August 24, 2015

Genome researchers have a problem. They almost never delete genomic data but are also faced with an overflow of genome-sequencing records and limited space to manage or store them.

That’s where SQream Technologies, an Israeli company boasting the world’s fastest big-data analytics database, comes in. The Tel Aviv-based company’s revolutionary patent-pending technology is said to boost analytics performance by up to 100 times.

“SQream uniquely addresses the scalability and speed limitations that only continue to grow as we become more and more dependent on big data,” says Ami Gal, CEO at SQream Technologies. “SQream looks to transform analytics for extremely large datasets into a more routine and pivotal component of business, communications, finance, health science and security.”

Gal tells ISRAEL21c that it was important for his company to focus on health science because “it is a privilege to have the opportunity to help humankind and healthcare.”

SQream’s GenomeStack — a big-data analytics platform for large datasets using SQL, the standard query language for relational database management systems– was developed specifically for genome researchers and data scientists to extract time-critical knowledge faster, easier and more effectively. The product launched in April this year.

In August, GenomeStack won a bronze Stevie Award in the Best New Product of the Year – Big Data Software Solution category in the 2015 International Business AwardsSM.

 “Anything that can be done to help progress genome research is one step closer to better treatments and improved lives.”

“The digital healthcare revolution and specifically the genome industry are consuming the biggest datasets in the world,” says Gal, adding that with his company’s solution, the manual process of comparing a few select samples one by one on multitudes of sequence alignments will now be replaced by the ability to analyze up to 100 terabytes of raw data and digest up to 2TB of raw data per hour, with massive scalability options.

Using big-data analysis and the right technology, genome researchers will be able to uncover trends and relationships that were indiscernible via the manual process, determine the early-stage development of a disease, help pinpoint a specific treatment for someone suffering from a particular illness and even be able to draw attention to previously hidden signs of diseases and health risks.

“Our mission is to take huge problems in terms of data and make them tangible to the average researcher and the healthcare system. Our technology is actually putting a large data center in a box so they can do things they could never do before.”

Analyze big data faster

SQream Technologies launched in Israel in 2010. It recently raised $7.4 million for its patent-pending technology based on the graphic processing unit (GPU), a programmable logic chip that renders images for the computer’s screen.

“SQream’s ability to combine super-fast GPU technology with simultaneous SQL querying of genomic samples is a true first,” Gal asserts. “Anything that can be done to help progress genome research is one step closer to better treatments and improved lives.”

Gal and cofounder Kostya Varakin–acquaintances whose chance meetingat a high-tech conference cemented their idea of working together — developed innovative algorithms that can take advantage of GPUs to miniaturize the data center.

The company’s flagship product, SQream DB,was introduced in October 2014. The high-speed GPU-based columnar SQL database uniquely addresses speed, scalability and efficiency hurdles that face big-data analytics, and it does all this through a standard 2U server, according to the company/

Sqream CEO Ami Gal. Photo: courtesy
SQream CEO Ami Gal. Photo: courtesy

“Rapid analysis of large datasets has been a thorny problem for many companies in the likes of finance, telecom, gaming, scientific research and more. The emerging Internet of Things will need to handle very large volumes of data very fast, so SQream might have a role here,” analyst Jason Stamper writes in a 451 Research report.

Earlier this year, the privately held company won the Tech Trailblazers Regional Cup Award for its pioneering technology.

“It’s an honor for SQream to receive such notable recognition as an innovator in the big-data analytics space,” says Gal.

With just 40 members on staff, SQream is considered a small fish in a pool of big-data players. But Gal is happy to take on the Goliaths.

“We have the technology to beat the big companies. We don’t have the budgets they have but we do have the technology and expertise that is much better than the competition. Customers can’t ignore such a big advantage,” Gal tells ISRAEL21c.

More on Innovation

Fighting for Israel's truth

We cover what makes life in Israel so special — it's people. A non-profit organization, ISRAEL21c's team of journalists are committed to telling stories that humanize Israelis and show their positive impact on our world. You can bring these stories to life by making a donation of $6/month. 

Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

More on Health