Big Data analytics based on Hadoop, NoSQL and related technologies may be the very fastest growing segment of the channel at the moment—not to mention one of the most closely watched, thanks in no small part to disclosures involving the National Security Agency's data analytics practices. That rapid evolution is also evident this week at Pentaho, the Big Data analytics vendor with open source roots, which has pushed out new product features and built a "think tank" for Big Data innovation.

The feature enhancements are part of what Pentaho calls a new "adaptive layer" for its analytics platform that "accelerates access and integration to the latest versions and capabilities of popular Big Data stores."

More specifically, this means Pentaho can connect to more Big Data storage systems. The added support focuses on three main areas:

  • Hadoop distributions: Pentaho’s new adaptive Big Data layer supports Cloudera CDH 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.2.0, 4.2.1; Intel's (INTC) IDH 2.3; Horton's HDP 1.2.x and MapR 2.0.x and 2.1.x.
  • NoSQL databases: Pentaho supports the latest features in MongoDB and Cassandra.
  • Splunk: Machine data is one of the fastest growing and most pervasive segments of Big Data, and Pentaho's new Splunk adapter allows reading and writing data to Splunk.

The update enhances Pentaho's ability to work with the leading Big Data storage platforms as Hadoop distributions becoming increasingly diverse and NoSQL grows in popularity over traditional databases. The Splunk integration is also an interesting innovation that should help expand Pentaho's reach across the channel and increase its reseller appeal.

At the same time that Pentaho announced the new adaptive layer, it also unveiled Pentaho Labs, a "think tank" (to quote the company's own formulation) that Pentaho hopes will become a center of technological innovation in the Big Data field. Directed by Richard Daley and "staffed with top industry experts and a renowned data scientist" (none of whom have yet been named publicly), the think tank will "incubate breakthrough advanced analytic capabilities driven by Big Data." Pentaho Labs will also deliver a monthly lecture series on Big Data.

Perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, Big Data analytics—which is only a subfield of the broader Big Data niche—is exploding in importance. Is the channel prepared to keep pace?