Xcalar: Rewriting The Big Data Rules

Vikram Joshi, Co-founder & CEO, Rebecca Yan Ye, Co-founder & COO With big data becoming the newest currency in the market, a multitude of verticals are experiencing the shift from the traditional Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) and open source solutions to modern business intelligence platforms. “We are spearheading the innovation with transformative big data technology,” emphasizes Vikram Joshi, Co-founder and CEO, Xcalar. By deriving meaningful, visual-based insights from the most unstructured and largest of data, CIOs and analysts can confidently make business-critical decisions to plan for the future, miles ahead of the slowly adapting competition. “People are on a quest to find the next generation big data and business intelligence platform, and Xcalar presents a unique opportunity to bring a fundamental change to the industry,” adds Rebecca Yan Ye, Co-founder and COO, Xcalar. In a sea of big data solution attempts where everyone claims to be a skilled sailor, Xcalar provides the calmest of rides, en route to a whole new generation of enterprise big data solutions that cater to the unmet customer needs of today.

“The ‘Eternal Golden Braid’ of big data computing is finding a way to extend relational computing capabilities into modern day data types and allow users to scale to tremendous volumes of data. In this sense, Xcalar’s uniqueness lies in bringing native relational computing on a scale-out platform to allow processing of modern data and address the requirements of today’s customers,” elucidates Joshi.

Unprecedented Innovation

Having worked at Google for years, Xcalar’s leadership noticed that despite the global giant being great at building highways with their unparalleled storage, computing, and network capacities, “they could use some help with the last mile,” says Ye. Xcalar combines Google’s machine learning algorithms called TensorFlow and their world-class infrastructure with Xcalar Data Platform (XDP) to drive user adoption and make the migration from on-premises to cloud much easier. Designed for general purpose processing and analytics, XDP fundamentally changes the way big data is accessed, managed, modeled, and analyzed through the Xcalar Compute Engine back-end.

Time-to-value is more important than ever, and Xcalar’s native integration with all major clouds (Google, Azure and Amazon) provides the speed and scale needed to tackle petabytes of data in using highly efficient relational operations, or Tera Rows of complex relational data at interactive speeds to make data management and processing much easier and simpler.
Moreover, Xcalar’s visual design studio, Xcalar Design, enables users at all levels—from business analysts to data scientists to IT admins or even DBAs—to extract information and deep meaningful insights from big data through Xcalar’s patent-pending True Data in Place algorithms, which require no previous programming knowledge. Xcalar Design has an Excel-like UI but while Excel is limited to 1.06 million records, Xcalar can work relationally on billions of records. What is more, Xcalar’s SDK and API allow end-users to integrate XDP with their favorite visualization and reporting tools so “users are not restricted to what programming language they can or cannot write, but rather how well they can intuitively mingle with the data while leveraging their domain knowledge and expertise,” explains Joshi.

Creating Value-Driven Solutions

Xcalar has cracked the code—converting raw and arbitrary data into information, knowledge, and insights that can be visualized by end-users using a variety of existing tools. XDP can bring different data formats from diverse systems into a single view, deriving valuable insights for the business analysts as well as data scientists. With Xcalar’s seamless data pipelining and the ability to bypass programming languages, the analytics process can be shortened to create collaboration between DevOps, IT, data scientists, and business analysts in a continuous fashion. Moreover, by going all the way from raw data, Xcalar can show the entire data lineage to the user in a very transparent and deterministic fashion.

Xcalar’s uniqueness lies in bringing native relational computing on a scale-out platform to allow processing of modern data

“We are letting the data tell a story end-to-end,” states Joshi. This allows the customer to visually explore the data and discover new things along the way. Take, for example, a customer that has 500 or more different systems. With Xcalar, they can do large-scale reporting and have a complete insight into who did what throughout the data lineage—bringing major advantages when it comes to compliance. Moreover, by performing behavioral analysis, as well, they can become more proactive and engaging with their own customers. “Data becomes much more valuable when you know how to use it,” notes Ye. “Xcalar dramatically cuts the cost and complexity of the data pipeline and data management, which allows information discovery at an unprecedented level of simplicity, speed, scale, and efficiency.”

Righting the Wrongs of Traditional Solutions

To put it in perspective, one such case involves a large network storage company that turned to Xcalar for help.
To allow multiple internal groups to mine the data, their previous solution took 10 programmers and three to four months to write all the queries to get to the final insights from raw data. The client spent precious time and resources and was not gaining many of the valuable insights that were made readily available by Xcalar. By connecting directly to their storage, Xcalar allowed the client to bypass the myriad of steps involving data movement and provided a significantly shorter time-to-value.

"We are letting the data tell a story end-to-end"

Now, the customer can get all their data ready for visualization in three to four hours with a business analyst behind the wheel, unlocking the true power of big data for their business. Moreover, the client was able to discover some inaccuracies and flaws in their previous system. With scalable UI and data lineage features, Xcalar offers an entire view of their fundamental discovery across the raw data so they can quickly identify, monitor, and fix data quality issues. “The ease of use for business analysts, and simplicity in data management for IT are long overdue, and we can deliver the speed, reliability, and insights to provide them with immediate value,” states Ye.

Putting their Game Face On

Xcalar may still be in stealth mode, but in the meantime, they are heavily involved in driving their customer engagement for the future. Joshi reveals that around two dozen Fortune 500 companies are currently doing a Proof of Concept (POC) with their products and solutions, with some of them converting to paid customers. Following that, they are aiming to ignite the entire ecosystem to get their product offerings to a broader audience. “The customer needs are well-defined today and it is all about providing them with an answer that makes their business decisions more agile and insightful,” explains the Xcalar CEO.

He accentuates the intent to keep their innovation coming from the bottom up by taking a page from Google’s playbook. By keeping diversity and mutual support as the staples of a value-loaded culture, Xcalar has grown into a very well-mixed team of Silicon Valley’s smartest who collectively leverage each other’s diversified background and “make one plus one much greater than two.” In that sense, Xcalar is looking to double the size of their team in the upcoming months and add new features to their current solutions, with several new product ideas already being incubated and harnessed for the future.

“We are not just building a two- or three-story staircase, but a hundred-story building,” states Ye. “In doing so, we are laying a deep, solid foundation which will allow us to quickly move up once we gain traction in the market.” It is still uncertain how the big data story is going to unfold, but given Xcalar’s unique approach and ground-breaking technology, they can give customers a choice that can meet the customers’ needs and truly move big data forward in its evolution.


San Jose, CA

Vikram Joshi, Co-founder & CEO, Rebecca Yan Ye, Co-founder & COO

Xcalar is a relational scale-out compute platform for modern data.