Karmasphere Visualizes Big Data
Graphical environment helps users manage Hadoop processes

by Ventana Research | 2011-11-10 | Article ID: M11-28 | Article Type: Ventana Monitor

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Karmasphere has introduced version 1.5 of its Analyst product, which helps organizations analyze “big data” stored in Hadoop, the open source large-scale data processing technology. Karmasphere Analyst 1.5 provides an interactive graphical interface through which users assemble queries using a SQL-based development environment that incorporates syntax checking and provides prompts to help in the process. These and other features make Hadoop easier to use and more accessible for both developers and analysts. Our recent benchmark research on Hadoop and information management shows a significant shortage of relevant Hadoop-related skills: Users cited staffing (80 percent) and training (74 percent) as the two most significant obstacles they encounter in analyzing large-scale data sets. For those who need to facilitate their work with big data, we recommend evaluating Karmasphere and its product.


Karmasphere Analyst 1.5 helps users understand the data structures available in Hadoop by presenting a table-based view of existing data and providing the ability to create new tables. It can combine information from multiple Hadoop data stores to present a unified view and includes more than 100 user-defined functions (UDFs) for common tasks and analyses.

Once assembled, queries can be stored, reused and combined together into the “query chain” or multiple-step workflow that often is needed in the data preparation and analysis process. Karmasphere Analyst provides visual depictions of query plans and explanations that make it easier to understand and modify the queries. Users also can see the results of queries in graphical or tabular displays. Later in the process Karmasphere helps users prepare and move jobs into production. It includes embedded Hive and Hadoop capabilities for desktop prototyping so users can test and debug on their desktops. Then they can package and export the jobs for deployment to a cluster.

Karmasphere also provides capabilities for monitoring jobs and optimizing job performance. It works with a variety of Hadoop sources including Amazon Elastic MapReduce, Apache, Cloudera, EMC Greenplum, IBM and MapR. Given the proliferation of sources for Hadoop, including the recently formed Hortonworks with its focus on Apache Hadoop, the ability to work with multiple versions could be valuable to organizations in the evaluation process and to those who work with multiple versions, which is the case with nearly half the participants in our benchmark research.

Market Impact

Karmasphere has carved out a niche in the big-data market where there are unmet needs. However, it will face competition from the vendors mentioned above and others bigger ones that incorporate features into their business intelligence and information management platforms that make it easier to work with Hadoop. Karmasphere could maintain competitiveness by broadening its capabilities for advanced analytics and providing better integration with tools other than Excel and Tableau, which it offers today.


The challenge of fast-growing volumes of data and the need to analyze it for business purposes are putting Hadoop on the radar screens of many organizations, but using it requires technical expertise. For those looking for ways to be more productive in processing and analyzing big data or to empower a broader range of analysts, we advise examining how Karmasphere can help them.


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