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Apache Zeppelin Gets Commercial Backing from ZEPL

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Posted December 9, 2016 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

NFlabs rebrands as ZEPL and announces $4.1M in funding in support of open-source Apache Zeppelin data analytics project.

The open-source Apache Zeppelin project is an increasingly popular, web-based notebook for interactive data analytics that directly integrates with the Apache Spark project for Big Data analytics. Among the commercial backers of Zeppelin is ZEPL, formerly known as NFLabs. On December 8, the newly branded ZEPL announced that it has raised $4.1 million in an initial funding round.

The funding round was led by Vertex Ventures and it included the participation of Translink Capital, Specialized Types and Big Basin Capital. The funding is set to be used to help ZEPL build a successful business model. Sejun Ra, co-founder and CEO at ZEPL said that the plan for the new money to help his company build and develop a single platform for end-to-end data analytics workflow.

ZEPL operates the ZeppelinHub site, which is a platform that enables Apache Zeppelin users to easily share reports and graphs. The ZeppelinHub currently has a free pricing tier for evaluation and a business service tier that costs $50 a month. Moving forward, the plan is to have an Enterprise offering that provides on-premises capabilities as well as priority and dedicated support.

"Our mission is to transform the way people engage with data, and make big data analytics accessible and easy to use by anyone within an organization," Moon Soo Lee, creator of Apache Zeppelin and co-founder and CTO of ZEPL, in a statement. "By building on top of Apache Zeppelin's extensible, pluggable, open interface, we believe we can tear down the walls that currently limit how organizations leverage and communicate analytics.”

ZEPL isn't the only commercial enterprise that is making use of Apache Zeppelin. The Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) 2.5 release that was announced in June 2016, also includes support for Apache Zepplin as part of an overall Hadoop Big Data commercial product.

In terms of users, social networking giant Twitter is among the well-known organizations that is making use of Apache Zeppelin today.

"Apache Zeppelin has become an important tool at Twitter for creating and sharing interactive data analytics and visualizations," stated Prasad Wagle, Technical Lead in the Data Platform team at Twitter. "Since it integrates seamlessly with all the popular data analytics engines, it is very easy to create and share reports and dashboards."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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