NEW YORK–With its latest round of funding, big data darling Cloudera is poised to go public some time down the road as the company continues to integrate its operations and work more closely with partners.
Speaking at the GigaOm Structure Data conference here on March 20, Tom Reilly, CEO of Cloudera, talked about how the enterprise data hub is becoming an integral part of data management architectures by handling interactive SQL, transformation, stream processing, advanced analytics and other workloads.
On March 18, Cloudera announced a new round of financing at $160 million led by T. Rowe Price, along with three other top-tier public market investors, and included an investment by Google Ventures and an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment firm for Michael S. Dell and his family.
“If you have 401ks you’re likely now investors in Cloudera,” Reilly quipped to the audience. He noted that with the new round of $160 million, Cloudera has raised $300 million to date.
However, whether public or not, “this is a market where we’re going to see a number of large companies emerging; Cloudera will be the largest. Yet, Reilly acknowledged that with its enterprise data hub strategy, Cloudera is put in direct competition with the likes of IBM and Pivotal. An enterprise data hub enables enterprises to take on large scale, more advanced and diverse workloads and realize new strategic benefits from their data that was previously discarded or difficult to incorporate into business insights.
“IBM and Pivotal compete with us in terms of a Hadoop distribution,” Reilly said, but Cloudera is quickly certifying hundreds of ISVs and partners that will give the company versatility in the space. “Both IBM and Pivotal are very committed to this space.”
Overall, Cloudera is interested in bringing a complete platform to market, Reilly said. “We don’t need to extend up the stack,” he noted. Rather, Cloudera is working to broaden its offering to be more secure, governed, compliant, reliable and managed, he said.
“We spend a lot of our time delivering that capability,” Reilly said. So rather than focus on trying to go public right now, “Our funding will allow us to put more resources into the community,” he said. “There are a lot of projects we want to support.” Reilly also joked that before trying to go public, Cloudera must get off of QuickBooks and install an ERP system.
Meanwhile, the funding will help Cloudera to bolster its partner integration efforts and grow the team working on that. Reilly said he wants to ensure integration with its key business intelligence (BI), analytics and extract, transfer, load (ETL) partners. The company will continue to deliver converged analytics solutions, he said.
Cloudera Rides Hadoop, Big Data to Market Advancement
“When Cloudera emerged from stealth in 2009, the vision was to bring Hadoop to the enterprise,” Reilly said in a statement. “At the time, the idea of ‘big data’ was on the cusp of adoption. Five years later, Cloudera is setting the standard for how enterprises across all verticals are managing their big data. The market demand for these technologies is fierce as companies realize the competitive advantage and strategic value of their data.”
Cloudera will use the funding to further drive the enterprise adoption of and innovation in Hadoop and promote the enterprise data hub (EDH) market; support geographic expansion into Europe and Asia; expand its services and support capabilities; and scale the field and engineering organizations.
In addition, the latest round of funding validates the mainstream adoption of Hadoop among enterprises today and Cloudera’s position in what many believe is the most important technology sea change in the data center for the next decade–the move to Hadoop for storing, processing and analyzing the vast quantities of data commonly referred to as big data.
“Cloudera is successfully helping enterprises exploit big data and manage the transition to becoming more data centric,” said Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager for the T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund, in a statement. “With strong leadership, an ability to innovate, a satisfied customer base, and a large partner community, we believe Cloudera is well positioned to build a durable and leading company in this space.”
Hadoop has emerged as the de facto choice for the underlying data management technology making it possible to store, process and analyze vastly larger and more complex datasets than ever before.
“We see broad demand from enterprises who want a flexible approach to handling large amounts of data, and we expect this market to continue to grow rapidly,” said Google Ventures General Partner Karim Faris, in a statement. “Cloudera is dramatically lowering the cost of reliable storage for the enterprise and is enabling the analysis and mining of large data sets in a way that wasn’t possible before.”
A growing number of large enterprises are building enterprise data hubs built on Hadoop to address a wide variety of data challenges and increasingly to work with data in more ways, not only for processing and archiving, but now for self-service BI and advanced analytics.
Cloudera maintains that it has driven enterprise capabilities and more power into the Hadoop platform than any other company as evidenced by the incorporation of real-time query with its open source Cloudera Impala; real-time search support with Lucene and Solr; security with Cloudera’s Apache Sentry project; integrated governance, compliance, reporting and disaster recovery–all onto the Hadoop platform.
Reilly also said he believes Apache Spark should be embraced and has been integrated into the Cloudera distribution. Apache Spark is an open source, parallel data processing framework that complements Apache Hadoop to make it easy to develop fast, unified big data applications combining batch, streaming and interactive analytics on all your data.
“Cloudera is bringing enterprise manageability to big data,” he said.