January 31st, 2012 — Data management
As expected, EMC has announced that it is integrating its Greenplum HD distribution of Apache Hadoop with its Isilon scale-out NAS technology. The move coincides with a re-branding of the company’s Hadoop distributions that, while slight, could prove significant.
Specifically, EMC has enabled the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) as a native protocol supported on OneFS in addition to Network File System (NFS) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) support, enabling Isilon systems to provide the underlying storage layer for Hadoop processing, as well as a common storage pool for Hadoop and other systems.
EMC is talking up the benefits of combining Isilon with Greenplum HD. For the record, that’s the Hadoop distribution previously known as Greenplum HD Community Edition, based on the Apache Hadoop 0.20.1 code branch.
Greenplum HD Enterprise Edition, based on MapR Technologies’ M5 distribution, is now known as Greenplum MR, and is not supported by Isilon due to the fact that it replaces HDFS with Direct Access NFS.
EMC notes that Greenplum MR is being positioned as a high-performance Hadoop offering for customers that have failed to achieve their required performance from other distributions.
While EMC is quick to maintain its happiness with the MapR relationship and its commitment to Greenplum MR, it’s clear that tight integration with Isilon, particularly in the EMC Greenplum DCA, will result in an expanded role for Greenplum HD.
Additionally, while the company’s Greenplum Command Center provides unified management for the Greenplum Database, Greenplum HD and Greenplum Chorus as part of the recently announced Unified Analytics Platform (UAP), MapR has its own management and monitoring functionality.
Since we expect EMC to pitch the benefits of integrated software in UAP and software and hardware in DCA, it is now clear that Greenplum HD, rather than the Greenplum MR, is considered the company’s primary Hadoop distribution.
Given Greenplum HD’s starring role in the Unified Analytics Platform (UAP), Data Computing Appliance (DCA) and integration with Isilon, Greenplum MR’s role is likely to become increasingly niche.
January 10th, 2012 — Data management
Oracle OEMs Cloudera. The future of Apache CouchDB. And more.
An occasional series of data-related news, views and links posts on Too Much Information. You can also follow the series @thedataday.
* Oracle announced the general availability of Big Data Appliance, and an OEM agreement with Cloudera for CDH and Cloudera Manager.
* The Future of Apache CouchDB Cloudant confirms intention to integrate the core capabilities of BigCouch into Apache CouchDB.
* Reinforcing Couchbase’s Commitment to Open Source and CouchDB Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold attempts to clear up any confusion.
* Hortonworks Appoints Shaun Connolly to Vice President of Corporate Strategy Former vice president of product strategy at VMware.
* Splunk even more data with 4.3 Introducing the latest Splunk release.
* Announcement of Percona XtraDB Cluster (alpha release) Based on Galera.
* Bringing Value of Big Data to Business: SAP’s Integrated Strategy Forbes interview with with Sanjay Poonen, President and corporate officer of SAP Global Solutions.
* New Release of Oracle Database Firewall Extends Support to MySQL and Enhances Reporting Capabilities Self-explanatory.
* Big data and the disruption curve “Many efforts are being funded by business units and not the IT department and money is increasingly being diverted from large enterprise vendors.”
* Get your SQL Server database ready for SQL Azure Microsoft “codename” SQL Azure Compatibility Assessment.
* An update on Apache Hadoop 1.0 Cloudera’s Charles Zedlewski helpfully explains Apache Hadoop branch numbering.
* Xeround and the CAP Theorem So where does Xeround fit in the CAP Theorem?
* Can Yahoo’s new CEO Thompson harness big data, analytics? Larry Dignan thinks Scott Thompson might just be the right guy for the job.
* US Companies Face Big Hurdles in ‘Big Data’ Use “21% of respondents were unsure how to best define Big Data”
* Schedule Your Agenda for 2012 NoSQL Events Alex Popescu updates his list of the year’s key NoSQL events.
* DataStax take Apache Cassandra Mainstream in 2011; Poised for Growth and Innovation in 2012 The usual momentum round-up from DataStax.
* Objectivity claimed significant growth in adoption of its graph database, InfiniteGraph and flagship object database, Objectivity/DB.
* Cloudera Connector for Teradata 1.0.0 Self-explanatory.
* For 451 Research clients
# SAS delivers in-memory analytics for Teradata and Greenplum Market Development report
# With $84m in funding, Opera sets out predictive-analytics plans Market Development report
* Google News Search outlier of the day: First Dagger Fencing Competition in the World Scheduled for January 14, 2012
And that’s the Data Day, today.
July 28th, 2011 — Data management, M&A
When I was messing around with Indeed.com job trends the other day I was struck by an interesting trend relating to the five recent major M&A deals involving analytic database vendors: Netezza, Sybase, Greenplum, Vertica and Aster Data.
The trends aren’t immediately obvious from that chart, but if we break them out individually and add a black dot to indicate the approximate date of the acquisition announcement it all becomes clear.
(Note: scale varies from chart to chart)
While the acquisitions have accelerated job postings for all acquired analytic databases, Greenplum has clearly been the biggest beneficiary. Indeed.com’s data also explains why this might be: EMC/Greenplum is responsible for over 50% of the current Greenplum-related job postings on the site (excluding recruiter postings).
Greenplum had 140 employees when it was acquired in July 2010. Based on the hiring growth illustrated above, EMC’s Data Computing Products Division is set to reach 650 by the end of the year.
Netezza started with a much larger base, but IBM is expected to increase headcount at Netezza from 500 in September 2010 to a target of 800 by year-end. Thanks, no doubt, to Netezza’s larger installed base, IBM is responsible for just 7.7% of Netezza job postings.
This highlights something we recently noted in a 451 Group M&A Insight report: in order to make a considerable dent in the dominance of the big four, any acquiring company will not only have to buy a data-warehousing player but also invest in its growth.
While Vertica and Aster Data are both heading in the right direction, we believe that HP and Teradata will have to accelerate their investment in the Vertica subsidiary and the new Aster Data ‘center of excellence’ respectively.
HP recently told us headcount has grown about 40% since the acquisition (it wasn’t being specific, but Vertica reported 100 employees in January). HP/Vertica is currently responsible for 13.9% for Vertica-related job postings on Indeed.com
We had speculated that Teradata would need to similarly boost the headcount at Aster Data beyond the estimated 100 employees. Teradata/Aster Data is responsible for 24% of job postings for Aster Data.
But what of Sybase? While Sybase IQ also has a larger installed base, SAP/Sybase are responsible for just 6.4% of the Sybase IQ-related job postings on Indeed.com. The Sybase IQ chart illustrates some common sense investment advice: the value of your investment can go down as well as up.
May 21st, 2010 — Storage
We recently attended EMC’s annual user conflab – EMC World – in Boston. The 451 Group was there in force, with Kathleen Reidy and Katey Wood representing our Information Management agenda, as well as Henry Baltazar and myself on the storage side. Yes, it’s taken me longer than I though to put some thoughts together – which I am attributing to the fact that I have been involved in the Uptime Institute’s Symposium in New York this week; an excuse that I am sticking to!
For our take on some of the specific product announcements that EMC made at the show, I would refer you to the reports we have already published (on V-Plex, Atmos, SourceOne, mid-range storage and Backup and Recovery Systems). But aside from these, I was struck by a few other broader themes at EMC that i think are worth commenting on further.
First, the unavoidable — and even overwhelming — high-level message at EMC World revolved around the ‘journey to the private cloud,’ – in other words, how EMC is claiming to help customers move from where they are now to a future where their IT is more efficient, flexible and responsive to the business. Whether or not you believe the ‘private cloud’ message is the right one – and I talked with as many ‘believers’ as I did ‘skeptics’ – there’s no doubt that EMC has the proverbial ball and is running with it. I can’t think of many other single-vendor conferences that are as fully committed to cloud as EMC, and given EMC’s established position in the enterprise datacenter and its range of services that range across virtualization, security and information management, you can understand why it has cloud religion.
But there undoubtedly is risk associated with such a committed position; I don’t believe ‘cloud’ will necessarily go the way of ‘ILM,’ for example, but EMC needs to start delivering tangible evidence that it really is helping customers achieve results in new and innovative ways.
Another issue EMC has to be careful about is its characterization of ‘virtualization’ versus ‘verticalization.’ This is designed to position EMC’s ‘virtualization’ approach as a more flexible and dynamic way of deploying a range of IT services and apps across best-of-breed ‘pools’ of infrastructure, more dynamically than through the vertical stacks that are being espoused by Oracle in particular.
Though I believe that a fascinating — even idealogical — battle is shaping up here, it’s not quite so clear-cut as EMC would have you believe. What is a vBlock if not a vertically integrated and highly optimized storage, server, network and virtualization stack? And doesn’t the new vBlock announcement with SAP offer an alternative that is in many ways comparable with the Oracle ‘stack’ (especially if you throw in Sybase as well)? I get the difference between an Oracle-only stack and a more partner-driven alternative, but I think the characterization of virtualization as ‘good’ and verticalization as ‘bad’ is overly simplistic; the reality is much more nuanced, and EMC itself is embracing elements of both.
Speaking of journeys, it’s also clear to me that EMC is on a journey of its own, both in terms of the products it offers (and the way it is building them), and in terms of how it positions itself. EMC has always been a technology company that lets its products do the talking; but in an era where larger enterprises are looking to do business with fewer strategic partners, this isn’t always enough. Hence, the ‘journey to the private cloud’ is designed to help EMC position itself as a more strategic partner for its customers, while efforts such as the VCE (VMware, Cisco and EMC) coalition bring in the other infrastructure elements that EMC itself doesn’t offer. At the conference itself, much of the messaging was focused on how EMC can help deliver value to customers, and not just on the products themselves.
This approach is a rather radical change for EMC. Though it remains at its core a conservative organization, I think this more ‘holistic’ approach is evidence that two senior management additions EMC has added recently are starting to make their presence felt.
The first hire was that of COO Pat Gelsinger, an ex-Intel exec who has been brought to assemble a plan to execute on the private cloud strategy. As well as a very strong technical pedigree, Gelsinger’s strength is the combination of an ability to conceive and articulate the big picture, as well as understand the tactical steps that are required to realize this; including product development, customer satisfaction and M&A. It seems to me that Gelsinger is already immensely respected within EMC, and already seems regarded by some as CEO-in-waiting; a transition that would be a shoe-in should this strategy pay off.
The other key addition is that of ex-Veritas and Symantec CMO Jeremy Burton as EMC’s first chief marketing officer. To me, this appointment underscores EMC’s need to market itself both more aggressively, as well as differently, in order to maintain and grow its position in the market. Though Burton has only been in the job for a few weeks, we got a sense at EMC World of how he may reshape EMC’s public image; a more light-hearted approach to keynotes (some of which worked better than others, but you have to start somewhere!) bore Burton’s hallmarks, for example.
But if Burton came to EMC for a challenge, I think he has one; EMC’s reputation and brand in the large datacenter is solid, but it has work to do to build its image in the lower-reaches of the market, an area that CEO Joe Tucci has highlighted as a major growth opportunity.
Although this is as much a product challenge as anything else, EMC must also carefully consider how it brands itself to this audience. Will an existing EMC brand – Clariion, Iomega or even Mozy — appeal to a smaller storage buyer, or does it come up with something entirely new? Given its disparate product set here, could an acquisition of an established smaller-end player provide it with an instant presence?
Then there’s the issue of direct marketing; today, EMC spends a fraction of its rivals on advertising in the trade and business press. Given Burton’s background at Oracle and Symantec, plus the growing imperative for IT companies to appeal to the C-level suite to reinforce their strategic relevance, could EMC soon be featuring on the back page of the Economist?
February 17th, 2010 — Content management, M&A
There is news that EMC has a new partnership with FatWire Software for WCM. There are a few components to this deal, as we understand it:
- EMC will resell FatWire Content Server in a new package called EMC Web Experience Management by FatWire.
- EMC will have rights to resell the whole FatWire portfolio.
- EMC has made an undisclosed equity investment in FatWire.
- FatWire will resell the EMC DAM product.
- FatWire will develop apps on Documentum xCP.
It’s a substantial partnership and an admission that EMC’s own efforts in WCM weren’t cutting it with customers. Still, it falls short of the rumored acquisition. Why? The two vendors claim a partnership gives EMC access to high-end WCM technology while letting FatWire remain nimble enough to develop products quickly and be more responsive to market needs — the equity investment is meant to help FatWire along these lines. This makes some sense as acquired WCM often gets lost in a larger ECM vendor. But with the market consolidation that has already occurred in this sector, EMC is taking on some risk relying on a third-party for its WCM rather than owning it outright.
Apparently it’s a risk EMC is willing to take, which we take to mean that WCM isn’t seen as strategic enough to EMC to do the acquisition. That’s not all that surprising really. WCM is as much (if not more) a part of marketing automation these days as it is part of the sorts of ECM apps EMC is invested in. Buying WCM at this point would mean making some commitment to continued innovation in areas of online marketing (e.g., multivariate testing, web analytics etc.) that don’t relate much to other areas of EMC’s business. EMC is focusing on its core transactional document management apps and information governance opportunities that tie records management to archiving and e-discovery. WCM doesn’t really have much to do with any of that.
FatWire’s products will essentially replace EMC’s WCM assets (though EMC hasn’t yet announced specific products or timelines for end-of-life, but that will come) and so this is potentially a boon to FatWire’s sales, insomuch as EMC can sell FatWire’s software. If this partnership does have a material impact on FatWire’s sales, it could impact its ability to be acquired by another vendor, at least at a valuation it might want. So this could be a big deal for FatWire, one way or another.
September 10th, 2008 — Content management
The rumored multi-vendor ECM interoperability effort has been unveiled. IBM, Microsoft and EMC (and others) have collaborated on a draft specification – Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) – that is meant to addresses basic interoperability and accessibility for repository-based content. The goal is to make it easier to pull/push managed content to/from other apps without the need for custom integrations or third-party connectors.
Some write-ups are already out there, with more detailed explanations:
CMS Wire – Industry Heavy Weights Move to Standardize Enterprise Content Management
Microsoft Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Team Blog – Announcing the CMIS Specification
Chuch Hollis – CMIS — it’s not JAS (just another standard)
John Newton’s Content Log – Alfresco releases first CMIS implementation
Chuck Hollis, as usual, has a particularly concise and on-target analysis. He notes several of the following points that the standard effort has going for it, and I’ve added a few of my own:
- Interoperability is a real and growing problem (James McGovern has several intereting posts on this topic). The industry needs to start to take some steps to solve it.
- This effort, though clearly still 1.0, has the right vendors behind it as it involves Oracle, Adobe and, Alfresco (kudos to still-small (and open source) Alfresco for getting a seat at the table on this one), along with the leads IBM, Microsoft and EMC.
- The multi-platform / multi-language approach is a must — a Java-only standard would have left SharePoint out of the picture and not covering SharePoint interoperability would seriously hamper the effectiveness of any ECM standard at this point.
- By working at a services layer and utilizing REST and SOAP, layering on top of existing systems and not requiring major re-writes or upgrades will be more feasible and potentially have the quickest impact. This may also limit the sophistication of the what the standard is able to accomplish, but it’s better to get some lightweight interoperability with a larger number of existing systems.
What are the drawbacks or potential pitfalls?
- It will likely be 2010 before we see commercial products supporting CMIS, though Alfresco has already announced an implementation of the draft spec in its Labs (fka Community) edition. An open source vendor of course has more flexibility in pushing out (unsupported) code than a commercial vendor, though Alfresco’s REST architecture makes this more straightforward. (Alfresco does plan to support the draft spec in its commercial Enterprise code during the ratification process; no word on whether commercial vendors will follow suit).
- Early integrations will in some cases be wrappers, perhaps shipped as downloadable modules outside of regular release cycles. We’ll have to watch to see what this means and enables.
- Standards efforts often go nowhere fast.
I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that occur to me at the moment.
At this point, all we can do is note that the vendors have made the effort to develop the standard and watch as it is handed over to OASIS for ratification. It’s a slow process – the vendors involved began work on this in 2006, which is indicative of the pace of such projects.
July 22nd, 2008 — 2.0, Content management
EMC announced the upcoming beta availability of a new product today, Documentum CenterStage (formerly codenamed Magellan); our full write-up for 451 Group clients is here. CenterStage appears to be aptly named, given the focus it is getting as part of the Documentum 6.5 announcement. CenterStage is part of the announcement, but not really the release. Documentum 6.5 ships at the end of July and CenterStage Essentials goes into beta later this quarter.
But CenterStage is the most interesting part of the 6.5 announcement. With CenterStage, EMC can finally articulate a more coherent competitive strategy against Microsoft SharePoint. CenterStage by itself isn’t really competitive with SharePoint but it is the user-friendly front-end component the company has lacked. Until now, there was an integration between Documentum and SharePoint. Oh and there was eRoom, but EMC really hadn’t kept eRoom up with the times nor was it particularly well integrated with Documentum, making it difficult for the company to sell an ‘end-to-end’ story that was any better than using SharePoint along with Documentum.
So EMC is putting a lot of energy into CenterStage, it’s a big deal for EMC’s Documentum group. Will it be a big deal outside of EMC and it’s established Documentum customer base? Probably not intitially. But I think a lot of people have been wondering if EMC/Documentum really would cede all the interface apps to Microsoft that easily and, eventually, inevitably, marginalize the Documentum group beyond repair. At least now, it looks like EMC is in the fight.
June 26th, 2008 — Content management
I had the pleasure of meeting with Jon Herlocker and John Forbes this morning from Smart Desktop. Smart Desktop is part of Pi Corporation, the mysterious ‘personal information management’ company EMC acquired in March of this year. Pi is run by Paul Maritz, previously of Microsoft’s platform team and member of the Microsoft Executive Committee.
Pi, which is run as an ‘EMC Company’ (much like VMWare), has not yet released a product and has been in stealth mode for most of its existence. Maritz now oversees Pi and is president and general manager of EMC’s new Cloud Infrastructure and Services Division. Smart Desktop, which has a product currently in closed beta, is led by Herlocker (CTO) and Forbes (President).
Seems like a lot of executive management without much product yet, doesn’t it?? It certainly speaks to a grander vision, though what this vision includes from a larger EMC perspective is still under wraps.
But I did get a demo this morning from Smart Desktop and, grander visions aside, it’s pretty cool.
Smart Desktop is a desktop tool that aims to improve an individual’s access to information stored on the desktop or accessed from the desktop (i.e., Web pages) by grouping it into ‘projects’. This takes into account whatever organizational structure an individual has on the desktop in Outlook or Windows Explorer and whatever ‘activity stream’ is created as a user works. It makes recommendations as to what project content should be assigned to based on topics, email meta data, context and so forth.
The end result is that it is possible to view all content from multiple apps (Office, emails etc.) related to a project at the same time in one place. It’s tied nicely into Outlook so users can create new projects when an email comes in and all subsequent emails and documents deemed to be related to this project will be tagged by Smart Desktop. Smart Desktop recommends content to the user based on current activity and can also be used to view content activity via a timeline – so you could look at all content (documents, emails, web pages) you accessed during a particular meeting, for example.
There’s clearly a larger potential opportunity for this technology, which ultimately tracks the activity and information consumption of users on the desktop. It could be used to discover expertise or look at the usefulness of individual applications, though there are of course privacy concerns to be managed differently in various geographies.
I could hypothesize about how this all fits into EMC’s cloud computing vision, but won’t go too far down that road at this point. It’s not hard to imagine though how this technology, which is currently slated to be deployed in a desktop environment (there is also meant to be a server-based product), could translate to different types of delivery models.
May 22nd, 2008 — 2.0, Collaboration, Content management
Some public disclosure finally about where EMC is headed in social software & collaboration from EMC followers Marko Sillanpaa and Laurence Hart both currently attending this week’s EMC World in Vegas.
EMC Documentum Will Not Go Quietly Into that Dark Night
“Finally a UI that is as clean and simple as Alfresco and SharePoint and a bonus that it’s as sexy as an iPhone.”
EMC World 2008: Introduction to EMC’s Next-Generation Knowledge Worker Client
“The vision: – Web 2.0 Client - Information Intelligence - Anywhere Access -Web 2.0 Platform”
April 3rd, 2008 — Collaboration, Content management
It’s been a long week in the Reidy household…coughing, pink eye…anyone with little kids knows the drill. I’m finally catching up on some feed reading and there’s been some interesting dialogue this week about SharePoint. Is it possible to post about content management or social software these days without involving SharePoint?