New Starburst Galaxy Release Promises Cross-Cloud Data Analytics

In addition to the new cross-cloud query capabilities the latest edition of Galaxy adds Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform to its supported cloud platforms, in addition to the originally supported AWS.


Data analytics software developer Starburst debuted a new release of its Galaxy cloud software that now runs on all three major cloud platforms and is capable of performing cross-cloud queries and business analytics tasks.

The release now supports Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), in addition to the Amazon Web Services cloud platform Galaxy has run on since its debut in February.

The new capabilities in Galaxy recognize the reality that not only are more businesses and organizations storing their data in the cloud, but sometimes that data is dispersed across multiple cloud platforms.

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[Related: Big Data Startup Starburst Raises $100M In Funding, Now Valued At $1.2B]

“We think multi-cloud, for our customers, is an inevitability,” said Starburst CEO Justin Borgman (pictured) said in an interview with CRN. “Even if they start in one place, ultimately they are going to end up on all three [cloud platforms].”

Galaxy is a cloud-native, fully managed SaaS version of Starburst Enterprise, the company’s high-performance, massively parallel processing SQL query engine. Like Starburst Enterprise, Starburst Galaxy makes it possible to run analytical queries against huge volumes of data stored in multiple systems and locations.

With the addition of support for Microsoft Azure and GCP, Starburst Galaxy now runs on all three cloud platforms and can search, access and analyze data in all three. The software can query data across multiple clouds and join SQL queries and database tables across multi-cloud systems, according to Borgman.

The multi-cloud capabilities are based on Starburst Stargate, the Boston-based company’s technology unveiled in June, that makes federated queries and cross-cloud analytics on distributed data possible. Stargate, an add-on for Starburst Enterprise, is embedded within Starburst Galaxy.

Galaxy provides an alternative to the traditional practice of moving data that’s needed for analytical tasks from multiple systems and combining it in a centralized database or data warehouse. In addition to avoiding the complexities of that approach, Galaxy addresses data governance and regulatory requirements that sometimes prohibit the movement of data outside national or regional borders.

Borgman noted that businesses can find themselves with data in disparate cloud systems following a merger or acquisition. Multiple departments within a business may have independently launched data analysis projects on different cloud platforms. And the rush to digitize business operations as many people worked from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic in some cases led to dispersed data across multiple cloud providers.

“Galaxy’s primary design goal is just to make everything super-easy,” Borgman said.

Starburst Galaxy is available now, including through the AWS Marketplace. That, combined with the software’s support for all three leading cloud platforms, marks a major expansion of the potential market for Starburst.

“We think this is the beginning of really broadening the overall size of the market for us by making [Starburst Galaxy] available to anyone,” Borgman said.

The latest moves also create opportunities for Starburst’s strategic service partners such as Accenture, Slalom and Trace3 by making the technology more widely available for more use cases, the CEO said.

The new Galaxy edition comes on the heels of a new release of Starburst Enterprise earlier this month with enhanced performance, connectivity and security capabilities and support for Apache Iceberg and MinIO standards.

Apache Iceberg is an open table format designed for petabyte-scale datasets and the support will allow Starburst customers to use Iceberg and/or Delta Lake table formats for data lakehouse architectures, according to Matt Fuller, Starburst co-founder and product vice president, in a briefing with CRN. MinIO is a standard for S3-compatible object storage and the Starburst support will allow the company’s software to query data stored in MinIO.

The new release of Starburst Enterprise is also integrated with “dbt,” a popular data transformation workflow tool, allow data teams to use SQL to create data transformations using Starburst within data lakehouses. And the release provides new features for building and optimizing data products via materialized views.