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HPE Plans To Tie MapR With BlueData, Other Platforms In Analytics Play

HPE plans to integrate MapR with other parts of its business, particularly its BlueData container platform, as a way to improve its artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics capabilities.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s acquisition of the business assets of MapR is targeted at working with other HPE platforms including the company's BlueData container platform to help build out its artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics capabilities.

HPE on Monday said it acquired MapR's assets and will make them part of HPE's Intelligent Data Platform, with the MapR enterprise-grade file system and cloud-native storage services set to complement HPE's BlueData container platform strategy.

While HPE unveiled the acquisition of MapR's business assets, including the intellectual property, products, support, and customer and partner base, the company has essentially acquired all of MapR as there is nothing left of that company as an entity, said Patrick Osborne, HPE’s vice president of big data and secondary storage.

[Related: HPE Intelligent Data Platforms And InfoSight Predictive Analytics: 9 Things To Know]

HPE has already started talking with MapR's customer base, which includes marquee businesses in the Fortune 500 and the Global 2000, Osborne told CRN.

No decision has been made as to whether the MapR brand will be kept in the long term, he said. "For the immediate time being, we will continue with that branding," he said.

MapR develops a data platform for harnessing, managing, and protecting data, and provides AI and analytics technology for data-driven transformation.

Its products include MapR SD Distributed File and Object Store, which manages both structured and unstructured data at the exabyte scale to support artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, and Hadoop.

The company also develops MapR Database, a high-performance NoSQL database management system that is integrated with MapR XD Distributed File and Object Store as well as Event Store for Apache Kafka.

Also on the MapR line card is MapR EventStore for Apache Kafka, a publish-subscribe streaming system the company claims is the only one to support global event replication reliability at IoT scale. It is integrated with MapR XD Distribute File and Object Store.

MapR's technology takes advantage of multiple analytics and open source tools including Apache Hadoop, Apache Hbase, Apache Sparc, Apache Drill, and Apache Hive.

HPE has made the use of AI and data analytics a key focus of its development. The company late last year acquired BlueData, a developer of a software platform that leverages Docker container technology as a way to simplify the deployment of large-scale machine-learning and big data analytics applications.

The company also offers HPE InfoSight predictive analytics technology, which it received with its 2017 acquisition of Nimble Storage, is in the process of becoming part of a wide swath of HPE's data center portfolio.

Osborne said that the BlueData container technology can be plugged into MapR as part of a data lake, and that the acquisition of MapR gives HPE a chance to carry that integration further.

"HPE has already been running MapR on HPE infrastructure," he said. "Last year, at the HPE Discovery conference in Madrid, we announced a focus on edge computing, which opens a big opportunity for us to work with MapR."

HPE's InfoSight is more focused on AI operations with its predictive analytics capabilities, and HPE is moving to make InfoSight a part of a wide range of HPE platforms, Osborne said.

"At the end of the day, we'd love to provide that kind of support and experience to customers who deploy MapR," he said. "This is our plan for further down the road. We're doing it for most of our products."

MapR has of late been struggling to grow. The company in May discussed potential layoffs, and said it was looking at the possibility of either being acquired or pursuing additional financing.

HPE has partnered for some time with MapR, as has several larger IT companies, including Cisco, a top competitor of HPE.

Osborne said he does not yet know if HPE's acquisition of MapR will impact the Cisco relationship. However, he said, BlueData was a partner with HPE customers, particularly Dell Technologies, before BlueData was acquired by HPE.

"We want to support our customers, and support their platforms," he said. "We still have joint BlueData customers with Dell. They can still transact business. And we continue to support those customers."

Osborne indicated that the acquisition of MapR, like the acquisition of BlueData, does provide opportunities to bring those companies' customers closer to HPE.

"We have opportunities to provide an integrated experience for those customers," he said. "If a customer chooses to take advantage of it, we'll continue to support them."

HPE's acquisition of MapR gives channel partners an even more comprehensive set of solutions to help clients across numerous verticals to extract real insights from big data and emerging new data sources that can help their organizations offer better services to their customers, said Dan Molina, chief technology officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and longtime HPE channel partner.

"From a wide range of HPC/AI hardware options that can process data-crunching, analytics, and algorithm-tuning applications at today’s needed speeds, to AI and big data analytics software platforms, to access to Data Scientists via our partnership with HPE Pointnext Services, we are excited to offer complete AI, big data, and business intelligence solutions to our clients that will significantly help them retain or improve their competitive advantage and go to market with innovative offerings much faster than ever before possible," Molina told CRN.

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