It’s been nearly a year since BlueData came out of stealth mode and I wrote a blog post about founding the company and launching our EPIC software platform at Strata + Hadoop World in New York, where we won the Startup Showcase Award.
Since then, we’ve deployed our Big Data infrastructure software at numerous Fortune 1000 customers and I’ve been humbled by the massive interest in our unique value proposition.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce another major milestone: BlueData has raised $20M in an oversubscribed Series C round of funding that will be used to accelerate our momentum in the Big Data market.
This new round was led by Intel Capital, a strong and early supporter of our mission. In fact, we’re also announcing a broad new strategic collaboration with Intel; more on this below. And I’m excited to welcome a key new strategic investor in this round (unfortunately, I can’t disclose who it is), along with participation from our existing investors Amplify Partners, Atlantic Bridge, and Ignition Partners.
Big Data is at an inflection point today. 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 time is ripe for a new approach to Big Data infrastructure that can help simplify and streamline these deployments.
The BlueData vision is bold, big, and unique. We are making it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to deploy Big Data infrastructure and applications – enabling Hadoop-as-a-Service or Spark-as-a-Service on-premises. Translating that big vision into execution requires a world-class team, and I’m proud to say that we’ve built a phenomenal team here at BlueData. But it also requires mentorship and partnership with technology leaders that have been there and done that. Who better than my friends at Intel?
As part of this new collaboration, our product team at BlueData will be working together closely with Intel in areas including Hadoop and Spark, virtualization and container technology, as well as caching and security/encryption. We’ll be optimizing our software on Intel architectures to provide flexible, elastic, high-performance Big Data deployments on-premises. And we’ll be working together to bring this innovation to our enterprise customers, through ongoing sales and marketing collaboration. For Intel’s perspective, see Michael Greene’s blog post here.
It was just 15 years ago that Intel, working closely with VMware and others, helped ushered in an era of virtualization as the de-facto norm for practically every non-distributed workload ranging from business applications to databases. Today, it is not an exaggeration to say that Windows generally runs more effectively and efficiently on virtual machines than on bare-metal. This was not an accident and it was the result of great engineering effort by Intel and, of course, my former colleagues at VMware.
BlueData and Intel see a similar journey for distributed Big Data workloads in the enterprise data center. There has been some early adoption of Big Data in public cloud environments, but the majority of enterprise deployments remain on-premises due to considerations around security, governance, and data gravity. These deployments have been predominantly bare-metal configurations, and the traditional Hadoop architecture is relatively rigid and inflexible.
Enterprises require efficient and agile implementations for their on-premises Big Data solutions. Speed and innovation are essential in Big Data analytics, and the infrastructure can’t slow this down. As with other applications, Big Data workloads need to transition from physical to virtual to a cloud-like experience (e.g. Hadoop-as-a-Service) on-premises. New innovations help make this possible: including technology advancements that make data locality irrelevant for Hadoop and the rapid emergence of container technology to simplify application deployment.
And while infrastructure is the foundation, we believe it will be the apps that drive adoption of Big Data solutions – as in the mobile industry and in the PC industry before that. To simplify the consumption model for Big Data, enterprises need a self-service “app store” experience on their infrastructure. They need a solution that can obscure the complexity of Big Data infrastructure to deploy these new apps in minutes, instead of weeks or months. This is BlueData’s vision.
I’m thankful to our rapidly growing roster of customers, our amazing team, and the continued support of our partners that have brought us even closer to making our vision a reality. Now, fueled by this new funding and our collaboration with Intel, we’re doubling down and embarking together on the next phase of the BlueData journey.
– by Kumar Sreekanti, co-founder and CEO, BlueData