CenturyLink, Cloudera To Jointly Develop A Big Data-As-A-Service Solution

CenturyLink says it's developing a fully-managed, big data-as-a-service solution powered by data management and analytics provider Cloudera.

Cloudera and CenturyLink are jointly developing a cloud-based big data solution that will help businesses gain the most value from their data, boost responsiveness, and generate new insights that can help customers grow their businesses, especially as trends like the Internet of things (IoT) take hold, Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink announced this week.

The expanded partnership allows CenturyLink to continue its strategic services tear, which will help the telecom giant act as an IT services provider and differentiate itself from the carrier competition, Terence Gleeson, CenturyLink's vice president of strategic partner alliances, told CRN.

[Related: Partners See Possible Cloud Business Boost As CenturyLink Reportedly Set To Sell Data Center Facilities]

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’Businesses are looking for big data solutions to solve business problems [and] provide better services," Gleeson said in an email response to a question from CRN. "With the CenturyLink and Cloudera expanded strategic alliance, customers benefit from a fully managed big data solution to better leverage all of their data, no matter the source."

The end result of the partnership will drive more value to CenturyLink partners and their end customers, he added.

Big data-as-a-service offerings could be of interest to solution providers that are starting to look into opportunities around IoT.

Lumenate, a Dallas-based IT consulting firm and CenturyLink partner, doesn't have a dedicated practice around IoT, but the solution provider just closed its first IoT deal that relies on a platform from another telecom provider, according to John Hudson, Lumenate's director of service provider solutions.

"I'm curious what CenturyLink plans to do from an IoT perceptive, and how they plan to monetize this from a channel perspective, or if this is something they will incorporate as part of their cloud services," Hudson said.

Cloudera's data management and analytics platform is built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies. Via the expanded partnership, customers and partners will benefit from integrated data sources and simplified Hadoop operations, the companies said.

CenturyLink will also use Cloudera's platform to perform advanced analytics within its software-defined networks and virtualized network functions to proactively monitor its own global network, the provider said.

"…In addition to offering a platform for big data management and analytics in the cloud, [CenturyLink] is also focused on delivering value-added use cases that run on this platform and help our customers become more agile and responsive," said Gary Gauba, president of CenturyLink Cognilytics, the provider's Big Data and Advanced Analytics solutions business unit that CenturyLink established in 2014 after acquiring San Jose, Calif-based predictive analytics company Cognilytics.

CenturyLink expects its big data-as-a-service solutions to be generally available later this year. Cloudera's existing managed services provided by CenturyLink are generally available today.