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Big Data Startup Ahana Offers PrestoDB Through AWS Marketplace, DockerHub

Move comes amid dispute over the open-source lineage of the Presto SQL query engine technology.

Less than a month after exiting stealth mode, big data startup Ahana said it is making the Linux Foundation’s PrestoDB SQL query engine software available through the Amazon Web Services Marketplace and is providing a PrestoDB container through DockerHub.

Ahana, founded earlier this year, is developing a business of providing commercial technical and use-case support services for the PrestoDB software.

Ahana exited stealth on June 2 with the news that it had raised $2.25 million in a seed funding round led by GV, Google’s investment arm. The company also said it had joined the Linux Foundation’s Presto Foundation.

[Related: The Big Data 100 2020]

Ahana’s moves are the latest activities around Presto, a high-performance, SQL processing engine originally developed by Facebook for querying data in the social media giant’s multi-petabyte data warehouse.

Presto backers tout the technology’s ability to query and analyze huge volumes of data in Hadoop and other big data systems.

A rivalry is developing between Ahana, based in San Mateo, Calif., and Boston-based startup Starburst Data, which offers both a free distribution of Presto and a commercial edition with added management, security and integration capabilities. In June Starburst, launched in 2017, announced that it had raised $42 million in Series B financing.

There is also the potential for a fork in the Presto open-source lineage. Ahana’s technology is based on the PrestoDB technology managed by the Presto Foundation, which was started by Facebook and is now hosted under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.

Amazon’s Athena serverless interactive query service, for querying and analyzing data in Amazon S3 systems, is also based on PrestoDB.

Starburst’s software is based on PrestoSQL technology managed by the independent Presto Software Foundation, founded by the technology’s original developers (Martin Traverso, Dain Sundstrom and David Phillips) in 2019 who left Facebook to continue their work and have also joined Starburst.

Ahana was co-founded by CEO Steven Mih and Chief Product Officer Dipti Borkar. Before launching Ahana Mih was CEO at data orchestration software developer Alluxio for one year and previously served as CEO of Aviatrix Systems and senior vice president of worldwide sales at Couchbase. Borkar was vice president of products at Alluxio before leaving earlier this year to co-found Ahana.

Ahana is making PrestoDB available through the AWS Marketplace as the free PrestoDB Amazon Machine Image (AMI) and as a PrestoDB container on DockerHub. Also available are Presto Sandbox AMI on the AWS Marketplace and a Presto Sandbox container on DockerHub.

In an interview with CRN Mih and Borkar touted the lineage bonafides of PrestoDB, with Mih calling PrestoDB AMI “the first and only completely open source and completely free” edition of the software and PrestoDB as “community-driven open source” software.

The PrestoDB services from Ahana are intended to make it easier for data platform teams to use Presto in the cloud for interactive, ad hoc analysis on Amazon S3-basec data lakes, the AWS Relational Database Service (RDS), AWS Redshift, Amazon Elasticsearch and other AWS services, according to the company.

The need for PrestoDB is being driven by the growing volume of data scattered across multiple cloud systems, the increased number and size of data lakes being assembled by businesses and organizations, and the disaggregation of compute and data storage functions – all of which are increasing data discovery and ad hoc analysis times and hindering the ability to make data-driven decisions, Mih said.

Access to data is also playing a critical role in ongoing digital transformation initiatives, Mih noted.

“The value of the data comes from the ability to make decisions based on the data,” Borkar said in the interview. “To be data driven, you need easy access to that data without a lot of data management complexity. Previous solutions didn’t solve the problem of data being everywhere, of meta data being everywhere.”

Ahana has begun cooperating with Openbridge, a developer of data ingestion and ETL (extract, transform and load) software, on PrestoDB implementation projects in which Ahana can provide ongoing PrestoDB support, according to Mih.

Ahana expects to work with systems integrators and consulting firms with data lake modernization and cloud data migration practices, Mih said, and could partner with AWS solution provider partners who work with PrestoDB.

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