Zettaset (formerly known as GOTO Metrics) is one of a growing number of companies trying to make Apache Hadoop more accessible and more enterprise-ready. Zettaset does this by offering a Hadoop based data warehousing and analytics solution with a graphical user interface, enterprise security and high availability features. The company’s new CEO Jim Vogt appeared on theCube at Strata to discuss what it takes to make Hadoop ready for the enterprise, and why throwing more bodies at the problem is not the answer.
Vogt explains that although he believes that Hadoop is the best way to harness the growing mass of unstructured data in the enterprise, Hadoop adoption has been slowed by factors such as usability and the need for resiliency and failover. Vogt explains Zettaset’s solution as a “wrapper” around the open source Hadoop project to bring these features to Hadoop.
Although it might be easy to compare Zettaset’s solution with MapR, which has tried to solve some of the same problems by creating its own proprietary version of Hadoop, Vogt says Zettaset is different in that it leaves the core Hadoop in tact. He makes it clear that Zettaset is not a fork of Hadoop.
Regarding Zettaset’s relationship to open source, Vogt says that Zettaset presented the Apache Hadoop working group with its high availability improvements months ago, but the working group hasn’t acted on it yet. It can be slow to add features and make improvements to the open source version, so that’s where companies like Zettaset and its competitors like MapR come in: they can provide these sorts of improvements quicker than the open source project can.
Vogt explained that Zettaset is starting out with a partnership-driven market strategy. He says the company has been approached by hardware companies like Fusion-io to help create Hadoop offerings because Zettaset can provide them with a Hadoop implementation that works on non-commodity hardware. As Vogt explains it, customers will get all the benefit of the original product, plus a usable version of Hadoop without going after professional services.
Vogt differentiates Zettaset’s product focused offering from Cloudera and Hortonworks by saying that Zettaset isn’t throwing professional services at the problem. Instead, Zettaset is interested in helping a IT staff get a Hadoop cluster working on their own, and providing them with the tools to better manage it. Vogt thinks Zettaset presents a big opportunity for systems integrators as well, since they can use Zettaset to implement Hadoop without hiring Cloudera or Hortonworks.
He sees the Cloudera/Hortonworks approach as “throwing bodies at the problem.” He’d rather a customer need less training and less implementation on the part of Zettaset. “We’re here to create value, not dependency” he said.
With Cloudera aligning with Oracle to create a Hadoop appliancce, and MapR working with EMC to do the same, it will be interesting to see what sort of partner products Zettaset releases. Companies like IBM and Oracle are betting on the tried and try approach of selling IT big bundles of software and services. It’s in their best interest to keep these products difficult and the customers as dependent on the vendors as possible. Zettaset could be a disruptive force.