What they do: Provide a Hadoop-based Big Data application hosting platform
Headquarters: Palo Alto, CA
CEO: Todd Papaioannou, who was previously an Entrepreneur in Residence at Battery Ventures.
Funding: $12.5 million from Battery Ventures, Ignition Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Data Collective and Amplify Partners.
Why they're on this list: Continuuity is banking in on two big trends: cloud computing and Big Data. Delivered as a cloud platform, Continuuity's Big Data application hosting platform, Continuuity AppFabric helps existing application developers invent, deploy and manage Big Data applications.
The Continuuity AppFabric is built on top of existing Hadoop infrastructure components, but is intended to shield developers from the project's complexity. When an app is ready, developers can push it to the cloud with a button click. They are then able to try it out on Continuuity's Developer Sandbox and then push it to production.
Then, the AppFabric UI provides real-time information about applications, allowing developers to dynamically scale them by simply clicking a "+" button to increase capacity without taking the app offline or even having to think about infrastructure.
Since Big Data as a concept is all over the map, it's a smart move to help developers create custom apps that target their specific Big Data goals.
Competitors: These aren't all apples-to-apples direct competitors, but Continuuity will compete with AWS's Elastic MapReduce, Infochimps, Mortar Data, Qubole, and Treasure Data.
What they do: Provide a Hadoop/NoSQL Big Data platform
Headquarters: San Jose, CA
CEO: John Schroeder. He was previously CEO of Calista Technologies, which was acquired by Microsoft, and also CEO of Rainfinity, which EMC purchased.
Funding: MapR just closed a $30 million round in March 2013, bringing its total funding to $59 million. The round was led by new investor Mayfield Fund and also includes existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, NEA and Redpoint Ventures.
What they're on this list: Hadoop and anything to do with Big Data are getting a lot of attention these days. Big names such as Yahoo and Facebook have both built applications on top of Hadoop. Meanwhile, Big Data promises to transform organizations as data analysts turn up all sorts of insights that were previously opaque.
MapR claims that it is able to merge Hadoop, NoSQL, database and streaming applications in one unified Big Data platform. Speed has been an issue with Hadoop, but MapR claims to have cleared this hurdle, while also offering such enterprise-grade features as "High Availability, business continuity, real-time streaming, standard file-based access through NFS, full database access through ODBC, and support for mission-critical SLAs."
MapR's current customers include Ancestry.com, the Rubicon Project, comScore and NextBio.
Competitors: MapR's closest competitor is Cloudera. Others include EMC Pivotal, and Hortonworks. Intel recently joined the market as well, although it remains to be seen how much of an actual threat they will present.
5. Mortar Data
What they do: Deliver the Hadoop platform as a service for building Big Data pipelines
Headquarters: New York, NY
CEO: K Young, who was previously an Architect Wireless Generation, where he developed three flagship products (TPRI, DIBELS, ARIS).
Funding: $1.8 million from Genacast Ventures, Atlas Venture, Great Oaks Ventures, Chris Lynch (former CEO, Vertica) Matt Turck (Managing Director, FirstMark Capital), Richard Dale (co-founder Phase Forward), TechStars, and other undisclosed private investors.
Why they're on this list: Mortar Data bills itself as a company that can deliver "Hadoop in an hour." Considering that the complexity of Hadoop can scare plenty of potential users away, this is solid positioning—assuming they live up to that promise. Mortar is also focused exclusively on engineers and data scientists, rather than analysts.
Mortar Data's service is designed to facilitate team collaboration, allowing users to easily share, repeat and maintain their code. Data scientists and engineers using Mortar get full code history, full execution history, automated testing and one-button deployment.
Competitors: AWS's Elastic MapReduce, Infochimps, Qubole, Continuuity, and Treasure Data.