Databricks takes on Google data streaming analysis with Spark

Databricks Cloud will provide Spark-based streaming analysis as a service

Taking on Google, Databricks plans to offer its own cloud service for analyzing live data streams, one based on the Apache Spark software.

Databricks Cloud is designed to provide a platform for analyzing streaming data, much like the Google DataFlow service announced last week.

Like Google DataFlow, Databricks Cloud promises to offer a single programming model that cuts across different approaches to data analysis, including support for batch programming and live data streaming. And like Google DataFlow, Databricks Cloud will first be offered in preview mode, with full commercial support due by the end of the year.

The two services are aimed to different markets, according to Ion Stoica, CEO of Databricks.

"Google DataFlow is really targeted to developers. We also have higher-level interfaces for data scientists and data engineers," Stoica said.

Databricks also guarantees application portability. Because the entire stack is based on open source software, users can move their workloads to other Apache Spark installations should they need to, Stoica said. "You can take your application and run it in another cloud," Stoica said.

Such a service could be used by enterprises for tasks such as churn analysis, which can determine why a customer stops using a product, or for fraud detection, where a malicious activity can be spotted while it is still taking place.

The University of California, Berkeley's AMP (Algorithms, Machines and People) Lab originally developed Spark as a unified processing engine, one able to provide a platform for a variety of data analysis tasks, including interactive queries, steaming data analysis, machine learning and graph computation.

A number of developers behind Spark went on to form Databricks. The software itself, designed to run on a cluster of servers, is now managed as an open source project under the guidance of the Apache Software Foundation.

Offering Spark as a service eliminates the arduous task for setting up and maintaining an in-house implementation of Spark, Stoica noted.

"Clusters are hard to set up and maintain. To build a data pipeline, you need to stitch together multiple tools, and the tools are still hard to use. So extracting value out of the data is still a struggle," Stoica said.

Initially, Databricks Cloud will be run on Amazon Web Services, though eventually it will also run on other cloud providers such as Google.

In addition to the Spark platform itself, Databricks will provide a set of built-in applications that can do common data analysis tasks. Users can build their own workflows, or issue queries and interact with the data directly. Output can be piped to a dashboard or a report.

Databricks is not the only company making use of Spark's capabilities. ClearStory offers an analytics software package based on Spark that allows organizations to aggregate dozens of unstructured data sources for analysis, far more than can be easily done through traditional business intelligence tools, said ClearStory CEO Sharmila Mulligan.

Databricks also announced Monday that it has received US$33 million in series B funding led by venture capital firm, New Enterprise Associates, with follow-on investment from Andreessen Horowitz.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Innovations in retail will bring creative and technology closer than ever

While approaching a customer in a shop and asking what you can help them with is Retail 101, how many of us actually enjoy being approached? Generally, you have to give the forced, fake smile and say, “Just browsing, thanks,” while screaming on the inside, “just leave me alone!” Maybe it’s just me?

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

There’s a brand in my digital soup

Not a day passes by in the life of business executives where digital innovation or the prospect of disruption is not front of mind. This in turn, drives an unrelenting flow of questioning, discussion and strategy papers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Can marketers trust agencies again?

Unless you’ve been marketing under a rock, you’ll probably have questioned whether your media agencies are offering you transparency.

Nic Halley

Founder and managing director, Mindbox

Nice post Brad! very useful information. The retail stores are really mean for every brand I am agree with you. Now Online Service Market...

Srialto

The rise of online retail marketplaces and what they mean for brands

Read more

Minor correct Nadia, just wanted to clarify that the "Marketo consultants" that did this work, were actually Hoosh consultants

Fab Capodicasa

What it's taking for Edible Blooms to grow a stronger personalisation strategy

Read more

Im not surprise though, been in the industry for couple of years and I feel and see it with my tow eyes how eCommerce platforms innovated...

Jason Smith

Australia Post earmarks $20m for Australian ecommerce innovation investment

Read more

For marketers that are "going Agile" I recommend using Ravetree. It's a really powerful suite of tools for Agile project management, reso...

Janice Morgan

7 ways to run your marketing department like a software startup

Read more

Over the years very part of our lives has become technological. That’s why I am not surprised to see that Australian home loans are going...

GreatDayTo

Why Aussie Home Loans is embracing digital transformation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in