MapR has innovated on the Hadoop Open Source building blocks to build a suite of products currently used by hundreds of customers across verticals. This interview double clicks down on some of the use cases, as well as entrepreneurial opportunities in the Big Data field.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to MapR. Tell us who you are, what you do, and a bit of your own personal background.
Jack Norris: I’m the CMO at MapR Technologies. MapR is a Big Data leader with its hot-ranked distribution of Hadoop. As part of our offerings, we have the top-ranked Hadoop, top-ranked NoSQL database, and top-ranked SQL on Hadoop solution. We’re helping organizations transform their business and be more effective by being able to better leverage data. We’re seeing companies do that in a way that actually impacts their business as it happens.
We see Big Data not as a way to expand the amount of data for reporting purposes or to better understand what happened. It’s really helping organizations understand what’s happening in the moment and impact revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risks.
Sramana Mitra: Is MapR a venture-funded company? Can you give a little bit of a genesis of the company?
Jack Norris: We’re based in San Jose, California. We were founded in 2009 by John Schroeder and MC Srivas. From the beginning, the vision was, “How can we take this open source technology and provide the innovations to help support the broadest set of applications and make it real-time?” That insight not only came from in-depth work with hundreds of companies before, but also from our CTO MC Srivas who was at Google. Before that, he was a software architect as Spinnaker Networks.
It’s to really understand what companies need from a data processing standpoint and from a Big Data standpoint. If you look at what MapR has done, it’s looked at the underlying foundation and provided some key core capabilities that dictate open source technology and make it applicable for mission critical and real-time uses.
Sramana Mitra: Let me try to understand the business. Are you distributing an open source product and providing support and integration services around it, or do you have application that you built around an open source core and selling those?
Jack Norris: Hadoop requires taking the open source packages and components and combining that with additional innovation to make it transformational. With Hadoop, there are some core capabilities that are required to make the underlying platform more enterprise-grade—things like making it real-time and making it support other mission-critical components in the data center. It’s innovations at that storage platform layer that we’ve provided, by providing open standards.