Intel is taking its latest step in the big data space through a partnership with BlueData, whose software is designed to enable organizations to run Hadoop and Spark in virtualized environments on-premises.
Intel officials also said the company is investing in BlueData for a third time as part of a $20 million funding round led by Intel Capital, the chip maker's investment arm. As part of that investment, Doug Fisher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Software and Services Group, will join BlueData's board of directors.
Officials with both Intel and BlueData said that the vendors' partnership is designed to accelerate the adoption of big data technology by making it easier to deploy. As part of the collaboration, BlueData will optimize its EPIC big data infrastructure software for the Intel Architecture, while Intel will bring engineering and marketing resources to help create a joint engineering roadmap and develop joint customer acquisitions, they said.
In addition, the two companies will work together on go-to-market efforts that will include coordinated product, channel and sales programs.
"Together, Intel and BlueData are focused on bringing big data into the mainstream and unlocking the value for our enterprise customers for faster time to insights with big data," Michael Greene, vice president and general manager of system technologies and optimization at Intel, wrote in a post on the company blog. "BlueData will develop and optimize its big data infrastructure software for Intel architecture. The total solution enables easy deployment of Hadoop and Spark with greater simplicity and agility in a virtualized environment while delivering the security and performance that enterprise IT organizations require for their big data deployments."
Engineers within Intel's big data technology unit will work with their BlueData counterparts on developing, integrating and testing the optimization work of the EPIC software on Intel platforms, Greene wrote, adding that the optimization effort will "enable Hadoop and Spark virtualization with close to bare-metal performance, leveraging containers and other infrastructure technology advancements."
Both Greene and Kumar Sreekanti, co-founder and CEO of BlueData, said organizations increasingly interested in deploying big data technologies—IDC analysts predict the market will expand to $41.5 billion by 2018 and grow at 26 percent a year—as they look to gain insights and real-time business advantages from the massive amounts of data being generated. However, implementing Apache Hadoop and other big data technologies can be difficult on infrastructures that weren't built for such workloads.
"Big data is at an inflection point today," Sreekanti wrote in a post on the BlueData blog. "Adoption has moved from experimental projects to mission-critical, enterprise-wide deployments that are delivering new customer insights, competitive advantage and business innovation. But the complexity of big data is holding back adoption—it's still too time-consuming, expensive, and resource-intensive to initiate and scale these deployments."
The vendors hope their collaboration will reduce that complexity and speed up adoption and deployment. The partnership with BlueData represents Intel's latest effort in the big data space, following its collaboration with Cloudera around Hadoop and recent efforts in projects involving Apache Spark. Data analytics were also a key topic during last week's Intel Developer Forum.