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Altiscale Funding Highlights Data-as-a-Service Trend

The recent $30 million in funding announced by Altiscale Inc. highlights the growing trend of offering Hadoop analytics as a service and, on a broader scale, the maturation of the Big Data industry as a whole.

Altiscale, which describes itself as "a leading innovator in Hadoop-as-a-Service (HaaS) solutions," announced it had raised the $30 million in Series B funding from investors such as Northgate, Sequoia Capital and General Catalyst Partners.

"Hadoop holds tremendous promise for the enterprise, but it remains extremely complex," said Northgate managing director Brent Jones. "This complexity makes the Hadoop market more susceptible to disruption than the enterprise application market was by SaaS. We are excited to lead this round for Altiscale as the company is addressing a huge market need with a faster and easier model for Hadoop adoption, and the customer validation proves it's working."

The Altiscale funding is but the latest of many industry initiatives to reduce the complexity of the Hadoop/Big Data ecosystem. After being ubiquitously hyped for years, the power of Big Data analytics is being "democratized" -- or made available to more developers and users beyond specialized data scientists with arcane skills -- through simpler technology and services.

In fact, according to analyst Frank Gens at IDC, the DaaS arena is destined for great things in 2015.

"The overall Big Data and analytics market will reach $125 billion worldwide," Gens said in a report titled, "IDC Predictions 2015: Accelerating Innovation--and Growth--on the 3rd Platform."

"Spending on rich media analytics will at least triple in 2015," Gens said. "Providing data as a service (DaaS)--and securing strong 'data supply chains' for those services--will become a high priority, with 25 percent of top analytics vendors offering DaaS."

Rival IT analyst firm Forrester Research Inc. points to the efficiencies of the cloud as providing a catalyst for Hadoop services.

"Hadoop cloud services offer enterprises a way to manage the resources much more efficiently," Forrester said in a for-sale report titled, "Predictions 2015: Hadoop Will Become A Cornerstone Of Your Business Technology Agenda."

"They can spin up a thousand nodes to perform a particular gnarly job for a few hours and then knock back the compute and network resources to next to nothing when not needed," Forrester's Mike Gualtieri said in the report. "Cloud economics also minimizes that cost of deploying and maintaining Hadoop."

Besides Altiscale, more established major industry players are also getting in on the DaaS action, capitalizing on cloud delivery efficiencies. Oracle, which in July announced its Oracle Data Cloud offerings, is initially focusing on marketing and social data services. Just two weeks ago Oracle announced an agreement to buy Datalogix to bolster its data services with that company's service that "connects offline purchasing data to digital media to improve audience targeting and measure sales impact."

If recent research offered by Research and Markets proves true, Oracle, Altiscale and other DaaS pioneers may be soon facing a lot of competition.

"DaaS is expected to grow significantly in the near future due to a few dominant themes including cloud-based infrastructure/services, enterprise data syndication, and the consumer services trend towards Everything as a Service (XaaS)," the company said in hawking the report. "In addition, vendor-managed systems provide necessary scalability and security for sustainable services execution."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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