Cloudera Deepens Hadoop Security Play With Gazzang Acquisition

Intel-backed enterprise Hadoop vendor closes $900M funding round, welcomes Intel CIO to its board.

Jason Verge

June 4, 2014

4 Min Read
Cloudera Deepens Hadoop Security Play With Gazzang Acquisition
Hadoop takes its name from the toy elephant that belongs to the son of Doug Cutting, a chief architect at Cloudera and one of the engineering minds behind the open source architecture.

Cloudera, one of the more prominent Apache Hadoop distribution vendors, has acquired a startup called Gazzang in an enterprise security play for an undisclosed sum.

Gazzang provides enterprise-grade data encryption and key management, addressing the challenges of processing sensitive and legally protected data within the Hadoop ecosystem. The startup's team will stay aboard to tackle additional security challenges in Hadoop, forming the heart of the Cloudera Center for Security Excellence.

Hadoop is growing in popularity among enterprises, and distribution providers for the open source distributed data storage and processing system are working to simplify it and boost its security to open market potential further. The need for better security was heightened following addition of the YARN resource-management tier in Hadoop 2 last year. YARN allows multiple workloads to run on Hadoop, and customers have requested simple centralized security following its release. This is the impetus behind Cloudera’s acquisition of Gazzang as well as its competitor Hortonworks’ acquisition of XA Secure in May.

Gazzang’s encryption and key management help fulfill requirements of several compliance regulations, such as HIPAA-HITECH, PCI-DSS, FERPA and the EU Data Protection Directive. Cloudera now offers encryption for all data at rest stored inside a Hadoop cluster. Its approach is transparent to applications using the data, minimizing encryption costs. Cloudera customers also have the choice of a broad range of cross-platform data protection methods from the vendor's partners.

Cloudera is continuing to invest in the open source community to support and accelerate security features into project Rhino—an open source effort founded by big Cloudera backer Intel in early 2013. Project Rhino is a broad based open source security architecture that looks to address many of the major enterprise security pillars, including perimeter security, entitlements, access control and data protection.

"Data security is no longer a check-box for IT organizations or operations departments, it has become a top business priority," said Tom Reilly, CEO of Cloudera. "At the same time compliance requirements for protecting data continue to expand in scope where data access comes under scrutiny. We’re entering a whole new era with the rise of the Industrial Internet and the Internet of Things where there is vastly more data being streamed from billions of devices. Centralizing and accessing that net-new data to unlock its value is therefore a challenge when you consider the security requirements. That’s what we’re solving now."

The Cloudera Center for Security Excellence will work on comprehensive data and cluster security technologies, security testing and enabling a partner ecosystem for certification and security. It is a three-pronged approach to raising security policies, ensuring education and securing integrations through APIs and certifying partner products.

Cloudera laid out a security roadmap last year when it delivered Sentry, an independent security module that provides fine-grained authorization to data stored in Hadoop. Hadoop for enterprises is a busy and competitive market, but Cloudera, with $900 million in funding and backing from Intel, is considered one of the strongest players in the field.

Intel CIO stengthens Cloudera’s board of directors

Intel CIO Kim Stevenson was recently appointed to Cloudera’s board of directors, following the closing of the most recent round of funding. Stevenson is responsible for the corporate-wide use of IT for all of Intel, a company that consists of more than 6,000 technology professionals worldwide.

The $900 million round includes $530 million of primary capital and $370 million of shares purchased from existing Cloudera investors. In total, Cloudera has raised $670 million of primary capital since its inception.

"We are honored and thrilled to welcome Kim Stevenson to the Cloudera board," Reilly said. "Kim’s experience and strategic role as CIO of Intel are particularly valuable as she represents the voice of the customer and has a deep understanding of how data and insight can transform businesses.  We look forward to Kim's addition to the team building a world class organization."

In addition to Intel, Stevenson has held positions at EDS, HP and IBM.

"Together, Cloudera and Intel have committed to bring innovation to enterprise data management," she said. "We are enabling the next generation of enterprise data through enterprise data hubs - a single central system to store and analyze all data - with leading technology to both drive IT efficiency and enable the monetization of big data. I look forward to working with the Cloudera board and management team to pursue this substantial growth opportunity."


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