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StarTree brings Apache Pinot real-time database to the cloud

The open source Apache Pinot OLAP data store is set to become easier to deploy, manage and operate in the cloud with improved data ingestion and data observability capabilities.

StarTree's cloud service, a commercially supported platform that enables organizations to run the Apache Pinot-based real-time database technology, is now generally available.

Based in Mountain View, Calif., StarTree is one of the leading contributors to the open source Apache Pinot online analytical processing (OLAP) database, which was originally created at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn contributed the Pinot technology to the Apache software foundation in 2019. Apache Pinot enables users to rapidly query data for both analytics and operational dashboard use cases. Among the earliest uses of Apache Pinot at LinkedIn was to enable people to quickly see all the users that looked at their user profile.

On March 22, StarTree launched its cloud service with what it calls a bring your own cloud (BYOC) model, in which users run the platform in their own virtual private cloud deployment.

The vendor also previewed a new database as a service that is not yet generally available.

Organizations have a growing need for the kind of real-time analytics technology that StarTree develops, said Dave Menninger, an analyst at Ventana Research. He added that his firm's research anticipates that by 2024, half of all organizations will incorporate real-time analytics into their business processes to help them respond to market opportunities and threats faster.

StarTree focuses on real-time analytics, often for services with consumer-facing businesses. Being able to perform real-time analyses over huge volumes of data is challenging, and Apache Pinot was designed to tackle that problem.
Dave MenningerAnalyst, Ventana Research

"StarTree focuses on real-time analytics, often for services with consumer-facing businesses," Menninger said. "Being able to perform real-time analyses over huge volumes of data is challenging, and Apache Pinot was designed to tackle that problem."

How StarTree works with Apache Pinot

At the foundation of the open source Apache Pinot technology is the Star-Tree index, which is designed to accelerate OLAP queries. StarTree as a business is named after the Star-Tree indexing technology.

Rohit Agarwalla, head of product at StarTree, said Apache Pinot is well suited for enabling real-time queries that can power user-facing applications, such as LinkedIn and Uber Eats.

Apache Pinot it is designed to enable data to be ingested quickly from both real-time event streaming, as well as from batch data query sources, and then allow for queries with low latency and high throughput.

Pinot provides the OLAP data store, which can then integrate with other tools on top, including Tableau, Looker or Apache Superset to support analytics, business intelligence or operations.

Screenshot of StarTree cloud service
The StarTree cloud service now enables users to run its Apache Pinot-based OLAP database in a virtual public cloud deployment.

StarTree cloud offerings for Apache Pinot

The BYOC version of StarTree that is now generally available will enable organizations to keep all their data within their own cloud environment, with StarTree managing the platform remotely.

StarTree provides users of its BYOC service with a cloud portal that delivers insight into an organization's Pinot deployment, Agarwalla noted.

The StarTree cloud portal provides information about the health of an organization's Pinot data environment, as well as observability metrics on the state of operations. Agarwalla said the StarTree cloud also integrates capabilities to enable organizations to more easily ingest data than they could with just the open source Apache Pinot technology.

StarTree uses Kubernetes Operators to help deploy and manage the BYOC deployments.

"We have operators that are built in order to sync up with our control plane and ensure the deployment happens with the desired configuration," Agarwalla said.

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