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CRN Exclusive: Nexla Unleashes Data Store Support For Amazon Athena, Redshift

Data operations provider Nexla, which is looking to build up its channel program, unveils support for Apache Parquet for cost-effective querying within Amazon Athena and Redshift.

Nexla, a data operations provider, said at AWS Re:Invent that its platform now supports Apache Parquet, which will let businesses convert data into Parquet for optimized, cost-effective queries in Amazon Athena and Redshift Spectrum. The startup said it is also seeking out more channel partners as demand grows for hybrid networking and multi-cloud solutions.

Founded in 2016, Millbrae, Calif.-based Nexla has developed a data operations platform that uses machine-learning technology to monitor, adapt and securely move data between companies in real time.

Now with Parquet support, Nexla's platform can transform and convert any data source into the open-source column-oriented data store for 45 percent lower query costs on average and 25 times faster query speeds, Jarah Euston, Nexla's co-founder and vice president, told CRN.

[Related: The 10 Coolest Big Data Startups Of 2017 (So Far)]

By supporting Parquet, customers using Amazon Athena or Redshift Spectrum will directly benefit. That's because both big data services base pricing on the amount of data scanned during a query. Converting data into Parquet can give users a significant cost and performance benefit because technology like Parquet ensures that only relevant columns of data are scanned, Euston explained.

"This can dramatically reduce query costs for customers because Amazon Athena doesn't have to query all files," she said.

At the same time, businesses using the Nexla platform don't need a data engineer to integrate third-party data sources or maintain and write ETL scripts, she said.

Nexla's Software-as-a-Service-based platform has an intercompany focus compared with competing data operations vendors, Euston said.

"Businesses more and more often need to integrate with data from partners, whether it's customers, suppliers or other third-party data sources, and a lot of other tools on the market aren't really set up to help integrate with data sources that you can't control," Euston said.

Today, Nexla works with a small group of MSP and ISV partners, but the company is looking to expand its partner program.

"We're still really early stage with developing our channel program partnership, but we see the channel as something that will be very important for us," she said.


For its part, Nexla wants to help businesses and data scientists take advantage of services from players such as Amazon without having to wait in a data engineering queue, Euston said.

"We really want to put the power in the hands of the data-aware business user. What we are able to do with [Amazon] Athena and Parquet is just one example," she added.

Nexla first caught the attention of the industry in March when it won the top prize in the Startup Showcase at the Strata + Hadoop World conference.

In May, the company said it had raised $3.5 million in funding led by Blumberg Capital with participation from Storm Ventures, Engineering Capital and Correlation Ventures.

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