MapR Launches The Next Generation Of Its Big Data Platform For Analytics And AI

MapR Technologies will ship in the third quarter a new release of its MapR Data Platform with a range of enhancements that expands access to cloud and edge-device data and simplifies the development and deployment of AI and analytical applications.

Enhancements in the new release, officially MapR Data Platform 6.1, will also lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the system, according to MapR executives, and improve the productivity of developers and data scientists.

"Customers have made it clear that traditional approaches to managing and processing data for AI and analytics leave critical gaps," said Anoop Dawar, MapR's senior vice president of product management and marketing, in an interview with CRN. The enhancements will "solidify the core platform for AI and business analytics together."

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MapR, based in Santa Clara, Calif., develops its converged data platform for processing Hadoop, Spark and other analytical workloads. The company's products compete with systems from Cloudera, Hortonworks and other vendors.

The Hackett Group, a Miami-based consulting and digital transformation services company that partners with MapR, has seen its business with MapR grow "precipitously" over the last two to three years, said Justin Gillespie, a Hackett Group principal and lead for the company's analytics and data management practice, in an interview with CRN.

"It was built with analytics in mind. It's a great platform," Gillespie said of the MapR system. Last year the MapR software was a component of between 20 and 30 percent of Hackett's system implementation projects and this year is running at more than 50 percent – many on the Hackett Group's recommendation, Gillespie said, speaking from one such customer site.

The new 6.1 release offers native API access to Amazon Web Services S3 storage, an enhancement that will allow analytical applications running on the MapR system to access S3 data "in place," speeding up analytical workloads. It also supports working within hybrid cloud deployments with Internet accessible storage.

The S3 API "has become the de facto standard for new applications," Dawar said.

"That's going to be big because a lot of people are using S3," Gillespie said. He also praised the product's new automatic scaling abilities and ability to "autoheal" to fix corrupted data.

New object tiering capabilities in the software provide access to rarely accessed or archived data, lowering TCO in the process, according to the company.

AI and analytical application development and deployment get a boost through support for Spark 2.3, Hive 2.3 and Apache Drill 1.14.

The updated software includes volume-based data encryption for data at rest while Advanced Secure File-based services provide corporate security compliance with NFSv4 requirements across on-premise, cloud and edge deployments.

Dawar said the 6.1 release creates a number of opportunities for MapR's systems integrator and solution provider partners. They can use the platform to help customers develop data management policies and "help them understand that journey from business analytics into the AI world."

The software is also a good platform for helping businesses as they build out their hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments, Dawar said.