UPDATED 06:15 EDT / MARCH 27 2013

Sqrrl Breaks Down the Big Data Market : 11 Segments of Opportunity

Sqrrl, an emerging Big Data security startup founded by the NSA engineers who created Apache Accumulo, published a brief blog post that outlines its position in the market. The author attempts to define his company’s role the industry by first breaking the Big Data market down to 11 clearly defined sub-segments.  It’s a helpful overview of the industry, considering the incessant confusion that accompanies Big Data as it grows.  So here’s a very brief primer to the Big Data market, as sqrrl sees it.

Vendors that that sell commodity solutions or flash, such as Fusion-io and EMC, are labeled as hardware providers. There are also services providers, consultancies whose offering portfolios cover Big Data, and cloud providers.  These categories are joined by the data warehousing “bucket”, which consists of traditional vendors such as Teradata and Oracle. Other buckets include data integrators, Hadoop distributors,  security vendors and scale-out data providers.

Besides these 9 vendor types, Sqrrl also mentions horizontal Big Data platforms – offerings from such as Hadapt that sit on top of Hadoop and augment the core technology with homegrown code. There are also vertical big data platforms, which deliver Hadoop functionality for niche markets, and BI/visualization tools that make insights more accessible for business users.

The full list goes as follows:

  1. Hardware providers:  Big Data software runs on both commodity disks and flash/SSD.
  2. Services providers:  These folks help with both strategy and implementation of Big Data solutions
  3. Cloud providers:  Many organizations run their Big Data solutions in public, private, or hybrid clouds
  4. Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) vendors:  These are traditional EDW vendors and the relational databases that typically sit on top of them.
  5. Data Integration vendors:  These companies sell the tools that assist in getting data into Hadoop or Scale-Out databases.
  6. Hadoop vendors:  These folks license commercial distributions of the Hadoop Distributed File System and related Apache projects (or in some cases, just sell support services around them).
  7. Security vendors:  They sell security tools, such as encryption and key management, specifically designed for Big Data.
  8. Scale-Out Database vendors:  Includes both NoSQL and NewSQL databases.
  9. Horizontal Big Data Platforms:  These are platforms often built on top of Hadoop and/or scale-out platforms and provide additional analytical capabilities beyond what the underlying database can natively provide.
  10. Vertical Big Data Platforms:  Similar to Horizontal Big Data Platforms, but specialized for a specific industry vertical.
  11. Business Intelligence and Visualization Tools:  Focused on static reporting and dashboards for data held in Hadoop.

Sqrrl belongs to not one, but four different buckets.  Here’s the breakdown, according to sqrrl:


·         Hadoop:  Although we prefer to partner with Hadoop vendors, we can also ship our solution with open source HDFS.

·         Security:  We are the only Big Data solution with cell-level security, including fine-grained access controls and encryption.

·         Scale-Out Database:  At our core is Apache Accumulo, which is a NoSQL database with scalability to the tens of petabytes.

·         Horizontal Big Data Platform:  Sqrrl Enterprise powers real-time Big Data applications (aka “Big Apps”), and we do this by layering a number of real-time analytic APIs on top of Accumulo, including full-text search, statistics, and graph analysis.

Indeed, sqrrl’s been busy making a home for itself in the Big Data market.  Earlier this month, Sqrrl appointed Mark Terenzoni as its new CEO. The veteran executive brings two decades of Silicon Valley experience to the startup, which has already made all the right friends in Big Data, and is looking to make more.  To learn more about sqrrl’s story, its take on Big Data security and its plans for this exciting emerging market, watch this interview with sqrrl co-founder and CTO Adam Fuchs, who stopped by theCube to talk to Wikibon’s Dave Vellante during the TUGG event in Boston earlier this year.

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