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These former Microsoft engineers want to manage your big data projects

April 20, 2015, 6:26 PM UTC
Courtesy of Pepperdata

Pepperdata co-founders Sean Suchter and Chad Carson spent the last decade managing web-scale computing environments for Inktomi, Yahoo and (eventually) Microsoft’s Bing search team.

Suchter’s background also includes another notable credential: the engineering team he headed for Yahoo’s search organization pioneered the first production installation of the Hadoop data management platform.

Their latest venture uses that expertise to help businesses manage big data analytics jobs more efficiently. You can think of Pepperdata’s technology as a traffic cop for Hadoop installations. “It instruments every job on the freeway,” Carson said.

Projects can be prioritized based on variables such as who submitted the request, the processing resources it might require, or expectations about how fast a report should be generated. A daily sales forecast report, for example, might be handled differently than a fraud-detection query. Companies can define their own performance parameters, protecting high-priority jobs without having to invest in additional hardware.

That promise just helped the software company close a $15 million Series B round of funding, led by Wing Ventures. Existing backers Signia Vantures and Yahoo Chairman Maynard Webb also kicked in more money. So did new investors Silicon Valley Data Capital and Citi Ventures.

“Pepperdata’s pioneering optimization software seeks to eliminate the unpredictable nature of Hadoop queries, allowing enterprises to experience new levels of control and visibility into their Big Data infrastructure. Their technology powers some of the largest Hadoop installations across a range of industries, and we are excited to explore its application within Citi’s Big Data environments,”said Ramneek Gupta, managing director at Citi Ventures. In particular, Citi is studying it for customer service applications.

“As more companies rely on Hadoop, our technology has become a crucial part of their production infrastructure,” said Suchter, who is Pepperdata’s CEO. “This funding allows us to execute on this inflection point in the market.”

While Carson won’t disclose how many businesses are using Pepperdata’s software, he said the company has scored customers from the consumer electronics, media, financial services, telecommunications, and energy sectors.

The latest financing brings the company’s total backing to more than $20 million. It will be used for sales and marketing investment, and to extend Pepperdata’s reach beyond Hadoop onto other big data platforms.

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