MetaScale: Unlocking the Potential of Data with Hadoop

Ankur Gupta, CEO "Hadoop is not the silver bullet that can solve all data related issues,” begins Ankur Gupta, the CEO of MetaScale. Gupta is breaking a common misconception borne by many enterprises today. “It takes more than just downloading the software; in fact the ‘right implementation’ of Hadoop itself could be an intricate process, which should complement existing infrastructure,” remarks the CEO. With most modern day organizations generating terabytes of data every day, Hadoop has become a popular choice for big data processing. It can not only store and scale large data sets across hundreds of inexpensive servers, but is also a cost effective solution, as opposed to traditional database systems. However, there is a glaring problem the gaping lack of skilled resources. “Although several Hadoop vendors are venturing in the big data gold-rush, there are few skilled experts in the market,” points Gupta. A recent research report by Gartner revealed that 57 percent of organizations consider skills gap as a major adoption inhibitor for Hadoop. As a niche player in the business intelligence space, MetaScale is set to change this scenario. With unmatched expertise and proven methodologies for integrating open source big data tools with legacy systems, the company offers a comprehensive range of solutions and services for the Hadoop platform and associated analytics.

In this age of data inundation, Gupta likes to depict Hadoop as an enterprise-ready tool that enables businesses to access new data sources and gain valuable insights. With digital information set to hit a 40 zetabytes mark in the year 2020, Hadoop will play a bigger role in effective data management.

One-Stop-Shop for Big Data Solutions

Armed with firsthand experience of big data technology implementations, MetaScale is familiar with all facets of developing and implementing enterprise big data strategy. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings—a leading integrated retailer who has long leveraged open source technologies to design big data solutions. “Sears was one of the early adopters of Hadoop in 2009 and in a span of a few years had developed several use cases. As a result of this, companies in the Chicago area began approaching our technology leadership for big data guidance, leading to the genesis of MetaScale,” explains Gupta. No matter which stage a client is in their big data journey, MetaScale helps accelerate implementation of Hadoop platforms and reduces time to market through a comprehensive set of services that include big data roadmap development, infrastructure set-up, legacy modernization using open source tools, security, training, solution development, self-service reporting enablement, and support and management.

MetaScale has developed innovative methodologies using cost effective big data tools to modernize legacy systems. The company holds legacy modernization experience which encompasses operations and analytics use cases such as efficient batch processing, Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) operations, transactional data offload, intelligent archiving, customer, and real-time analytics. “Our patent-pending capability of offloading mainframe batch processing to Apache Hadoop, tightly integrated with other migration techniques, can reduce the total cost of ownership up to 80 percent for organizations operating on mainframes,” states Gupta.

To reduce the time taken to deliver big data insights, a complete line of MetaScale-branded appliances are specifically designed to rapidly implement Hadoop initiatives

In one particular instance, a client’s legacy system was unable to handle data from multiple sources, perform transactions on large data sets, meet batch processing windows or perform advanced analytics to add value to the business. As a solution, MetaScale decommissioned a 450 Million Instructions per Second (MIPS) mainframe which helped run 130 business critical jobs in an open source big data platform. “Ultimately the twelve month project achieved approximately $5.5 million in savings on legacy software, hardware, and operations costs,” asserts Gupta.

Helping Exploit Big Data Tools Effectively

For added performance, MetaScale helps customers establish Hadoop as an Enterprise Data Hub. An enterprise data hub is a consolidated, fully populated data archive that gives unfettered user access to analyze and report on data, with appropriate security. This allows customers to source data once in its most granular form and reuse it many times, reducing traditional data warehouse costs and improving performance. The Enterprise Data Hub also enables faster analytics and makes it possible to consolidate hardware and software within the Hadoop infrastructure. For instance, to help clients cut costs through proactive network monitoring, MetaScale developed an analytics solution that leverages Hadoop architectures to analyze infrastructure activity and predict potential network failures. “Our solutions are based on customer requirement which can vary from sentiment analysis, clickstream, and realtime analytics," says Gupta. Since companies, even those with a Hadoop implementation, struggle to integrate their BI tools into their Big Data environments, MetaScale’s proven methodologies for connecting EDW and EDH platforms with data analytics and reporting tools enhance capabilities to identify top consumer trends in the marketplace and optimize productivity.

The company's full range of services are complemented with a complete line of MetaScale-branded appliances that are specifically designed to rapidly implement Hadoop initiatives. The MetaScale Hadoop appliances incorporate advanced technology and expertise along with advisement to assist companies in choosing the platform or Hadoop distribution, including Hortonworks or Cloudera that fits well in their infrastructure. “Our appliances are plug-and-play and negate the need for procuring hardware or Hadoop ecosystem software,” says Gupta. “If a client already has hardware and a Hadoop license in place we play the role of a professional services provider and help them implement the Hadoop software depending on what suits best with a client's use case,” he adds.
In one instance, one of MetaScale's clients required a more economical way to derive intelligence from its enormous data stores while radically reducing costs. MetaScale's big data appliances helped the client to achieve ROI in just three months. By following MetaScale’s detailed project methodology, the client built a Hadoop cluster that harnessed 50 nodes of Dell servers to manage its growing data. The customer also achieved 160 times cost reductions and saved a significant amount of time. MetaScale offers big data appliances in order to provide clients that require on-premise infrastructure with a ready-to-go option rather than push a specific solution. In true partnership with their clients, MetaScale’s approach is to consult organizations on their specific analytics needs and long-term objectives to identify the best solution for their requirements; helping them decide on an appliance model or a Cloud option such as AWS or Google Cloud Platform.

Future Proofing Infrastructure with Big Data Services

Always staying up to date with current technology trends, MetaScale fosters a working environment and attitude focused on constant exploration and skills development to test the latest additions in Hadoop and NoSQL for enterprise implementation. The company's Big Data Solutions Partner Network comprises select vendors that complements and strengthens MetaScale's end-to-end solutions for Hadoop. Since the explosion in big data, there is a never-before urgency to secure data, and MetaScale’s Hadoop Security Solutions provide a combination of data-centric protection design and risk assessment analytics. In accordance to an organization's unique policy, MetaScale helps establish the right combination of security measures to deter risks associated with regulations and corporate policy violations. “We take a holistic approach to provide customized security enhancements for sensitive data like Personally Identifiable Information (PII) being used in various domains including retail, healthcare, financial services, and government,” says Gupta.

In the days ahead, the company plans on expanding their partnerships to enhance the level of services they offer in order to best meet evolving data demands. A study by Allied Market Research reveals that the value of the Hadoop market is expected to soar from $2 billion in 2013 to $50 billion in 2020. Keeping in mind the immense growth potential that Hadoop holds, MetaScale will continue to leverage their expertise in open source big data technology to help organizations reap dividends from data faster than otherwise possible. “We have several strategic moves in our radar as we want our clients to stay relevant in the Hadoop space and at the same time grow with changing trends,” informs Gupta. Guided by a leadership that provides a strong background in driving both enterprise-scale and business strategic initiatives, MetaScale is bound to make influential advancements in Hadoop technology and provide superior big data solutions that deliver results for years to come.


Hoffman Estates, IL

Ankur Gupta, CEO

A Big Data consulting and solutions provider offering services and training for Hadoop