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Pivotal Initiative CEO Paul Maritz told CRN in an exclusive interview that the new EMC-VMware-backed big data venture is set to deliver an "open, data-centric, cloud-independent platform" that will prevent cloud lock-in and eliminate the potential for a "tax" on big data applications from the likes of Amazon.
"We don't want this world to be like the bad old days of the mainframe: when you wrote a COBOL CICS app, you were condemned to pay IBM a tax for all eternity," said Maritz, who is slated to publicly unveil the Pivotal Initiative in an April 29 press conference. "We don't want to make it so when you write an app in Amazon you are condemned to pay Amazon a tax for all eternity."
One of the key ingredients to the new Pivotal offering is Cloud Foundry, the company's open-source cloud computing platform as a service that effectively virtualizes the cloud so "you can write your apps and not care about whether it is running on Amazon or [Microsoft] Azure or VMware or whatever," said Maritz.
Thus, Pivotal is aiming to deliver a platform as a service on top of a wide array of infrastructure-as-a-service offerings, from Amazon's EC2 Web Service to Microsoft's Azure and other platforms too. "If infrastructure as a service is the new hardware, we are the new OS on top of it," said Maritz.
"At the end of the day, we intend to be a platform provider," said Maritz. "I hesitate to use the word [OS] because it isn't a really good analogy, [but] we want to provide the operating system for the cloud era."
Maritz said Pivotal's aim is to deliver by the end of the year the new platform as both a service and as an integrated suite of products that can be purchased for on-premise use by customers. "Our goal is that you will be able to get it both ways," he said. "You can buy the software or you'll be able to take it as a service from a variety of providers by the end of this year.
"We think for a long time particularly larger customers -- for regulatory reasons, privacy reasons, whatever -- are going to do the stuff on premise," said Maritz. "So you have to have the ability to give them this layer of software on premise, but also work with service providers to make sure that there are a wide variety of people who are offering these capabilities as a service because one of our tenets is that these new classes of applications, these new data-centric applications we are talking about, should be cloud independent. You shouldn't have to be bound into any particular vendor's cloud for all eternity just because you wrote one of these apps."