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Ahana brings PrestoDB SQL query engine to the cloud

Soon after announcing its seed round of funding, Ahana launched commercial support services for the open source federated SQL data query technology.

The open source PrestoDB project is getting new commercial support options, thanks to big data analytics startup Ahana.

Ahana on June 30 released PrestoDB in the AWS Marketplace as well as a container images that are available on the Docker Hub.

The two offerings are based on the open source PrestoDB codebase, with commercial support available as an option for organizations. PrestoDB was developed and is supported by the Linux Foundation's Presto Software Foundation, based on code originally from Facebook.

Ahana, based in San Mateo, Calif., emerged from its stealth mode June 2, after raising $2.25 million in a seed round of funding led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). PrestoDB has found increasing adoption by users of data analytics, often as an alternative query engine to Apache Spark.

PrestoDB's increasing popularity reflects expanding demand for data lake analytics, said Matt Aslett, research director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

"We are seeing growing demand for distributed query engines such as Presto to enable organizations to analyze data in data lake environments as part of an abstracted data architecture that separates the compute layer from the storage layer," Aslett said.

Aslett also noted that Presto’s query federation functionality makes it attractive for analyzing data in multiple data platforms without having to consolidate it into a single environment. As such, Presto can be used to accelerate analytics on distributed data without requiring changes to existing tools or infrastructure, he noted.

PrestoDB web user interface from Ahana
PrestoDB web user interface, now available on AWS and Docker Hub

Ahana pushing PrestoDB forward

Ahana’s initial focus is on providing commercial support and making PrestoDB easier to adopt for mainstream enterprises, Ahana said. Making it available on the AWS Marketplace and Docker Hub are simple but important first steps, he said.

Another analyst, Mike Leone, of Enterprise Strategy Group, also was positive about Ahana's new offerings on AWS and Docker Hub.

"Simplifying the idea of getting started is really important when it comes to offering to a new approach to analytics, especially as organizations are looking to make bets now that can pay off in the future," Leone said.

PrestoDB enables an ad hoc SQL query engine

Ahana was founded by Steven Mih and Dipti Borkar, who had previously worked together at data analytics vendor Alluxio.

Mih said that while at Alluxio, he and Borkar saw the rising need for PrestoDB and its ability to help users bring data to analytics platforms.

We are seeing growing demand for distributed query engines such as Presto to enable organizations to analyze data in data lake environments as part of an abstracted data architecture that separates the compute layer from the storage layer.
Matt AslettS&P Global Market Intelligence

More and more, data analysts need to analyze data sets that are located in different data lakes, Mih said. PrestoDB enables queries against different data sources, including data lakes, without the need to first ingest a data feed, or create some form of ETL data pipeline.

Among other capabilities, PrestoDB enables what Borkar called an ad hoc SQL query capability. With an ad hoc query, a user can query information as needed, rather than having to form a structured predefined query to get a result.

PrestoDB can connect to data sources, collect information, process a query in memory and then return the result to a data analyst, Borkar said.

"Presto is designed as a federated query engine and it's really good at interactive ad hoc queries," she said.

Meanwhile, Ahana will be looking at developing other offerings and deployment models beyond AWS and Docker Hub and plans to release new offerings later this year, Mih said.

"So right now, we're just announcing this as a way to help the community," he said.

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