Cazena’s big data-as-a-service offering lands on Azure

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Big data-as-a-service startup (BDaaS) Cazena Inc., which burst onto the scene just last year, has said its flagship offering can now be used with Microsoft Azure, giving customers faster access to on-demand data processing and analytics.

Cazena is betting that support for Azure will be attractive to the thousands of enterprises that currently use Microsoft’s cloud. It says that many enterprises are looking to speed up their analytics processes while saving on costs by using cloud infrastructure, thereby removing the need to invest in their own systems. Using Cazena on Microsoft Azure is one way of doing that, because it only requires a very low investment on extra resources in order to be able to use it. In addition, Cazena throws in a secure connection to the cloud to protect customer’s data.

“We see accelerating demand from enterprises wanting to broaden their adoption of the cloud to data warehousing and big data processing,” said Prat Moghe, Cazena founder and CEO, in a statement.

Cazena’s premise is simple – businesses can use it to offload workloads to the cloud, analyze big data sources from outside their network (including data from social networks etc.), and gain insights faster due to the platform’s ability to collate data from multiple sources and analyze it in one place.

“Cazena will help accelerate customers’ ability to migrate big data workloads to Microsoft Azure,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist, developer experience, at Microsoft. “The combination of trusted infrastructure and price-performance leadership of Azure, with Cazena’s service, will help simplify big data processing for organizations looking to utilize the cloud.”

Cazena, based in Waltham, MA, was formed by former executives of data warehousing appliance maker Netezza Inc., which was acquired by IBM back in 2010. Cazena was born two years ago, and came out of stealth in late 2015 with $20 million in funding from venture capital firms Formation8 Partners LLC, Andreessen Horowitz LLC and North Bridge Venture Partners. It’s somewhat ironic that Cazena’s founders now focused on providing enterprises with a replacement cloud service for the old on-premise hardware systems that Netezza used to sell.

The company is far from alone in the BDaaS space though. In fact, it’s becoming a crowded market with companies like Arcadia Data Inc., Amazon Web Services, DataTorrent Inc., Datahero Inc., Delphix Corp., Enigma Technologies Inc., Google, Interana Inc., Jethrodata Inc., IBM, Netezza and Impetus Technologies Inc. all offering similar cloud-based data analytics tools. However, Cazena is hoping to set itself apart with what it calls “workload intelligence”, a feature that automatically determines which technology is best suited to handle a particular data set. For example, it will instruct real-time social media data streams to be handled by something like Apache Spark, while structured transactional data would be sent to a relational database.

Along with the Azure integration, Cazena now also supports Pivotal Inc.’s Greenplum database, which can be used alongside various supported Hadoop distributions like that from Cloudera Inc..

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