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Pivotal discusses Australian Big Data plans

Pivotal discusses Australian Big Data plans

Aims to take on Amazon Web Services with open standards, will look to channel

On its one-year anniversary, the EMC/VMware Big Data spin-off is starting to show its own identity, and its local execs took the time to lay out their vision for 2014.

Led by former VMware CEO Paul Maritz, the company was founded one year ago, spun off and funded by owners EMC/VMware, and General Electric. Maritz believed that to disrupt the industry and become a Big Data market leader, it needed its own headroom. So far, so good.

Pivotal One’s analytics are already being used by Telecom NZ’s Big Data spin off, Qrious, the NSW state government is using it to model traffic flow, and the Ministry for Railways in China. General Electric is already using it to build its 'industrial internet' - the Internet of Things (IoT) for industrial machines, such as turbines and power plant equipment.

Pivotal is in discussions with many more local Australian enterprises, especially in the financial and mining sectors.

Pivotal’s president and head of products, Scott Yara, said Pivotal was created to help step into what is a generational shift for Cloud and its Big Data applications. One of its key goals is to provide Cloud ‘open platform as a service’, which it hopes will produce a world of ‘many clouds’ interlocking, to help companies work together to counteract Amazon Web Service’s near monopolistic domination of the market.

As part of its Cloud Foundry platform, Pivotal is attempting to create what he calls 'an operating system for the Cloud’. This is not as far away as you'd think, given the recent rise of Chromebooks, and ChromeOS which disregard Windows and Linux, and exists entirely in the Cloud.

Already Verizon, SAP and Monsanto are using the platform, which Yara hopes will one day reach ubiquity and compete with AWS' close platform.

“We want to create the Android of the Cloud computing market, to AWS' iOS” he said.

Yara believes that Cloud Foundry’s neutral governance will be key, as Pivotal and its owners have as much say as fellow members, IBM, HP, Intel and Rackspace. It is also more horizontally scalable than Amazon’s vertical infrastructure.

But while Big Data was a much hyped industry trend 12-18 months ago, it has fallen off the radar for most. This hasn’t deferred Pivotal, and Yara believes that Big Data will be key in the coming 12 months.

“Big Data is fundamental to the next phase of Cloud computing,” he said.

Read more: Splunk unveils new Hunk at CeBIT, Sydney

“The insights produced will power the next class of apps. Pivotal One is a new kind of data analytics platform – we are setting it up to be an ‘industrial grade’ standard.”

The company opened its new Pivotal Innovation Centre in Singapore on November 13, which will allow the company to better prototype scenarios and business case development.

It also launched its Pivotal Big Data Suite last week, an annual subscription based software, support, and maintenance package that bundles Pivotal Greenplum Database, Pivotal GemFire, Pivotal SQLFire, Pivotal GemFire XD , Pivotal HAWQ, and Pivotal HD into a flexible pool of big and fast data products for customers.

It supports Apache Hadoop and HDFS, and Pivotal will make Pivotal HD (its Apache Hadoop distribution), available on an unlimited basis at no extra cost, including support.

Yara said that the Pivotal Big Data Suite is priced at an open source level, and will the subscription is based on the number of cores, on two- and three year terms.

Read more: Elisha joins Pivotal as new CTO

“This means you can store everything, and analyse only what you need," he said.

The company is still rolling out its offering in Australia. New A/NZ managing director, Gavin Jones, told ARN that the company, while still focused on working with larger enterprises directly, will be working with the channel in 2014 to pull in more customers.

Jones said that at this early stage any Pivotal sales have been through existing EMC/VMware distributors, and its telco and vendor partners.

In the Australian market so far, the big wins had been half via Pivotal approaching target clients, and half clients approaching them, especially ISVs. A formalised channel strategy will be developed as the year goes on, Jones said, noting that it was early days. He would not be drawn on any ongoing negotiations, but said there would be some big announcements in the coming year.

Jones did say that the company is ‘aggressively hiring’ in the Australian market, and is hunting engineers and sales staff. He would not be drawn on projected staff numbers.

Allan Swann is a Senior Editor at IDG Communications Australia. Follow Allan on Twitter @allanswann, and at Google+.

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Tags greenplumIBMbig dataMelissa RiesApache HadoopQriousHPPaul MaritzGavin JonesHDFSScott YaraSAP HANACloudPivotalSAPintelVMwarerackspaceemcAmazon Web ServicesCloud Foundry

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