Forrester Finds Vendor Best Open Source in Big Data Streaming Analytics

Loraine Lawson
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2014 Big Data Outlook: Opportunities and Challenges

Apache’s open source Storm may be the big buzz in Big Data streaming analytics, but according to a recent Forrester report, the commercial vendors are the ones who have “got the goods.”

While Storm is used by a number of high-profile companies, including the Weather Channel, Spotify and Twitter, the research firm writes that it’s nonetheless “a very technical platform that lacks the higher order tools and streaming operators that are provided by the vendor platforms evaluated in this Forrester Wave …”

In its July report on Big Data Streaming Analytics Platforms, the research firm reviewed seven platforms: IBM, Informatica, SAP, Software AG, SQLstream, TIBCO and Vitria. Forrester assessed each on 50 criteria, including business application and platform integration, data sources, development tools, ability to execute, partnerships and pricing.


If “Big Data streaming analytics” sounds just too cutting edge for you, keep in mind that for some, real-time data can make or break a business. For instance, supply chain leaders often want to leverage real-time data to respond to manufacturing, delivery or recall problems. It’s also useful in industries that rely heavily on marketing data for decision making.

The Internet of Things, mobile and potentially even transaction data may also help create more executive demand for these tools.

While the report provides real examples of companies using Big Data streaming analytics, it breaks down deployments into three broad categories:

  • Visualizing business in real-time
  • Detecting urgent situations
  • Automating immediate action

The report is worth the read for information about this technology alone. The leaders, however, are not so surprising: IBM, Informatica, SAP, Software AG and TIBCO Software all placed in the leading portion of the wave, which makes their solutions “mature platforms,” notes Forrester.

Vitria’s strategy score was the only factor keeping it out of the leader wave. Instead, it placed as a strong performer. One interesting data point on Vitria is that it’s one of the few platforms rooted in an integration platform, according to the report.

SQLstream ranked as a contender, although Forrester adds that it would have placed as a strong performer with a higher strategy score.

The report notes that startups such as DataTorrent and Continuuity’s codenamed jetStream are joining the streaming analytics market, but both are designed to run inside Hadoop.

Two cloud options are also available: AWS’s Amazon Kinesis, which entered the market in late 2013, and Google Cloud Dataflow, which was unveiled in beta in July.

If you want to read “The Forrester Wave: Big Data Streaming Analytics Platforms, Q3 2014,” it’s available as a free download from Informatica, Software AG and TIBCO. You do need to provide basic user registration information.

IBM is not offering a copy of the report, but did offer its own assessment. Other vendors may offer the report later and are welcome to share the links in the comments below.

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