Intel is leading a $20 million investment in BlueData as a way to speed deployments of big data systems among more users.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

August 26, 2015

3 Min Read
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7 Common Biases That Skew Big Data Results

7 Common Biases That Skew Big Data Results

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BlueData has found a way to make deployment of big data systems simpler and more practical on-premises. Intel has decided to back its approach by taking the lead in a $20 million round of venture funding announced this week.

It's the second time this week Intel has announced a significant investment. On Aug. 24 the chipmaker agreed to invest $100 million in Mirantis, an OpenStack firm.

BlueData's flagship product, Epic, is a software suite that has attracted multiple investor's attention. Epic works with Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark, the multifaceted data loading and analysis system.

Epic can spin up servers to run them as either virtual-machine or bare-metal clusters. It also supports Apache Yarn; Cloudera's SQL system, Impala, that runs on top of Hadoop; the MapReduce distributed data compute system; and the Hadoop languages Hive and Pig.

Epic includes three parts:

  • DataTap, a way to quickly set up a Hadoop Distributed File System, which can spread data files across a cluster

  • IOBoost, an application-aware, in-memory caching and tiering of data for fast access

  • ElasticPlane, a means of utilizing self-service to run workloads on multi-tenant clusters using a combination of hypervisor and container technologies

"BlueData's innovative software delivers the simplicity, agility and efficiency of big data-as-a-service in an on-premises model," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in the Aug. 25 announcement. "Together, we are focused on bringing big data into the mainstream and unlocking the value ...," he said.

Part of BlueData's secret sauce is its ability to decouple compute and storage in on-premises deployment. The approach leads to a more cloud-like architecture for an enterprise data analysis system but still leaves the operation behind the company firewall. BlueData has applied for patents on the approach.

"This funding will provide us with the means to continue to accelerate that innovation and change the Big Data industry in a revolutionary and disruptive way," said BlueData cofounder and CEO Kumar Sreekanti in the announcement.

Data scientists and business analysts can be given self-service access to it as well, BlueData spokesmen said.

[Want to see an alternative data loading system for Hadoop? See Hortonworks Hears An Opportunity With Onyara.]

The announcement included a technology partnership, as well as Intel's and other VC funding. BlueData optimize its big data software for Intel's Xeon chip architecture. In turn, Intel will focus its engineering resources on the joint engineering roadmap and will engage in joint marketing and customer acquisition.

As BlueData came out of stealth mode last September, Sreekanti boasted its simplified big data system deployment would allow "organizations of all sizes to tap into the potential of Big Data." Intel has an interest in bringing that possibility about since it would lead to a boost to the sales of x86 servers.

Doug Fisher, Intel's general manager of the Software and Services Group and senior vice president,  will become a member of BlueData's board of directors. BlueData was founded by veterans of VMware. Its investors, in addition to the venture capital arm of Intel, Intel Capital, include: Amplify Partners, Atlantic Bridge, and Ignition Partners.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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