BitYota cloud data warehouse gets a boost from Microsoft Azure

The BitYota cloud data warehouse can ingest semi-structured data natively, for instant analysis

Hoping to enlarge its pool of corporate customers to include the enterprise market, startup BitYota will soon offer its data warehouse service on the Microsoft Azure cloud, thanks to a partnership between the two companies.

"Microsoft is truly partnering with us, not just providing a compute infrastructure," said Graham Summers, BitYota chief operating officer. "There are so many parts of the organization we can tap into."

Although BitYota's early customer base has largely been small businesses and startups, traditional enterprises are increasingly considering the service for new projects, Summers said. They could use the cloud service to analyze marketing or operational data, without the need to set up all the hardware and software infrastructure to maintain a data warehouse in-house.

BitYota is already available on Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, but this partnership may help introduce the technology to Microsoft's extensive network of partners, such as value-added resellers and integrators.

"Microsoft has such a huge channel in terms of systems integrators, consultants, independent software vendors," Summers said. "A lot of these companies build their own solutions based on domain expertise. Wrapping it around a data engine like ours could be a pretty compelling solution."

In addition to introducing BitYota to its Azure channel, Microsoft will also aid BitYota in optimizing its software so it runs as smoothly as possible onto the Azure platform. Unlike AWS, Microsoft does not yet have a full-fledged, in-house data warehouse service.

BitYota's data service differs from traditional data warehouse offerings in that it can instantly work with various forms of unstructured and semi-structured data without the need for ETL (extract, transform and load) tools to aggregate and format the data ahead of time.

"The product is designed to load semi-structured data in its native form. They are first class objects in the database, allowing you to explore that data as soon as it is loaded," Summers said. In many cases today, data analysts and executives don't know what questions they will need to answer with the data ahead of time, so the ETL preparation work won't necessarily be beneficial, Summers said.

BitYota can work with data from NoSQL data stores, JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) strings of data, XML files or other forms of data provided by external parties by way of APIs (application programming interfaces). Users interrogate this data through the SQL (Structured Query Language).

The BitYota Azure service should be available by the end of November. Pricing has not been determined, but it should fall into the expected range of ETL systems, which is about US$1,000 to $3,000 per terabyte per year.

BitYota is not alone in the emerging field of cloud-based data warehouses. Other companies in this space include the recently launched Snowflake Computing and AWS's RedShift. They are hoping to lure business away from traditional data warehouse software and system providers, such as Teradata, SAP and also Microsoft.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, BitYota was founded in 2011 by a number of engineers with considerable data analytics experience who previously worked at companies such as Yahoo, Oracle, Informix, BMC and Microsoft. The private company has gotten over $10 million in investment from companies such as Andreessen Horowitz, Crosslink Capital and the Webb Investment Network.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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