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March 3, 2016

MapR Joins Growing List Targeting U.S. Big Data

George Leopold

As federal agencies struggle to upgrade their cloud and overall IT capabilities, a leading analytics vendor is setting up shop inside the Capital Beltway in a bid to boost big data capabilities.

MapR Technologies said this week it would launch federal operations with a new office in McLean, Va., just a few miles from CIA headquarters. MapR, which is based in San Jose, Calif., said Thursday (March 3) said its new office would focus generally on government IT program and specifically on live streaming decision support.

The big data specialist unveiled the Streams component of its integrated platform late last year that is designed to move large amounts of data.

Doug Natal, a former executive with EMC, Oracle and Verisign, will head the new suburban Washington, DC, office. Natal previous worked on sensitive IT programs for U.S. civilian and intelligence agencies as well as the Defense Department.

The new office will target its data platform at huge government data sets related to cyber security, war-gaming, weather modeling, user authentication and controlling the spread of infectious diseases. It hopes to attract more federal customers to its event streaming capability designed to extract real-time intelligence from big data as way to speed decision making.

MapR is among a growing number of big data and cloud providers working with or certified to provide IT technologies as federal agencies slowly move to cloud-based platforms. Among the largest players are Amazon Web Services (AWS, NASDAQ: AMZN), which provides cloud services to the CIA. The intelligence agency also is embracing enterprise data hub platforms supplied by vendors like Cloudera that feature “pervasive analytics.” Those tools are being used by the spy agency to drive data from analysts to decision and policy makers.

Along with AWS, MapR said it is currently working with Cisco Systems, Google, HP Enterprise, Microsoft, SAP and Teradata. Most of these partners are already working with federal agencies on large IT conversion and big data projects. MapR noted that its products are certified for government agencies under U.S. General Services Administration procurement guidelines.

MapR’s converged platform integrates Hadoop and Spark with event streaming and real-time database capabilities along with enterprise storage. Among the companies current customers is federal IT specialist Leidos (LDOS: NYSE). Leidos recently merged with the IT unit of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), the world’s largest military contractor.

MapR is betting it can offer alternative migration paths to Hadoop and Spark deployments, especially as some Hadoop adopters confront performance and scaling issues in production environments.

Meanwhile, established vendors like Cloudera are offering big data tools such as pervasive analytics as a key federal cloud application as financial and other use cases are refined to help the feds shift their operations and infrastructure to the cloud. Another player in the growing federal market is chipmaker Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), which has invested more than $700 million in Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution.

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