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Summit Sparks Flurry of New Products

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Posted June 8, 2016 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

The open source Apache Spark project is being embraced by multiple vendors this week, with Spark integration into new and existing data analytics platforms.

At the center of this week's Spark Summit is the open source Apache Spark technology, which has emerged in recent years to become a foundational element of Big Data application and analytics stacks.

While the Spark Summit, which highlights open source data science and engineering, is a place for users to talk about the technology and new developments, it's also a place where vendors - including giants like IBM and Microsoft - make Spark-related product announcements.

Want to Learn Apache Spark?

Databricks, which was founded by some of the original creators of Spark, announced the general availability of its Databricks Community Edition (DCE). With DCE, users get free access to a 6GB micro-cluster and Spark notebook environment to try out Spark and to prototype applications. Databricks also offers three paid versions of its software platform, including a starter version that provides support for up to three users and costs $99 a month. Professional and enterprise editions provide additional capabilities and scale.

"This year we've seen explosive growth for the Apache Spark project and all signs indicate the pace will only accelerate as the community expands even more," Matei Zaharia, cofounder and chief technology officer at Databricks, said in a statement. "Databricks Community Edition has created an ideal environment for learning Apache Spark."

MapR, IBM and Microsoft Announcements

MapR, which is well known in the Hadoop space, is showing off a Spark distribution at the summit. MapR is providing the Spark support as part of its MapR Converged Community Edition as well as the MapR Converged Enterprise Edition.

"We’ve built this new distribution to make it easier for customers that leverage the power of Spark for their Big Data initiatives,” Anoop Dawar, vice president product management, MapR Technologies, said in a statement. "We’ve seen significant growth of customers deploying Spark as their primary compute engine."

IBM is also embracing Spark in a big way at the Spark Summit with the availability of its cloud-based Data Science Experience.

"With Apache Spark, we see an opportunity to significantly transform the role of the data scientist by providing access to curated data sets, open source tools and a collaborative platform to accelerate innovation," Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics, said in a statement. "IBM’s Digital Science Experience is the killer enterprise app for Apache Spark, and gives data scientists new opportunities to deliver insight-driven models to developers, and opens the door for unprecedented innovation from the open source community."

Microsoft is also getting in on the Spark Summit party, with the announcement of general availability of Spark for Azure HDInsight, its cloud-based Big Data analytics platform.

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

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