September 14, 2017

Pivotal Takes Greenplum to the Cloud

George Leopold

Pivotal, the software developer that repositioned its core products in 2015 as open source, rolled out the latest version of its Greenplum platform this week with an eye toward enabling analytics on multi-cloud deployments.

The company also announced two Chinese cloud infrastructure providers, Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and Tencent (HKG: 0700), have integrated Greenplum database technology into their cloud infrastructure.

Along with geospatial, graph, machine learning and text analytics, Pivotal stressed the Greenplum 5 runs business intelligence and other advanced analytics workloads on pubic and private clouds. The San Francisco-based company claims its approach differs from other analytics approaches that run only on a single cloud.

Pivotal pulled the plug on its proprietary big data strategy just over two years ago and announced a major repositioning of its core products that include Greenplum, GemFire (an in-memory NoSQL database) and HAWQ (an interactive SQL engine similar to Hive) as open source offerings. At the time, it became a founding member of the Open Data Platform.

Greenplum 5 “is our first Pivotal Greenplum distribution based entirely on the open source project,” Elisabeth Hendrickson, Pivotal’s vice president of data R&D, noted in a statement.

The database platform is certified and available to run on public clouds including Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN), Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT), Google Cloud Platform (NASDAQ: GOOGL) along with private clouds based on VMware vSphere (NYSE: VMW) and OpenStack.

Pivotal said its open-source, multi-cloud strategy reflects lower data storage costs that have prompted cloud infrastructure providers to differentiate themselves by offering customers the ability to store vast amounts of structured and unstructured data in “data lakes.” Among those providers are Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud of China.

Alibaba cited Pivotal continuing investment in Greenplum as a key reason for adopting the open source database service. It also cited SQL support, adding that its customers continue to ask for Greenplum services on the Alibaba Cloud.

Meanwhile, Long Wang, vice president of Tencent Cloud noted: “Greenplum and its Apache open source machine learning library MADLib has a large user base in China.” Chinese developers are using Greenplum to build “modern, cloud-based AI applications, the Tencent executive added.

Among Pivotal’s investors are Dell Technologies, Microsoft and VMware. Pivotal was spun out from EMC prior to Dell Technologies’ (NYSE: DVMT) acquisition of the storage giant. GE (NYSE: GE) was another early strategic investor, initially pouring $105 million into the database startup.

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