Altiscale’s latest cloud service brings Hadoop to business users

Altiscale, a company that has always been about reducing the complexity related to using Hadoop, has taken that to the next level today with the release of Altiscale Insight Cloud, a cloud service aimed at making Hadoop accessible to business users.

Altiscale Insight Cloud provides services for data ingestion, processing, analysis and visualization. That includes the ability to create interactive SQL queries, dynamic visualizations, real-time dashboards, and other reporting and analytics capabilities.

Up until now the company has been pitching mostly to IT and data scientists, people interested in Hadoop purely from technology standpoint — and for them the higher end Altiscale Data Cloud service was just fine. With Insight Cloud, Altiscale is hoping that changes and it starts dealing more with line of business users, who know very little about Hadoop and simply want to find an easier way to get from ingestion to insight with their data, says Raymie Stata, CEO at Altiscale.

One of the reasons he started the company was he saw a need to offer Hadoop as a managed service. Many companies that wanted to use Hadoop lacked the staff expertise to implement it and Altiscale tried to make it easier by delivering Hadoop as a managed service. The newest product is aiming to take that even further, offering a package of tools that the company considers best of breed, Stata said.

Early on Altiscale took pride in being all things to all people, leaving it up to customers to make their own technology choices while remaining tool neutral, but the company decided it was time to create a product where it made some choices for those customers who wanted an out-of-the-box solution.

“We came to the conclusion we would be doing the market a favor if we had an opinion,” he said. Plus he said it also ended up solving a problem for IT, which was constantly dealing with demands from lines of business for better data tools. “Business leaders have been hammering on IT [about building big data solutions] and they couldn’t find a way with their existing options and infrastructure. Going with the cloud and self-service can satisfy that [constituency] quickly,” Stata explained.

What’s more, the company is offering the ability to expose each of the different components of the solution as a service via an API, so those companies that only want to use only some of those services can do so without buying the entire platform.

Even though it’s a simplified product, Altiscale recognizes that there will customers who need even more hand-holding and they are also offering a set of professional services to help them adjust. The professional services unit can assist with anything from building connectors to and from data sources or other applications, dealing with the cleaning and processing of data (known as ETL), building specific reports and dashboards to visualize the data and offering training, so business employees can learn to do some of this stuff themselves.

The product is generally available today and starts at $9000/month. Pricing is based on data volume and processing hours used. Interestingly, the price also includes access to the Altiscale Data Cloud with the same volume charges applying.

Altiscale was founded in 2012. It has received $42 million in funding including its most recent round, a $30 million Series B in December, 2014.