UPDATED 17:20 EDT / NOVEMBER 09 2011

There’s More to Hadoop Implementation than Volume, says Attivio CTO

Attivio’s all about unlocking unstructured data.  Coming off the recent release of version 3.0 of their Unified Information Access Platform, Attivio CTO Sid Probstein drops by theCube at Hadoop World 2011 to discuss how this technology is enabling new products across the board.  He focused on the tearing down of data silos, removing “artificial barriers” around the processes needed to access and understand data.  And for Attivio, the secret sauce is in the search, as well as the company’s ability to bring products together as a ready tool for the end user.

“The challenge of getting information in applications into existing infrastructure has never been higher,”  Probstein tells SiiconAngle founder John Furrier and Wikibon senior analyst Dave Vellante during his interview.  “Everyone’s awash in data.  People want to get this stuff under control, bring it together, do it quickly, and they want to correlate it as cheaply as possible.

“One essential element in the data stack 2.0 or whatever you wanna call the big data world, is using Hadoop in the right way to take massive volumes of data, which may or may not be of interest, and reducing it to a summary set of data.  Then loading it into the traditional applications, business intelligence tools, reporting tools that you use now.  Adding that volume story–Hadoop is doing that.”

But Attivio doesn’t stop there.  As important as volume is in scaling data processes, there’s a few other variables Attivio wants to help you manage.  “There’s more to information than volume,” Probstein says.  “There’s variety, complexity and velocity.  People want the artificial barriers to come down.”

And with version 3.0 in particular, Vellante asks what Attivio is doing to bring stability and enable Hadoop customers?

“We bring enterprise readiness to the table,” Probstein explains.  “It’s designed to be a distribution across servers and workloads, and it can be distributed across different servers.  Having the ability to do monitoring, management, distribution–those are all rights to play.  If you look back at the relational databases, they went through the same pains.  Hadoop is solving some problems and as you use it more and more to solve problems, it will need enterprise readiness.”

Attivio’s core innovation is its use of the search model, combined with the benefits of business intelligence.  But from there, bringing it all toegether in a packaged format for enterprise deployment is where Attivio really shines.  With a strong engineering team hailing from search and BI backgrounds, Attivio is brutal about its build/buy, and aggresive in how they use it.  “For some implementation, open source isn’t there yet and we use third party proprietary tools,” Probstein says.  “That’s the new model for software.”

For Attivio, that new model is all about “knitting things together,” as Probstein puts it, so the customer doesn’t have to.  “We’re a commercial company but our approach is, at the end of the day, customers are going to want all of the best solutions whether they’re open source or commercial…in time I think we’re going to see every model working together–free, open source, premium, freemium, commercial, hybrid models, whether there’s gaming involved!  It’s a great time to be in software and it’s certainly a great time to be in information.”

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