With Cash From Sequoia And General Catalyst, Yahoo’s Former CTO Debuts Altiscale To Run Hadoop As A Service In The Cloud

Raymie Stata, the former CTO of Yahoo, is taking the wraps off his new startup, Altiscale, today, which in short runs Hadoop as a Service in the cloud. The company, which was founded in 2012, has raised funding from Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, and Jerry Yang’s AME Ventures, and is announcing its general availability.

Stata is intimately familiar with all things Hadoop–he sponsored Yahoo’s extensive, Open Source contributions to the Apache Hadoop project, and drove the widespread adoption of Hadoop throughout the company’s search and advertising products (you can read more about Yahoo and Hadoop here). As he explains, while anyone can run Hadoop, it’s expensive to buy machines and run the technology, and requires enterprise expertise that most people don’t have.

In today’s world, he says, you can go to Amazon and use Elastic Map Reduce to start and Hadoop Cluster for you, but you are on your own if that cluster misbehaves. And if you want to scale up, and add more assets, this is a complex problem. It’s either DIY or AWS, he says. And those options are very limiting. Altiscale wants to free consumers from the burdens of deploying, managing and scaling Apache Hadoop by offering Hadoop-as-a-Service (HaaS).

The company says the Altiscale Data Cloud is the industry’s first ‘purpose-built’ Hadoop Cloud. Altiscale operates its own hardware, selected and configured for the demands of Hadoop. Features include Hadoop data and compute that’s always on and available, and a patent-pending auto-elasticity that continuously monitors data and job usage to provide exactly the capacity you need, when you need it. Altiscale also offers a Hadoop Helpdesk that will monitor jobs. And installations are charged monthly.

“We believe that HaaS will eventually dominate the market,” said Stata. “The reason is straightforward: firms should be focused on using Hadoop effectively, not wrestling with the infrastructure and operational challenges required to run it well. At Altiscale, you can be running in a day, and scale from development to production instantly, paying only for the resources you use.”

Already a number of companies who are processing large amounts of data, including ad retargeter Datalogix and OpenTable, are using Altiscale. Many customers are running petabytes of data using the technology, says the company.

For Stata, he always wanted to go back to a startup environment from Yahoo. The opportunity that really intrigued him was seeing the power of Hadoop hands on at Yahoo, and visualizing the potential for more companies to begin using the technology more easily and efficiently.