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Ahana Offers Community Edition Of Its Cloud Analytics For Data Lakehouses

Rick Whiting

Ahana, developer of the Ahana Cloud for Presto data analytics managed service, will use the new free community edition – and an additional $7.2 million in Series A funding – to accelerate data lakehouse adoption and implementations.

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Looking to boost the adoption of SQL data lakehouse systems, cloud data analytics startup Ahana is now offering a free community edition of its software.

Ahana also announced a $7.2 million “strategic investment” continuation of its Series A funding, led by the venture capital arm of European media and communications giant Liberty Global, bringing the company’s total financing to $32 million.

“Data, of course, is exploding and the need to be data-driven – for companies to improve their processes or products – is only increasing,” said Ahana CEO and co-founder Steven Mih (pictured), in an interview with CRN.

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Ahana develops Ahana Cloud for Presto, a data analytics managed service for querying data stored in AWS S3-based data lakehouses. (Presto is an open-source, high-performance, distributed SQL query engine.) Ahana, founded in 2020 and based in San Mateo, Calif., recently added new data governance and security capabilities to its managed data analysis service.

Ahana’s goal behind the new Ahana Cloud for Presto Community Edition is to provide a free edition of the company’s service – minus some of the enterprise capabilities of the commercial edition – to make it easier for businesses and organizations to get started with a data lakehouse system using open-source technology.

“The modern data stack is quite complicated,” Mih said, noting that it can take weeks to assemble a data lake system using open-source technologies. “It can be difficult for people to stitch these things together.”

Available now, the free Ahana Cloud for Presto Community Edition is designed to simplify the implementation of a Presto-based data lakehouse system around data stored in AWS S3.

Mih said the new offering provides many of the same components of Ahana’s commercial offering including distributed Presto cluster provisioning and tuned out-of-the-box configurations for multiple data sources such as the Hive Metastore for Amazon S3, Amazon OpenSearch, Amazon RDS for MySQL, Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL and Amazon Redshift.

“We think this is going to help the adoption of SQL data lakehouses and Presto is one of the key components of a SQL data lakehouse,” Mih said. “It removes a lot of the friction so people can learn about Presto, learn about the open data lakehouse very quickly. And they can mix and match pieces after that.”

Mih said upgrading from the community edition to the full version of the Ahana Cloud for Presto service will be “seamless.” The commercial edition provides additional capabilities including security through integration with Apache Ranger and AWS Lake Formation, data access control, multi-level caching and auto-scaling, as well as enterprise SLA support from Ahana.

While the community edition is free, Mih said it does help customers get started with data lakehouse projects, potentially leading to other product and service opportunities for service and solution provider partners.

Mih said Ahana will continue to maintain and update the new community edition.

“Enterprises continue to embrace lakehouse platforms that apply SQL structures and querying capabilities to cloud-native object stores,” said Kevin Petrie, research vice president at data analytics consulting and research firm Eckerson Group, in a statement. “Ahana’s new Community Edition for Presto offers a SQL query engine that can help advance market adoption of the lakehouse.”

Ahana announced in August 2021 that it had raised $20 million in Series A funding. The additional $7.2 million strategic investment is a continuation of that round with participation from new investor Liberty Global Ventures, the investment arm of Liberty Global, a leading provider of broadband, video and mobile communications services in Europe. Existing investor GV also participated in this latest funding.

Mih said the additional financing will be used to expand Ahana’s product development and engineering teams, scale up the company’s go-to-market efforts – including working with channel partners – and continue to “evangelize” the Presto community.

Ankur Prakash, a partner with Liberty Global Ventures, is joining the Ahana board of directors as a board observer.

“Today we’re seeing more companies embrace cloud-based technologies to deliver superior customer experiences. An underlying architectural pattern is the leveraging of an open data lakehouse, a more flexible stack that solves for the high costs, lock-in, and limitations of the traditional data warehouse,” Prakash said in a statement. “Ahana has innovated to address these challenges with its industry-leading approach to bring the most high-performing, cost-effective SQL query engine to data platforms teams.”

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