Presto establishes formal community under the Linux Foundation

By Mike Wheatley

The open-source Structured Query Language engine Presto is getting its own project within the Linux Foundation.

The Presto Foundation, as it’s called, will be organized under a standard open and neutral governance model, with its main goal being to attract more users to the community and scale adoption of Presto in the enterprise.

Founding members of the Foundation include Facebook Inc., which first developed Presto before open sourcing it in 2013, plus Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Twitter Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.

Presto was designed as an SQL query engine for performing interactive queries on data from sources such as Hadoop, S3, Alluxio, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Kafka and MongoDB. It’s capable of querying multiple data formats, no matter if it’s in a relational, NoSQL, proprietary or unstructured format. Data is queried where it’s stored, without needing to move it to a separate system first.

Presto is also extremely fast, able to run interactive analytical searches swiftly and process results as quickly as a commercial data warehouse. It can scale up to the largest requirements, dealing Facebook’s petabyte-scale data warehouse, while querying multiple data sources simultaneously.

This versatility is the main advantage of Presto, as it means companies can use a single tool to provide fast analytics on data from across their organization.

“Presto has been designed for high performance, exabyte-scale data processing on a large number of machines,” said Nezih Yigitbasi, Facebook’s Presto engineering manager. “Its flexible design allows processing data from a wide variety of data sources… it has been improved over the years to take on additional use cases at Facebook, such as batch and other application specific interactive use cases.”

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE it wasn’t a surprise to see a project such as Presto get its own foundation since the open-source model has proven to be the most effective way of creating, maintaining and distributing innovative software across enterprises.

“As with all open source initiatives, we’ll have to wait and see if this move will give the project more traction in the form of eyes and ears to validate and adopt, and hands to contribute to its development,” he said.

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