Cask (company)

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Privately held company
Industry Big Data, Cloud Computing, Hadoop
Founded 2011
Founders Jonathan Gray, Nitin Motgi
Headquarters Palo Alto, California, USA
Key people
Jonathan Gray (Co-founder and CEO) Nitin Motgi (Co-founder) Tom Leonard (Sales) Vikram Bhan (Operations) Boyd Davis (COO) Andreas Neumann (Software)

Cask is a cloud-based Big Data application platform for developers. Rather than providing a cloud service for writing and running Hadoop jobs, Cask allows developers to build, deploy, and manage Big Data applications on top of components within the Hadoop ecosystem more easily.[1]


The word “Cask” signals that Cask’s software provides containers, a way for different types of applications to run in concert and share data, for instance. “Cask is short, sweet and ‘developer-y,’” Jonathan Gray, CEO said. [2] It was formerly named Continuuity.


The Cask Data Application Platform (CDAP) is an open source project for distributed data and applications. CDAP is a layer of software running on top of Hadoop platforms. Cask Coopr is open source cluster management software that provisions, manages and scales clusters on public clouds and private clouds. Tigon is a distributed framework built on Apache Hadoop™ and Apache HBase™ for real-time, high-throughput, low-latency data processing and analytics applications. [3]

The company’s primary offering CDAP, its data application platform, helps users build apps that use Hadoop in smarter ways beyond to build a low-cost, large data warehouse. Cask also offers Coopr, a tool that helps users quickly and easily provision clusters in the cloud. Given the distributed nature, clusters, like Hadoop, can be difficult and time consuming to deploy. Cask first developed and used Coopr as an internal tool before its customers showed interest because of Coopr's convenience. Coopr works in public, private and OpenStack clouds, so developers can use it to provision CDAP/Hadoop in any of them. [4]

Cask has teamed with AT&T Labs on an open source project called Tigon (formerly jetStream) that pairs a high-throughput SQL database with a real-time data-processing engine. The goal is to underpin applications that can handle multiple levels of latency, consistency and analysis on streaming data. [5]


Co-founders Nitin Motgi and Jonathan Gray, were early adopters of the Hbase big data technology while working at Facebook and Yahoo.[6] Motgi and Gray's firsthand experience of dealing with the limiting complexities of big-data platform motivated them to build the CDAP platform to make big-data development exponentially simpler while completely retaining its power.


Cask’s approach to Hadoop virtualization first attracted attention from renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which participated in Series A and A2 rounds totaling $12.5 million. In November, 2015, Cask announced a further $20 million series B financing. This was led by Safeguard Scientifics, with participation from Battery Ventures, Ignition Partners, and other existing investors.[7] Backing the data and app virtualization approach is Mike Olson, Chief Strategy Officer at Cloudera−a software giant specializing on Hadoop, who says Cask will “expand the [big data] market by enabling new use cases while accelerating application development.[8]

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