2018 Big Data 100: 15 Coolest System and Platform Vendors

Big Data Foundations

Businesses and organizations undertaking big data projects select applications, analytical tools and data management systems from hundreds of vendors. But odds are those projects will be running on hardware, software and cloud systems from a relatively small number of vendors, many of them the biggest names in the IT industry.

As part of the 2018 Big Data 100, we've put together a list of 15 companies that provide on-premise and cloud systems and platforms that serve as the foundation for many big data initiatives.

Amazon Web Services

Top Executive: CEO Andy Jassy

Amazon Web Services is the cloud-based platform for many business's big data initiatives, for storing data and hosting data management and business analysis software.

Beyond the core cloud platform, AWS has a growing portfolio of its own big data services that provide customers -- especially small and mid-size businesses -- with the kind of high-performance big data technology once available only to large businesses and organizations.

AWS offers database systems (including the Amazon RDS relational database system and the Amazon DynamoDB No SQL database), Amazon RedShift data warehousing system, Amazon QuickSight business intelligence application, Amazon Athena interactive query service, Amazon EMR Hadoop and Spark service, and artificial intelligence, machine learning and Internet of Things services.

BlueData Software

Top Executive: CEO Kumar Sreekanti

BlueData's software, which incorporates Docker's container technology, is used to deploy big data workloads on-premise, 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 company's latest release of BlueData EPIC added support for GPU-based systems and machine learning applications such as TensorFlow.

BlueData, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said sales grew by 228 percent in 2017 with the addition of new customers such as Citigroup, GM Financial, GlaxoSmithKline, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Tesco Bank.


Top Executive: CEO Prat Moghe

Cazena offers a fully-managed Big Data-as-a-Service platform for storing, sharing and analyzing data without the need for DevOps and other skills. With such partners as Cloudera, Microsoft Azure and AWS, Cazena provides big data solutions around business intelligence and analytics, customer insights, data science and data engineering.

In November Cazena, based in Waltham, Mass., launched an AppCloud service where customers can deploy and run machine learning and analytical solutions including DataRobot, Cloudera, Data Science Workbench, StreamSets and Arcadia Data.


Top Executive: CEO Tom Reilly

Cloudera provides Apache Hadoop- and Apache Spark-based software and services that serve as the foundation for many customers' big data systems. Products include the flagship Enterprise Data Hub, Operational DB, Data Science Workbench, Cloudera SDX (Shared Data Experience) and more.

In November Cloudera debuted the Altus Analytic DB data warehouse, a data warehouse cloud service built on the company's Altus Platform-as-a-Service system that provides users with self-service BI and SQL analytics capabilities.

Dell Technologies

Top Executive: CEO Michael Dell

Dell Technologies, of course, offers a broad hardware and software product portfolio for big data initiatives, from high-performance servers and storage hardware to infrastructure software and networking systems.

Dell also markets data management, integration and protection software that provide a foundation for many customers' big data projects and operations. The company's Boomi software, for example, is used to move data among and between on-premise and cloud applications.


Top Executive: CEO Sundar Pichai

The Google Cloud Platform hosts many business's big data systems, as well as serving as the foundation for Google's own big data cloud services such as the Cloud SQL database, Cloud Dataflow stream and batch processing service, and the Google BigQuery cloud data warehouse system.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Top Executive: President and CEO Antonio Neri

Hewlett Packard Enterprise develops a wide range of data center infrastructure products for big data applications, starting with powerful supercomputers -- including the HPE Superdome Flex -- and servers for big data analytics and Hadoop workloads.

HPE also partners with SAP to provide the SAP HANA database platform for business processing and real-time analytics tasks.


Top Executive: CEO Rob Bearden

Hortonworks provides a number of software products for big data projects, with the Hadoop-based Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) at the core of the company's product portfolio.

The technology lineup also includes the Hortonworks DataFlow streaming, real-time data analytics software for collecting, curating and analyzing data that's in motion.

Hortonworks has an alliance with IBM and provides the IBM DB2 relational database for SQL-on-Hadoop analytical tasks and is jointly developing with IBM a next-generation data science product.


Top Executive: CEO Ginni Rometty

IBM markets a broad range of business analytics and data management products, including the "big iron" hardware that powers them.

Software products include the Cognos Analytics for business analytics and reporting tasks, SPSS for statistical and predictive analysis, and Db2 Big SQL, a hybrid SQL engine for Hadoop for connecting data across disparate data sources such as relational and NoSQL databases.

IBM has been building its big data and analytics strategy around its Watson technology with such products as Watson Analytics, Watson IoT Platform and Watson Explorer.


Top Executive: CEO Amar Arsikere

Managing the flow of data from operational systems and databases into big data management and analysis systems in a useful form is a challenge that often sinks big data projects.

Infoworks develops software that automates the data engineering process for creating and managing ongoing big data workflows from data source to consumption. Specific tools automate data ingestion, data migration, data transformation and preparation, and data/metadata synchronization, among others.

In September Infoworks launched an end-to-end automated big data warehouse platform in the cloud.

MapR Technologies

Top Executive: CEO John Schroeder

MapR's flagship product, the MapR Converged Data Platform, streamlines data operations by collecting data from disparate sources into a "data fabric" that can store, manage, process, apply and analyze data as it is created. The platform integrates Hadoop, Spark and Apache Drill with real-time database capabilities and event streaming.

Other products in the company's portfolio include the MapR –XD converged storage platform, the MapR-DB No SQL database, the MapR-ES publish and subscribe system, and MapR Analytics and Machine Learning Engines for real-time analytics.

Micro Focus

Top Executive: CEO Stephen Murdoch

Although Micro Focus has been around for some time, the enterprise software vendor was essentially reborn last September when it merged with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's software business, taking possession of a number of HPE DevOps, application delivery and management, hybrid IT operations management, and predictive analytics software.

Big data products including the Vertica advanced analytics software, the ArcSight Data Platform, and SecureData for Hadoop software. The company's IDOL software lets users access and analyze enterprise text, audio and video data.


Top Executives: CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz

While Oracle's broad product portfolio includes hardware and operational applications, the software giant offers a broad range of big data products – starting with the Oracle Database that remains the vendor's flagship product.

On the data management side, in addition to the Oracle Database, the company offers the MySQL database and a NoSQL database and a range of data warehouse technologies such as the new Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud.

On the analytics side Oracle's product lineup includes Oracle Analytics Cloud, Oracle Business Intelligence, Oracle Data Visualization and Oracle Essbase Cloud.

Snowflake Computing

Top Executive: CEO Bob Muglia

Snowflake Computing developed a cloud-based enterprise SQL data warehouse system, based on a patented architecture, that the company said eliminates the complex administration and management tasks associated with traditional data warehouse systems.

Running on AWS, Snowflake data warehouses can serve up structured and semi-structured data for analytical and reporting services.

In January the company closed on $263 million in Series E growth funding from venture capital investors, bringing its total funding to $473 million and putting the company's valuation at $1.5 billion


Top Executive: President and CEO Victor Lund

Teradata is the original data warehouse system provider. Today the company's offerings include the Teradata Database, Teradata Analytics Platform, Teradata IntelliFlex integrated data warehouse system, and the Teradata IntelliCloud cloud-based data and analytic Software-as-a-Service.

A core component of Teradata's future is Teradata Everywhere, a an analytic system that allows the company's massively parallel Teradata Database to be deployed on any combination of AWS, Microsoft Azure, Teradata Managed Cloud, VMware virtualizatin software and Teradata IntelliFlex platform.