The world of big data keeps getting more interesting. Opani has released what it is calling a social supercomputing platform that allows users to analyze large datasets in the cloud or locally. Best of all, it’s free for public applications.

Social Super Computing

Opani is a platform for processing large sets of data quickly. It also includes collaboration features that make it easy to share scripts, either privately with collaborators or publicly by creating public applications. Unless users explicitly share data, however, it is private and only the user that uploads it has access to it. Opani can run locally using Mac or Linux or on Amazon’s EC2 cloud services. To process large data sets, users segment data and Opani indexes each item by keys and processes the data in parallel.

Opani is based on popular big data framework map reduce -- the core of NoSQL behemoth Hadoop. Opani supports map reduce for analytical programming languages like R, for statistics, Octave and Matlab, for engineering, node, for the real-time web and scriptable software. Opani tracks the progress of user jobs and suggests how many machines to start to get it done within a specified timeframe.

Users create applications in Opani using the web interface. Using the web interface seems to be the easiest way to get up and running. The administrative panel guides users through three steps to create a new application.

Opani administrative screen

Scripts can edit in the web user interface or uploaded with Git, the distributed version control system. Once the data is processed, users can download the results as text files or view them in HTML 5.

How are people using Opani? They are processing:

  • Facebook status updates
  • Apache log files
  • MySQL databases
  • Photos from the Flickr API
  • Heritage Health Prize data
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo Finance data


Opani has multiple pricing plans with the cheapest being free for 100 jobs per month; the plan requires that the data be all public. Although the plan is free, cloud process and Amazon S3 pricing still applies. Private application pricing is $0.09 every time run the application runs, no matter how many computers its processed across.

On-demand cloud computers cost:

  • $0.10/core hour for 1GB RAM/core
  • $0.20/core hour for 2GB RAM/core
  • $0.35/core hour for 8GB RAM/core

Environmentally conscious customers will apprciate that Opani buys carbon offsets for used computing hours.