Alibaba Cloud launched a Data Lakes Analytics (DLA) service to simplify they way customers analyze data stored in the cloud. DLA is a severless, interactive query service hosted on the cloud platform that derives insights from customers’ cloud storage data in data lake scenario.
A data lake is storage repository that holds a vast amount of raw data in its native format. Instead of relying on a traditional hierarchical storage model, Alibaba DLA uses serverless architecture that requires zero infrastructure setup or upfront cost.
DLA is fully compatible with SQL (Standard Query Language) syntax, which is where the service derives its primary analytics power. This means that using DLA, enterprises can send SQL queries as input and it returns the results back to the user.
These queries can be used for data stored in Alibaba Cloud services including objects in OSS, key-value pairs in Table Store, and relational data from its relational data service. End users have the choice to explore a single dataset or analyze and compare data across sources different sources.
In addition to SQL, DLA works natively with a number of business intelligence tools to visualize the data and derive insights. The supported business tool and products, and the SQL interface, are based on open database connectivity (ODBC) and java database connectivity (JDBC) connections.
DLA can handle large volumes of complex data because the service provides a built in extract, transform, and load functionality. This does the “heavy lifting” and pre-processes data that is in different formats and origins for the user, an Alibaba spokesperson explained.
The cloud provider sees a number of enterprise use cases that this would serve. In retail, enterprises often have data stored in several locations (transaction records, claims, logs, orders, and more) that are all in different formats. In this case, the data lakes service can read the different formats and retrieve the data from all the sources through its unified query interface. In the financial industry, DLA could help maintain regulatory compliance by allowing users to query multiple logs at a time and obtain the joined insights quickly and accurately.
Alibaba Cloud this week released the service in its Southeast Asia, Asia, and Europe regions. It intends to launch it in its North America and Australia regions soon.