HPCC Systems promises Big Data as a Service

Written on:June 26, 2011
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Being able to crunch terabytes of data is great, but having someone else do it for you is even better. HPCC Systems, the LexisNexis Risk Solutions spinoff that launched last week to challenge Hadoop’s big data dominance, is planning to do just that with a cloud service for big data processing.

During a video interview at our Structure conference this week, LexisNexis CTO Armando Escalante said the company is contemplating offering customers cloud-based access to a system running the company’s HPCC data-processing software. Additionally, he suggested that LexisNexis might even offer up its own massive data sets — which span the financial, legal and intelligence sectors, among others — to be processed by customers’ applications.

The prospect of providing data processing and even data as a service is very promising, and LexisNexis’ service might well catch on with certain breeds of companies for whom the LexisNexis data itself is particularly relevant. There are a few services available right now, including Amazon Elastic MapReduce and Opera Solutions’ managed analytics offering, but there’s certainly room for more options.

What’s not so certain is that HPCC Systems, which will be open sourcing its code, can actually dislodge Hadoop as the big-data development platform of choice. Hadoop currently has all the momentum and a thriving ecosystem of products set to grow even larger at next week’s Hadoop Summit. Getting technology vendors and customers to give up their Hadoop efforts at this stage won’t be easy.

But HPCC Systems is saying all the right things, and perhaps it can establish a customer and developer ecosystem of its own by delivering on its promises.

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