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October 20, 2014

Top Big Data Startups Honored at Strata

Alex Woodie

Hadoop virtualization startup BlueData took home the blue ribbon at the Startup Showcase competition during the Strata + Hadoop World conference last week. Also gaining recognition were Metanautix, an SQL data compute engine; graph analytics startup GraphLab; and SlamData, which develops an SQL add-on for MongoDB.

As we previously reported, BlueData was founded in 2012 by two former VMware engineers, Kumar Sreekanti and Tom Phelan, who wanted to dramatically reduce the complexity in Hadoop deployments. The company’s offering, dubbed EPIC, provides a layer of virtualization and automation that enables non-technical users to spin up Hadoop clusters with as few as five clicks.

Being named the top startup at Strata gives BlueData an additional level of credibility–not only among the Hadoop distributors, who have to be concerned about the creeping level of complexity in Hadoop, but also with anybody looking to use Apache Spark. Last week Databricks, the company behind Spark, announced that it has certified EPIC. That means BlueData customers can now spin up multi-tenant Spark clusters in a matter of minutes, without involving any Hadoop.

Nabbing second place was Metanautix, a big data startup based in Silicon Valley. Founded by the former Google engineer who headed the development of Dremel, Theo Vassilakis, and the Facebook engineer who developed the social media giant’s photo repository, Apostolos Lerios, Metanautix aims to create a SQL-powered super tool that can access practically any database or data store, and addresses a range of needs, including ad hoc queries, ETL, and transactional server jobs.

“Our goal is basically, wherever you have your data, we want to be able to go read it,” Vassilakis told Datanami in an interview this summer. “If it’s NoSQL, we’ll go read it from NoSQL. If it’s a server or if the Web or HDFS, we’ll go get it.”

Graph database startup GraphLab nabbed third place in the Strata Startup Showcase. The Seattle, Washington-based company is looking to commercialize an open source graph database created by CEO Carlos Guestrin at Carnegie Mellon University in 2009. The first release of its software, which was officially unveiled this summer, is said to lower the barrier of entry to using machine learning algorithms to analyze large sets of data without the services of a data scientist.

Taking the prize for audience favorite is SlamData, a Boulder, Colorado company that was founded earlier this year to simplify analytics on NoSQL databases. The company’s co-founders, Jeff Carr and John De Goes, developed an ANSI SQL compatible interface that makes NoSQL data available to anyone, and eliminates the need to learn new technologies or write ETL code to analyze NoSQL data. The open source software currently just supports MongoDB, but will soon support the NoSQL data stores from Apache Spark, Elasticsearch, and Cassandra.

The judges also looked at several other big data firms, who were finalists in this year’s competition, including:

  • X15 Software, a provider of machine data platforms;
  • Waterline Data Science, a developer of Hadoop data inventory management software;
  • Pepperdata, a developer of Hadoop performance tools;
  • VisualDNA, which blends psychology with big data;
  • SequenceIQ, a developer of tools for making predictive applications;
  • AtScale, which helps Tableau and Impala work better together;
  • Plotly, an online analytics and data visualization tool;
  • and E8 Security, a provider of machine learning-based security tools.

Related Items:

Self-Provision Hadoop in Five Clicks, BlueData Says

GraphLabs Wises Up Machine Learning Platform

Top Three Big Data Startups at Strata

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