Impala was designed to execute queries faster than Hadoop's Hive, because it doesn't use the MapReduce framework, which requires search results to be written to disk. Instead, users can query data stored in HDFS and HBase directly. Users can query data either interactively or through batch processes.
Cloudera first released a version of this engine last October as a beta. Since then, the software has been tested by companies such as 37signals and Expedia.
Impala is the core component of the Cloudera Enterprise RTQ (Real-Time Query) supplemental package for the Cloudera Hadoop platform. Impala can be downloaded at no cost.