Concurrent Inc. today announces the finalization of $10M in Series B funding in a round led by new investor Bain Capital Ventures, with additional participation from existing investors Rembrandt Ventures and True Ventures. Salil Deshpande, Managing Director of Bain Capital Ventures, will join Concurrent Inc.’s board of directors as a result of today’s funding raise. The funding will be used to accelerate the development of Concurrent’s commercial product Driven as well as Cascading, the framework for developing and managing Big Data applications. Driven fills a critical void within the Big Data industry by providing customers with visibility regarding application performance on Hadoop while Cascading represents one of the most widely used frameworks for application development on Hadoop. Concurrent’s Series B funding raise comes hot on the heels of its elaboration of details regarding Cascading 3.0 and the announcement of partnerships with Hadoop vendor Hortonworks and Databricks. Scheduled for release in the early summer, Cascading 3.0 features support for technology platforms and computational frameworks such as local in-memory, Apache MapReduce and Apache Tez. Meanwhile, Cascading’s partnership with Hortonworks integrates the Cascading SDK into the Hortonworks Data Platform under the terms of an agreement whereby Hortonworks will certify, deliver and support the Cascading framework. Today’s funding raise provides further validation of Concurrent’s business model and empowers it to consolidate its early positioning as a leader in the Big Data space, with specializations in applications that streamline and simplify Hadoop application development and cluster management. With its new round of funding in hand, the industry expect Concurrent Inc. to obtain more traction around its flagship product Driven as it continues to innovate at the forefront of technology platforms that facilitate the effective operationalization of Big Data. Today’s Series B announcement brings the total capital raised by Concurrent Inc. to $14M by building upon a March 2013 Series A round of $4M.
Concurrent Inc., the primary sponsor behind Cascading, today announces the release of Driven, an application performance management solution for Big Data applications. Driven enables developers to quickly identify and remediate application failures and performance issues specific to applications built using Hadoop. Available as a plug-in for the Cascading infrastructure, Driven solves a key problem in the Hadoop industry related to the management of Hadoop-based applications. The use of Driven allows developers to confirm the successful execution of application jobs and data processing algorithms, in addition to facilitating the optimization of application performance. Developers can monitor and trend application metrics such as runtime parallelization for both operational and R&D purposes. Moreover, because Driven is part of the Java-based Cascading framework for building analytics and data management applications on Apache Hadoop, Driven users can take advantage of Cascading’s collaboration functionality to communicate with Driven communities all over the world.
Chris Wensel, founder and CTO, Concurrent, Inc., remarked on the significance of Driven as follows:
Driven is a powerful step forward in delivering on the full promise of connecting business with Big Data. Gone are the days when developers must dig through log files for clues to slow performance or failures of their data processing applications. The release of Driven further enables enterprise users to develop data oriented applications on Apache Hadoop in a more collaborative, streamlined fashion. Driven is the key to unlock enterprises’ ability to drive differentiation through data. There’s a lot more to come – this is only the beginning.
Here, Wensel notes the way in which Driven responds to the opacity of Hadoop by providing developers with an alternative to sloughing through volumes of log files to understand the performance of their applications. Concurrent CEO Gary Nakamura elaborated on Wensel’s remarks by noting that “One of the big problems in Hadoop today is it’s just a black box,” and that Driven provides a way to expeditiously navigate to lines of code that are responsible for application failure. Because of its positioning as part of the Cascading infrastructure, Driven stands to significantly enhance the value of Cascading by providing developers with an extra layer of insight into application performance that complements Cascading’s indigenous framework for big data analytics and data management. Expect Driven to vault the status of Cascading within the Big Data industry even further and ultimately confirm its place as the go to application for Hadoop analytics, data and application management. Driven is currently available in public Beta whereas its commercial variant, Driven Enterprise, will be available in Q2 via an annual subscription.
Today, Concurrent elaborates on the release of Cascading 2.5, the open source framework for facilitating the development of applications on Apache Hadoop. Cascading 2.5 supports the recent released Hadoop 2.0 distribution including YARN and its other features. Cascading users that are interested in upgrading to Hadoop 2.0 can do so by means of Cascading 2.5. Similarly, applications that leverage the Scalding, Cascalog and PyCascading languages can migrate to Hadoop 2.0 as well by means of the Cascading 2.5 framework. The latest release of Cascading also features “complex join operations and optimizations to dynamically partition and store processed data more efficiently on HDFS,” according to the Concurrent’s press release. Finally, the release deepens its compatibility with other Hadoop distributions and Hadoop as a Service vendors such as Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR, Intel, Altiscale, Qubole and Amazon EMR.
Cascading 2.5 represents one of the few products in either the commercial or open source ecosystem for simplifying the development of Hadoop applications while integrating with a rich and varied ecosystem of products as illustrated below:
The graphic shows how Cascading 2.5 supports all major Hadoop distributions in addition to an impressive list of development languages, database platforms and cloud platforms. In an interview with Cloud Computing Today, Concurrent CEO Gary Nakamura and CTO Chris Wensel noted the uniqueness of Cascading in the Big Data landscape, particularly given its iterative refinement in collaboration with the likes of Twitter, eBay and The Climate Corporation over a period of more than five years.
Today’s announcement regarding the general availability of Cascading 2.5 is accompanied by news of the general availability of Lingual, an ANSI-compliant SQL interface that allows developers to use SQL commands to query data stored in Hadoop clusters. Unlike Apache’s Hive project, Lingual’s ANSI-standard SQL interface enables developers to deploy authentic SQL commands as opposed to HIVE’s SQL-like syntax. Cascading Lingual also allows for the migration of legacy SQL workloads onto Hadoop clusters, the export of Hadoop data onto BI tools such as Jaspersoft, Pentaho and Talend, and the ability to leverage the power of Cascading in conjunction with SQL to orchestrate the execution of multiple SQL queries instead of several, discrete disparate queries. The Big Data space should expect more from Concurrent as it continues to build out tools for simplifying application development on Hadoop, particularly as more and more Hadoop developers come to terms with Cascading’s advantages over MapReduce.