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Altiscale Debuts Cloud for Self-Service Big Data Analytics

Altiscale Inc. wants to simplify this Big Data thing, bypassing trained developers, data scientists and expensive, proprietary systems to connect ordinary business users with Hadoop in the cloud and glean their own analytics insights with familiar tools like Tableau and Microsoft Excel.

Joining the ever-expanding portfolio of similar industry solutions, the Big Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) company yesterday unveiled the Altiscale Insight Cloud.

The new solution builds on the company's managed service -- the Altiscale Data Cloud -- which provides Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark technology, leveraging a converged architecture approach to simplify the querying of a Hadoop data lake.

"The Altiscale Insight Cloud came from our experiences with enterprise customers, who have been searching for a better way to bring Big Data more broadly throughout their organization, beyond data scientists and data engineers," Altiscale exec Mike Maciag said in a blog post today. "For the typical enterprise, providing business access to Big Data has been complex, slow and expensive. IT involvement was a must, which meant that business users were stuck waiting for overwhelmed IT teams to get them the data that they needed. The only solutions that could provide interactive query analytics were expensive, limiting the ability to grow as needs grew."

The Insight cloud lets ordinary business users ingest data into a data lake, conduct SQL queries over that data lake, build dynamic visualizations and conduct analytics via real-time dashboards, along with other reporting and analytics functionality. In addition to Tableau and Excel, other familiar business intelligence (BI) tools such as Qlik and MicroStrategy can be used.

The Altiscale Insight Cloud
[Click on image for larger view.] The Altiscale Insight Cloud (source: Altiscale)

"Access to Big Data has traditionally been restricted to a limited set of data scientists and engineers," the solution's Web site states. "The Altiscale Insight Cloud changes the game, allowing business analysts the ability to analyze data stored in Hadoop, without dependencies on IT. With this analyst-first approach, the volumes of data stored in your Big Data systems can be opened up to greater numbers of users, driving increased business impact in your organization."

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said its converged architecture approach reduces cost and the burden on management by obviating the need for enterprises to maintain a separate relational data repository for aggregated data, which lessens the time to query up to tens of terabytes or even petabytes of data. Such scalability is usually not attainable with typical relational databases, the company said, though Hadoop-based systems can handle such volumes.

"We are excited about the Altiscale Insight Cloud, since it will accelerate and expand our ability to get insights from our data and share those insights across the company," the company quoted Richard Au, Sr., an exec at customer GluPlay, as saying. "As a fast-growing organization with global customers, we want to ensure that our managers across the world have the ability to access and analyze the latest and greatest information. The Altiscale Insight Cloud will allow us to do this quickly and affordably, connecting to our existing Tableau implementation."

Altiscale will provide more information about the new solution at the Strata+Hadoop World conference being held in San Jose, Calif., March 29-31.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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