Google's Cask Data Buy Will Strengthen Its Cloud's Appeal To Enterprise Analytics Developers, Partners Say


Google's acquisition of a startup behind an open source platform for automating development of big data projects using the Hadoop framework should increase its cloud's appeal to enterprises, partners told CRN on Thursday.

Cask Data, based in Palo Alto, Calif., oversees development of the Cask Data Application Platform (CDAP), a solution for easing the challenges enterprises face in using Hadoop to build and run big data solutions.

The platform delivers data-ingestion services, a unified interface for working with data pipelines, and a drag-and-drop studio for visually describing data-processing functions.

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Hadoop has become something of a legacy play in big data, but is still extremely popular with enterprises, "mostly because they already have it," Kamal Puri, a partner at MediaAgility, a Princeton, N.J.-based Google partner, told CRN.

For that reason, Cask is a welcome acquisition to Google Cloud, he said.

"It will strengthen big data ecosystems in Google for enterprises who still like to run their workloads on the Hadoop ecosystem," he said,

The addition of Cask will help partners in the ecosystem around Google's Cloud Dataproc, a managed Hadoop and Spark service, compete with rival Hadoop products like the Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub and Hortonworks Data Platform, Puri said.

"Partners will be able to position Google as a major play in the data analytics area, even in traditional enterprises," Puri told CRN.

Simon Margolis, director of cloud platform at SADA Systems, a Los Angeles-based Google partner, said integrating Cask into GCP data services makes sense, "as it mirrors many of the other GCP components in its cross-cloud interoperability and portability" portfolio.

SADA has been fielding a lot of engagements around GCP data and analytics, Margolis said, and he's looking forward to seeing how Google integrates Cask's CDAP into its existing cloud ecosystem.

"I could imagine they'll be offering something of a managed CDAP in the same way they offer managed versions of other cumbersome technologies such as Hive, Spark, MySQL, Redis, and others," Margolis told CRN.

Cask founders Jonathan Gray and Nitin Motgi wrote on their website earlier this week that they will continue developing and releasing the open source technology.

"We wanted to accelerate the big data industry with a standardization and simplification layer that allowed portability across diverse environments, usability across diverse groups of users, and the security and governance needed in the enterprise," they said.

The company, founded in 2011, originally focused on on-premises deployments. But rapid enterprise adoption of public cloud for data lakes, analytics, and machine learning projects later motivated a shift in strategy to cloud-based delivery.

Cask itself was an early adopter of Google Cloud.

"We believe the combination of CDAP and GCP will provide compelling solutions for enterprise developers, bringing them new levels of accessibility, performance and scale," the founders said.