixity and explosive growth of end user devices that need to connect to Wi-Fi networks.