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HPE Takes Aim At Databricks, Cloudera With Ezmeral Unified Analytics, Data Lakehouse Platform

“We are targeting both of them squarely,” said HPE GreenLake Cloud Solutions Group Senior Vice President Vishal Lall. “If you are an HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) customer with a supply of Hortonworks [and] you need a future, come to us. If you are a Databricks customer or want to be a Databricks customer and you don’t want to be in the public cloud come to us.”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is taking aim at cloud data analytics software providers Databricks and Cloudera with its edge-to-cloud HPE Ezmeral Unfied Analytics and data lakehouse platform, said HPE GreenLake Cloud Solutions Group Senior Vice President Vishal Lall.

HPE Ezmeral Unified Analytics – which is being billed as the “industry’s first hybrid, unified analytics and data lakehouse platform”- is providing a “third generation” analytics cloud service that eliminates once and for all the on premise and public cloud data silohs, said Lall.

“What we are doing is we are bringing out an experience which breaks down the silohs for customers,” said Lall. “That way all of the different islands are connected together. This is about business value. Companies have a lot of data but they are not able to make sense of it because it is sitting in islands. So the first thing we are doing with the (Ezmeral Unified Analytics platform cloud) experience we are bringing is connecting all the dots across all of the different data lakes that exist and bringing that customer value.”

HPE is targeting customers that adopted legacy Hadoop-based big data solutions as far back as 10-15 years ago and are not “finding a way out,” said Lall. “They are basically saying they don’t want to go to public cloud but the runway on that technology isn’t there. So that’s one set of customers: on-premises customers on HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) that are stuck with nowhere to go.”

The other key market for HPE GreenLake Unified Analytics platform is customers that adopted a cloud solution but want an affordable on premises service, he said.

“We are targeting both of them squarely,” said Lall. “If you are an HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) customer with a supply of Hortonworks [and] you need a future, come to us. If you are a Databricks customer or want to be a Databricks customer and you don’t want to be in the public cloud come to us. It is as simple as that.”

Customers are balking at the high priced bills they are seeing from public cloud-based analytics platforms, said Lall. He said HPE Ezmeral Unified Analytics is “laser focused” on providing breakthrough total cost of ownership for customers with a service that spans both on premise, public cloud and even multi-cloud with an open source, cloud native software model.

“The software has evolved to a point where you can get that experience anywhere you want,” said Lall, referencing HPE GreenLake as the cloud that comes to you. “You can get it on-premises. You can get it in colos (colocation providers). That is exactly what we are providing. We are saying the experience is the same, but guess what customers and enterprises we are building these workload specific offers that are very relevant to what you would be running there (in public cloud). That is what GreenLake is all about. It is about making sure we are bringing the right workloads, the right performance, the right TCO, the right experience to customers based on their workload.”

Patrick Shelley, senior solutions architect for PKA, one of HPE’s original Platinum partners, called the new Ezmeral Unified Analytics platform a “massive opportunity” for partners. “HPE is the only company that can provide this kind of unified analytics on premise from the edge-to-the cloud,” he said. “It is a game changer. I see this resonating with many of our customers who we have been in preliminary discussions with us around AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) solutions. This is going to be extremely interesting to customers we are speaking with on the benefits of the GreenLake on premise pay per use model.”

PKA recently finalized a GreenLake pay-per-use deal with a large wine maker in Napa Valley. That on premise cloud services deal provided the winery with “dramatic IT cost savings with a pay per use solution that is more efficient and delivers better business outcomes,” said Paul Cohen, vice president of sales for PKA Technologies. “We’re seeing increased momentum with GreenLake,” he said. “A lot of our customers want the security and control that comes with the on premises cloud like experience that GreenLake brings to them.”

CRN reached out to Databricks but had not heard back at press time.

Cloudera, for its part, said in a prepared statement that it welcomes the competition. “It drives more innovation and that benefits our customers and the market overall,” said the company. “Cloudera gets large enterprises, we work with the Fortune 100. For operational purposes, data needs to be shared within the enterprise in order to move business forward, Cloudera’s platform speaks to this need. This is a big enterprise problem, especially because most large enterprises include acquisitions, legacy data centers and companies and orgs geographically scattered. This is the hard problem of enterprise computing, and Cloudera is confronting it, we don’t run away from it. Our competitors say you can use any cloud, but Cloudera and our channel partners get that it’s a multi-cloud world, in fact, we embrace that with our Hybrid Data Cloud Platform.”

Cloudera said it provides a “range of options” to consume its hybrid data cloud in a manner that customer prefer. “We offer consistent pricing for multi-cloud consumption options across AWS, Azure and GCP (Google Cloud Platform) - both prepaid credits and pay as you go,” the company said. “We also offer compute and storage pricing on-prem that is aligned with our public cloud pricing, and account for the translation from hourly consumption and annual subscription.”

Pat O’Dell, general manager and managing partner for Clinton, N.J.-based solution provider CPP Associates, one of HPE’s top enterprise partners, said the HPE GreenLake vision to provide access to all of a customer’s data is a game changer. “We have yet to get all of the technical details, but the vision and message is spot on,” said O’Dell, whose company has built out a growing data intelligence practice based on AI, IoT and big data. “What (HPE CEO) Antonio (Neri) is saying is ‘HPE gives you access to all of your data – not just some of it. That is what happens when the cloud comes to you!’ I love that vision and messaging!”

The problem with competing cloud data analytics software providers is they have catered to public cloud with services that ignore the fact that the vast amount of data that is still on premises, said O’Dell. “No matter what the public cloud companies want you to believe with their marketing the fact is less than 50 percent of all data is in the public cloud,” he said. “There is a lot more legacy data off the public cloud than in the public cloud. The fact that HPE is not only going to let you use data that is in the public cloud but also the data that is on premises or in private clouds is tremendously valuable. It doesn’t matter how great a public cloud company’s analytics are if it can only get to 10 percent of your data.”

Rob Schaeffer, president of Orange, Calif.-based CBT, an HPE Platinum partner that has won widespread praise for its big data and IoT based Refinery of the Future solution, said key to the GreenLake Unified Analytics platform is not being “locked” into a single cloud platform solution. “Data is growing so fast that you can almost not even measure it,” he said. “What HPE is providing is the ability to get to useful information with a platform that will allow you to ingest data from anywhere to anywhere whether it is public cloud or private cloud. It is exceedingly flexible with support for data where ever it resides. It also has the intelligence to to truly drive business insights. HPE is unique with the ability to bring the cloud to you whether it is an on prem GreenLake cloud or the public cloud youa re able to leverage it all, moving data from place to place based on its importance to that business insight and outcome. Ezmeral lets you do that.”

CBT, for its part, has been an early adopter of GreenLake and is running the full Ezmeral platform at its production data center. “We are moving quickly with high performance compute to leverage AI and the platform is Ezmeral,” he said.

Schaeffer praised Neri for remaining sharply focused from the outset of his tenure as CEO in 2018 on edge-to-cloud delivered as a service. “Antonio has continued to invest to support that vision,” he said. “We have seen the high performance compute acquisitions, at the edge with Silver Peak, security and data backup with Zerto. All of these acquisitions are consistent with the edge-to-cloud delivered as a service. Every year we get to do more of these solutions because of what Antonio is doing for customers and the partner ecosystem. We all benefit in like kind.”

Lall, for his part, said GreenLake’s growing sales momentum with consistent 30 to 40 percent growth in one quarter after another and total contract value of more than $4 billion dollars is a testament to the the “ton of opportunity” ahead for HPE and its partners.

“Partners need to learn about software more,” said Lall. “We have the capabilities to provide these new software solutions but our partners need to come along with us as well. It is about learning about software and the data services. Secondly they have to innovate on their business models. This is a different business model. These are services that sit on top of GreenLake. This is a different business model than what partners are used to. I would say partners need to learn about software, data services and work with us on these innovative models.”

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