Pivotal’s Big Data Story—SiliconANGLE theCube Interview

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featured-bdsAt the recent EMC World 2015, Pivotal’s Sr. Director of Outbound Product, Michael Cucchi, met with two of SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE hosts—Jeff Frick and Stewart Miniman. The three talked about how Pivotal is carving out its unique position in the big data market and what happens when advanced analytics and end-user applications crossbreed. This article is a short recap of the video interview.

What Makes Pivotal So Special?

While the question wasn’t so direct, the conversation started off asking for a general description of Pivotal’s big data solutions. However, big data solutions are just one part of Pivotal’s puzzle. There are several ingredients required to build great apps, and integrating these pieces is a large part of what makes Pivotal unique and what packs power into our big data portfolio.

Cucchi explained, “At Pivotal, we firmly believe it is not just about building applications. It is about building applications that leverage analytics so that we can create unique experiences for customers.” In the past, Pivotal explained unique customer experiences with examples—apps from NetflixPandoraUber, or even Walmart. There are also newer apps, like Next Glass, that give us beer and wine recommendations based on data science. On the other end of the spectrum, GE is leading the way with IoT, driving massive advancements in their energy management, manufacturing, and transportation businesses  based on data science and data lakes.

Cucchi’s main point—the overlap of big data, data science, and cloud-based applications will drive the next generation of applications—and Pivotal uniquely provides all three plus more.

How Did Pivotal’s Strategy Form? Where Does Open Source Fit?

From the lead-in question, one of the co-hosts extended their inquiry, asking how Pivotal’s different pieces—big data, analytics, data science, and open source—came together, suggesting that many people were scratching their head when Pivotal was first formed and wondered about the open source pieces fitting in.

Cucchi answered simply, “It’s actually a testament to the leadership of our company. We listened to the customer base from an EMC and VMware perspective and started hearing customer stories driving towards new use cases. When they looked across the portfolio, they saw a clear path to connecting the Pivotal set of technologies.”

With open source software becoming a sea change in IT, a requirement of corporations, and a core element of Pivotal’s products, Cucchi also explained how the Cloud Foundry project led Pivotal’s open source strategy from an application platforms perspective (and of course, there is also our Spring heritage). The Cloud Foundry team was able to build something of considerable value, engage the right set of partners, and build the right governance model to help the Cloud Foundry ecosystem grow.  The big data product teams have followed suit. By helping found the Open Data Platform, Pivotal—now alongside 22 corporate members—expects to bring stability and predictability to the Hadoop ecosystem. With additional governance, all of the Hadoop-related projects can get on the same release cadence and drive down complexity for Hadoop customers. Cucchi also reminded the two hosts that Pivotal is open sourcing all the elements of Pivotal Big Data Suite, with the first being Pivotal GemFire, whose core is now Apache Geode.

For the most part, this sums up the interview—Pivotal has unique strengths in big data, data science, open source, and application platforms—the things needed to deliver on today’s digital strategies.

Learn More:

Watch the video to hear more—Cucchi goes on to explain how adoption is going in the big data space, covers SQL on Hadoop, explains our fit within data lakes, and talks about in-memory computing.

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