Continuuity Launches Big Data Application Fabric–Warning: Buzzwords Abound

Coming out of stealth today at Strata and Hadoop World is Continuuity, a company that is looking to position itself within the PaaS landscape as it gives organizations the ability to build, deploy and scale big data apps. All of which sounds dangerously like buzzword heaven so it’s worth taking a look at what Continuuity actually does, or what it says it does. According to the company:

Continuuity launched from stealth today to ignite the next generation of Big Data application development. Unveiling the industry’s first Big Data application fabric, the Continuuity Big Data AppFabricTM, Continuuity makes it fast and easy for any developer to build, deploy, scale and manage Big Data apps. Delivered as a Big Data application Platform as a Service (PaaS), Continuuity’s solutions take full advantage of the agility, ability to abstract infrastructure complexity and elastic scalability only possible in the cloud.

Continuuity Developer Suite consists of a free, downloadable, single node edition of the full Continuuity AppFabric and a Software Development Kit (SDK). It claims to allow developers to build applications in their IDE, run, test and debug them on their local machines, and when ready, “push to cloud” with a single click. The Continuuity AppFabric is built on top of existing open source Hadoop infrastructure components while shielding developers from their complexity, making it easy to deploy, develop and scale applications. Continuuity comes in three flavors, Single node edition, Private Cloud Edition, currently available in private beta, (which allows developers to deploy their apps to a single tenant, private Cloud PaaS) and Public Cloud Edition which is targeted for availability next year and allows developers to deploy their Big Data apps to a hosted multi-tenant, self-service Cloud PaaS.

MyPOV

The press release is very heavy on buzzwords (private, public, big data, PaaS, unified experience) but light on actual detail. For example there is no information about what language developers will actually use to build their apps in. Also there is no detail as to whether it is specifically for running/visualizing reports over large amounts of data or for general purpose apps that might generate large amounts of data over time. As such both the PaaS and Big Data buzzwords seem to be more about style than substance – big data without a clearly defined rationale, use case or origination smarts of marketing puffery. Take a look at this gem as an example:

Continuuity provides a cloud-based application runtime platform and a suite of one-of-a-kind developer tools, simplifying the entire Big Data application development lifecycle. It allows developers and companies to focus on the development of Big Data applications instead of worrying about assembling complex infrastructures or managing distributed systems. Featuring visually rich UIs, simple APIs, push-button deployment from the developer’s local machine to the cloud and dynamic scalability to meet application demands, Continuuity opens the opportunity for developing Big Data apps to all developers leveraging their existing skills.

WTF?

It also feels like Continuuity might be a great candidate for heavy lock in – something that other initiatives (Cloud Foundry anyone?) help to avoid.

That said, Continuuity has attracted funding from both Andreessen Horovitz and Battery Ventures, so one assumes there is something of substance in there – I just wish they’d had beeter PR advice. Releases full of buzzwords might tick a few boxes, but they do little to really further a deep discussion of either the problems set, or this particular product’s strength as a solution.