Intel, SAP Make Big Data Play Behind Hadoop


Intel and SAP are banding together to become a force in big data, announcing Tuesday a new platform that couples Intel's new Apache Hadoop distribution with SAP's in-memory HANA solution and BusinessObjects BI suite.

The newly launched Distribution for Apache Hadoop software, which includes Intel Manager for Apache Hadoop software, will be baked into Intel's silicon as the chip maker looks to capitalize on big data needs in the enterprise and throw its support behind Hadoop.

"We think we provide a unique position in this industry," said Boyd Davis, vice president of Intel's Architecture Group, during webcast, adding that Intel will provide a "consistent, stable foundation" for Hadoop. "We want to make sure Hadoop stays on the leading edge."

[Related: Intel Debuts New Atom Platform For Smartphones, Tablets]

As part of Intel's Hadoop distribution play, the chip maker is teaming up with SAP, among other vendors, to bring the software maker's BI and data processing to Intel's Hadoop. The announcement, which was made at the big data-focused Strata Conference taking place this week in Santa Clara, Calif., expands SAP's footprint in the burgeoning big data space, where it already partners with Hadoop distributors Hortonworks and Cloudera -- two fast-growing startups that will now go head-to-head with Intel.

Intel's Hadoop distribution and SAP HANA will not be manufactured as a single, prepackaged big data solution. But the integration between the two will marry the scalability of Hadoop with the in-memory data-processing capabilities of SAP HANA, a combination that will allow companies to not only manage and store massive amounts of unstructured data, but to analyze it in realtime, explained David Jonker, head of big data strategy, technology and innovation platform at SAP.

"Hadoop has solved the problem in terms of being able to scale out and provide access to data and respond in a much more reasonable amount of time -- but its architecture is very batch-oriented," Jonker told CRN. "And what companies are really looking for, at the end of the day, is realtime [analysis]. They want to be able to generate insights, access them, and apply them within their business operations. That means you have to do it at the pace of business. You can't do it as a batch process at the end of the day."

In addition to the SAP HANA platform, Intel's new Hadoop distribution is also compatible with SAP Data Services, which lets users streamline the data-loading process from Intel's Hadoop platform to SAP HANA. What’s more, the integration of SAP Data Services will arm users with tools for extracting metadata or generating Apache Pig and HiveQL scripts.

SAP's BusinessObjects suite of BI tools for building reports and dashboards will also be compatible with Intel's new Hadoop distribution, SAP said.

The new Intel and SAP big data platform is being targeted largely at enterprise customers and vertical markets like retail, where users can combine and analyze unstructured customer data from Hadoop -- such as information related to buying behaviors or online product reviews -- with further customer data from SAP HANA to create targeted promotions and marketing campaigns.

SAP's Jonker said the compatibility between SAP HANA and Intel's new Hadoop distribution will offer channel partners of both vendors the opportunity to combine the two solutions to deliver a complete, end-to-end, big data offering for their customers.

"This is going to enable the channel to have this integrated solution that they can go in and sell and deploy for customers," he said. "The channel will be critical to how we realize value from this."

PUBLISHED FEB. 26, 2013