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May 25, 2012

This Week’s Big Data Big Seven

Datanami Staff

From tape being strung to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, to startups scoring funding for financial data handling, to growth details from companies like NetApp, this week’s big data news (ending Friday, May 25) will round out the holiday weekend with a look back at the top stories.

Without further delay, we’ll delve in so you can get caught up on the top stories of the week before you gear up for a pleasant Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S. (and hopefully a pleasant weekend in elsewhere in the world as well).

Our top story this week….

SpectraLogic Plays Loop for Big Scientific Data

With over 30 years under its belt, SpectraLogic is showing that tape holds big value for big data and supercomputing installations.

This week the company announced that the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has selected its T-Finity tape libraries to provide 100 percent of the near-line data storage for its upcoming Blue Waters supercomputing system.

When finished, the Blue Waters system will be one of the world’s largest active file repositories stored on tape media and will scale to a capacity of 380 raw petabytes (PB) within the first two years of operation. Spectra® T-Finity tape libraries will provide the Blue Waters project with the ability to keep all near-line data accessible in an active repository, perform automated data integrity verification for the data store, and deliver high performance read/write rates of up to 2.2 PBs per hour utilizing enterprise TS1140 Technology tape drives.

As Bill Kramer, deputy director of the Blue Waters project at NCSA said. “The Spectra Logic T-Finity met our rigorous requirements with its high enterprise-level performance, ready data accessibility and massively scalable capacity. We are confident it will provide our user community with fast, reliable access to the massive volumes of critical data stored within Blue Waters’ Petascale near-line file repository.”

Blue Waters will feature an integrated storage environment that is initially scalable to over 380 petabytes, which is the equivalent of 5,054 years of HD-TV video or a stack of books over 9 times the distance from the earth to the moon.

NCSA will initially deploy four (4) Spectra Logic 17-frame T-Finity tape libraries to support Blue Waters’ near-line data archive needs in year one of operations. NCSA will then deploy two (2) more Spectra Logic 17-frame T-Finity tape libraries in year two of operations.

NEXT — DIY Large-Scale Analytics >>

GigaSpaces Launches DIY Big Analytics

This week GigaSpaces Technologies, which focuses on data scalability and next-generation application platforms for mission-critical applications, announced new capabilities, including offering customers the ability to launch a high-performance real-time analytics system for applications processing massive data sets.

The new release, titled XAP9.0 has been targeted at those with large-scale location-aware mobile, social, and financial/risk analysis applications.

According to Adi Paz, GigaSpaces EVP of Marketing & Business Development. “What is common to all real-time analytics systems is the need for streaming data processing, alongside batch processing, such as Hadoop provides. However, building a system for big data apps is complicated – it must maintain reliability, scalability, and performance even at immensely large scales of data. XAP 9.0 was specifically designed to resolve these challenges.”

GigaSpaces says that it has taken a blueprint similar to large-scale social platforms, including Facebook, and made it simple enough for developers to implement large-scale data analytics system in a matter of days, or even less.

 “What sets apart the GigaSpaces Big Data solution for real-time analytics is the combination of simplicity and reliable high performance,” says Paz. “Real-time analytics is actually a very complex area, and the ability to get a ready-made, easy-to-implement solution cannot be overestimated. At the same time, simplicity is not enough for business that require accuracy, speed and reliability as basic requirements. XAP 9.0 provides all of the above.”

Next — Integrating MongoDB >>

Pentaho, 10gen Collaborate to Integrate MongoDB

Business analytics vendor Pentaho and 10gen, the company behind MongoDB, today announced a partnership to provide direct integration between Pentaho Business Analytics and MongoDB.

As enterprise data architectures continue to evolve, customers are looking to address rapidly changing multi-structured data and take advantage of cloud-like architectures. This alliance brings the data integration, data discovery and visualization capabilities of Pentaho to MongoDB.

The companies say that the native integration between Pentaho and MongoDB helps enterprises take advantage of the flexible, scalable data storage capabilities of MongoDB while ensuring compatibility and interoperability with existing data infrastructure.

Pentaho and 10gen have developed connectors to tightly integrate MongoDB and Pentaho Business Analytics. By adding MongoDB integration to its existing library of connectors for relational databases, analytic databases, data warehouses, enterprise applications, and standards-based information exchange formats, Pentaho says it can provide a more robust enterprise architects, developers, data scientists and analysts for both MongoDB and existing databases.

As a release this week stated, “Enterprise architects benefit from a scalable data integration framework functioning across MongoDB and other data stores, and developers gain access to familiar graphical interfaces for data integration and job management with full support for MongoDB. Data scientists and analysts can now visualize and explore data across multiple data sources, including MongoDB.”

Next — Partners in the Grid >>

GridDynamics, GridGain Collaboration for Big Data

Grid Dynamics, an eCommerce technology solutions company, and GridGain Systems, makers of an open source in-memory platform for big data processing, today announced the expansion of their partnership which began in 2008.

Grid Dynamics provides personalization and big data solutions for large-scale eCommerce companies, GridGain’s Java based open source middleware platform allows organizations to perform real time processing and analytics on live big data.

The stronger relationship between GridGain and Grid Dynamics will further efforts by both companies to evolve the OpenStack platform, an open-source cloud and IaaS (infrastructure as a service) stack, backed by leading tech firms including RackSpace, HP, Dell, Cisco, Internap, IBM and Red Hat.

“GridGain has always been an important component within the portfolio of technologies we use to build next-generation software products and platforms for our enterprise customers,” says Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Grid Dynamics. “GridGain’s mature in-memory compute and data grid platform can deliver analytics capabilities necessary to improve revenues and conversion rates for eCommerce companies far more effectively than traditional technologies.”

“Grid Dynamics helps big companies turn technology into competitive differentiation and GridGain enables fast data processing and analysis of big data. There has always been a great synergy between us,” says Nikita Ivanov, CEO and founder, GridGain Systems. “We are very pleased to further expand our partnership with Grid Dynamics and to be among the select software technologies and vendors they use to provide the very best solutions for their customers”.

NEXT — Startup Scores Funding to Manage Big Financial Data >>

Big Data Startup Focuses on Financial Services

Zebit, a San Diego-based startup touting a big data platform for financial transactions, has just closed a $25 million series D round of funding. Parent company Global Analytics Holdings, Inc.

The company plans to use the investment led by Mohr Davidow Ventures to fund Zebit’s innovative platform-as-a-service in the financial sector as well as the growth of its micro-lending business

“Zebit fits right in with one of our major themes around big data, analytics-driven insights and execution to disrupt and/or create major markets,” said Bryan Stolle, General Partner at Mohr Davidow. “We know the platform works. Their initial launch market in the UK is a profitable $50+ million business. We think this is an exceptional team chasing a very big opportunity, and we’re thrilled to be a strategic partner in this venture.”

The Zebit platform is the first of its kind that supports the challenging micro-lending businesses from start to finish. That means that companies, such as online retailers, who want to do business with customers with low access to credit can do so in a single, customizable platform.

According to Michael Thiemann, CEO, the key is based on “adaptive data fusion” which he defines as a “science that has been used traditionally in military and wireless sensor applications – taking big, complex streams of data from multiple sources and transforming them into actionable inferences that are superior to using the data streams individually.” He says that his company has applied this to  Zebit, which performs underwriting on a per-transaction basis – because each customer transaction is inherently different, involving a unique purchase, unique variables and a distinct point in time. This is what he calls “the holy grail of risk management.”

Zebit claims it has completed over a million transactions on the platform built by the same pioneers of real-time data analytics who created the industry-acclaimed Falcon® fraud detection system (a registered trademark of FICO), used to protect over 2 billion credit cards worldwide.

NEXT — Full Speed Ahead for NetApp >>

Full Speed Ahead for NetApp

This week NetApp reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012, with revenues of $1.70 billion, up 19% compared to revenues of $1.43 billion for the same period one year ago.

The company has been pushing its portfolio of big data-ready products, including the NetApp and Cisco partnership to create FlexPod. This is the duo’s set of new architectures designed to allow customers and partners to accelerate their transition to the cloud.

The company has announced a number of new customers who are leveraging big data with NetApp and FlexPod, including SoftBank, which is using the technology in a cloud model for Japanese financial services aims as well as numerous efforts to get the country back on its feet following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

“With a strong product offering and well established partner ecosystem, NetApp delivered our ninth consecutive quarter of over 20% year-over-year product revenue growth. Our ability to generate cash remains robust as the fourth quarter was our best ever quarter in terms of cash flow from operations,” said Tom Georgens, president and CEO.

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