Intel has for the third time invested in BlueData, a Silicon Valley startup that makes it easier for companies to stand up and operate Big Data infrastructure, such as Apache Hadoop and Spark, in their own data centers or in the cloud. The two companies have also entered into a commercial partnership.
The processor maker led the recent $20 million Series C funding round. BlueData, founded by a group of VMware alumni, has now raised a total of $39 million.
Companies want to use Big Data analytics to derive value of all the data they and their customers generate, but technologies like Hadoop continue to be difficult to implement, which is why companies like BlueData are gaining traction.
As Intel brings new technologies into the data center, such as new memory tech or new CPUs, BlueData’s job is to make sure its platform can take advantage of that innovation, BlueData CEO Kumar Sreekanti said.
The involvement of Intel, which designs server platforms for majority of the world’s data centers, is important to quality and adoption of new technologies such as BlueData’s. It was collaboration between Intel and VMware that made server virtualization the success that it was, Sreekanti, a former VMware VP of research and development, said.
Effectiveness of the new Big Data platforms, like Spark, will depend on CPU innovation – be it encryption, or in-memory computing – in a big way.
On the marketing side of the relationship, Intel will help promote BlueData and cross-sell the platform to its customers, according to Sreekanti.
While it continues to invest in R&D, the startup will use the latest funding round primarily to get the word out and sell. “Majority of the focus is building the sales and marketing effort,” Sreekanti said.
Some of the early adopters of Epic include Comcast, Orange, and Symantec. The company is in talks with numerous other customers, Sreekanti said but could not disclose their names.