Altiscale has launched a Hadoop-as-a-service offering that the vendor claims is the "first and only cloud service purpose-built to run Apache Hadoop." That may be a bit of a stretch considering there are other Hadoop-as-a-service offerings on the market, but Altiscale seems to be trying to differentiate itself with the release of Altiscale Data Cloud.

According to the vendor, what makes Data Cloud unique are features such as:

  • Hadoop Dialtone, which makes Hadoop data and compute always on and always available. Altiscale backs the reliability of the service with an enterprise service-level agreement.
  • "Infinite" Hadoop, which provides customers with auto-elasticity that continuously monitors data and job usage to provide "exactly the capacity you need, when you need it."
  • Proactive Hadoop help desk, which connects customers to Altidesk's Hadoop experts. The Hadoop team manages the platform and monitors jobs to keep them running smoothly and efficiently.
  • Predictable and competitive pricing.

Altiscale operates the hardware, which it stated was selected and configured for the demands of Hadoop. The company also curates, configures and operates the Hadoop stack for customers, keeping it up to date.

"We believe that HaaS will eventually dominate the market," said Raymie Stata, CEO of Altiscale, in a prepared statement. "The reason is straightforward: firms should be focused on using Hadoop effectively, not wrestling with the infrastructure and operational challenges required to run it well. At Altiscale, you can be up and running in a day, and scale from development to production instantly, paying only for the resources you use."

It's a potentially big market to be in. According to TechNavio data from last year, the Hadoop-as-a-service market is expected to be valued at $1.9 billion by 2016. However, it's being stunted because of a lack of awareness, as well as a lack of maturity of Hadoop-as-a-service in general.

The obstacles are likely to be overcome eventually, which could lead to an even greater market for cloud services providers and channel partners.