April 22: From BI to AI (Amazon, Arcion, Azure, Dassana, Databricks, Denodo, Grafana, IBM, Oracle, Privitar, SAS, StreamNative, TIBCO, Vianai)
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Cloud log lake company Dassana secured $5M in seed funding this week. Dell Technologies Capital led the round, with participation from additional angel investors. Dassana also announced that the Dassana Cloud Log Lake was now in public beta, distinguished by separating storage and compute to promote cost savings, and an optimized storage data structure to make queries to its cloud log lake highly performative.
Last week, Arcion launched Arcion Cloud, its data replication platform; this week, Arcion announced that Arcion Cloud was now available via Databricks Partner Connect, enabling Databricks users to begin using Arcion to copy and move data from high-volume transactional databases without requiring coding skills.
Data provisioning software provider Privitar announced a strategic partnership with Denodo, a data integration and management software provider. Combining Denodo’s data virtualization capabilities with Privitar’s focus on data provisioning and privacy will allow customers to provision their data in more easily reusable ways, while enforcing proper access and governance, and remaining compliant with applicable regulations.
Launches and Updates
At AWS Summit yesterday, Amazon announced the release of Amazon Aurora Serverless v2. Aurora Serverless is a database option for applications with unpredictable traffic that automatically scales capacity up and down as needed. Improvements to v2 include significantly quicker scaling speeds (fractions of a second as opposed to taking several seconds and up to nearly a minute in some cases with v1), and more granular scaling capabilities (v1 could only increase capacity by doubling).
On April 18, Microsoft announced that Azure Managed Grafana was now available in preview, allowing Azure customers to integrate Grafana dashboards into their Azure environment, facilitating access to Azure services and data sources from within said dashboards. This includes the ability to securely share Grafana dashboards with Azure Active Directory.
In the continuing rollout of vertical-specific lakehouse offerings, this week, Databricks debuted its Media and Entertainment Lakehouse. Notable features include accelerators for core industry use cases such as AI-driven recommendation engines, advertising optimization, and customer lifetime value and churn, among others.
On April 21, StreamNative, a messaging and event streaming platform, announced StreamNative Cloud for Kafka. The new product addresses a couple of common issues Kafka users encounter with particularly high volumes of streaming data, while allowing users to continue ingesting streaming data formatted in the Kafka protocol but processing it under the hood using Apache Pulsar. StreamNative, founded in 2019, raised a $23M A round last fall.
On April 19, TIBCO announced the release of TIBCO WebFOCUS 9.0.0. Key additions include a Container Edition of WebFOCUS, which permits Kubernetes deployments from within WebFOCUS; the Hub, a directory that makes it easier for users to access content and data from any device within WebFOCUS; and Designer updates that streamline the ability to create, manage, and stage datasets when creating content.
On April 19, Vianai Systems, an AI platform company headed by former SAP CTO Vishal Sikka, launched the Vian H+AI platform. The initial rollout includes Vian MLOps, to manage, optimize, deploy, and govern machine learning models. Key capabilities include model risk monitoring, software-based performance optimization, and quick model operationalization.
Reggie Townsend, director of the Data Ethics Practice for SAS, has been named to the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee (NAIAC). The NAIAC advises the President on AI-related issues; members of the committee serve three-year terms. Townsend is also on the board of EqualAI, a nonprofit that works to reduce unconscious bias in AI development and usage.
IBM Think 2022 will kick off its flagship event in person in Boston on May 10, to be followed by a global “Think on Tour” series of invite-only gatherings. IBM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna will provide the opening keynote in Boston. Key conference themes will include how AI and automation provide opportunities to rethink business operations, among other topics. IBM will also present Think Broadcast on May 10 and 11, a live anchored program for those who cannot attend Think 2022 in person.
One Last Note
According to a new Oracle-Harvard study. Whether this speaks to the survey respondents’ faith in AI or doubt in humanity …