HPE Accelerates AI, Big Data March With Acquisition Of BlueData


Hewlett Packard Enterprise is injecting artificial intelligence and big data software into its existing software-defined infrastructure with the acquisition Tuesday of startup BlueData.

"BlueData has developed an innovative and effective solution to address the pain points all companies face when contemplating, implementing and deploying AI/ML and big data analytics," said Milan Shetti, senior vice president and general manager of HPE's storage and big data global business unit, in a statement. "Adding BlueData's complementary software platform to HPE's market-leading Apollo systems and professional services is consistent with HPE's data-first strategy and enables our customers to extract insights from data—whether on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid architecture."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

[Related: HPE Adds New AI, Machine Learning InfoSight Capabilities To Boost Nimble, 3Par Performance]

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The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup, named to CRN's 2018 Big Data 100 list, owns a software platform that leverages container technology to make it simpler and more cost-effective to deploy large-scale machine- learning and big data analytics environments. HPE plans to leverage BlueData's container-based platform to help customers improve agility and reduce their infrastructure costs.

"Data is fuel, and BlueData's software is the engine that helps businesses consume their data and deliver insights in the most effective and efficient way," said BlueData co-founder and CEO Kumar Sreekanti in a statement. "We've had tremendous customer success by providing a turnkey solution that delivers an as-a-service experience for AI and big data, and are excited to reach even more customers as part of HPE."

By 2022, the total addressable market for AI, machine learning and big data is expected to grow to approximately $160 billion, according to research firm IDC.

Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., solution provider, said he sees the Blue Data acquisition as extending HPE's lead in the AI and machine-learning big data management market.

"HPE has a big lead in AI and machine learning-based big data management, and this just adds to it," he said. "AI and machine learning are transforming enterprises into smarter enterprises. HPE gets that and is adding to its lead. There are so many data points that you have to make sure customers have a way of reading and managing them all."

Goldstein said Blue Data will probably negate the deal it made in September to put its software on Dell EMC systems. "HPE is buying Blue Data and there is no way they are going to continue the deal with Dell once the acquisition is finalized," he said.

Goldstein said he is going to definitely look at establishing tighter alignment with HPE in the wake of the AI and machine-learning big data offensive. "We don't want to be left behind in this AI and machine-learning reviolution," he said. We all need bigger and better tools."

Dan Molina, chief technology officer at San Diego-based Nth Generation Computing, one of HPE's top enterprise partners and No. 354 on the 2018 CRN Solution Provider 500, said customer interest in artificial intelligence in the data center is exploding and HPE has a lead in the AI-based machine-learning autonomous data center race.

"2018 was the year of AI becoming a mega trend in the data center," said Molina. "Customers are very interested in applying AI to their organizations. When you see something like InfoSight that is AI-driven, they can see how AI in a practical manner can help them better manage their data center IT operations. It is definitely resonating with customers."

BlueData's software, which incorporates Docker's container technology, is used to deploy big data workloads on-premises, in a public cloud or in a hybrid model. BlueData EPIC (Elastic Private Instant Clusters) is a Big-Data-as-a-Service platform for on-demand provisioning of Hadoop, Spark, Kafka, and other big data analytics and data science tools.

The acquisition is expected to close in HPE's first fiscal quarter, ending Jan. 31, 2019. HPE Discover is taking placing this week in Madrid.