CDP One Takes Cloudera into the SaaS Analytics League
Cloudera last week announced the impending release of its Cloudera Data Platform One (CDP One), a Software as a Service (SaaS) implementation of its full platform. CDP One is aimed at increasing the accessibility of analytics to a broader range of organizations, to include those organizations that don’t possess cloud computing expertise but still wish to be data-driven and fully competitive as a result.
CDP One makes the various services within CDP — including data ingestion, governance, preparation, lakehouse/streaming analytics, and machine learning — available to customers on a self-service basis. This relieves those customers of having to worry about sizing, configuring, provisioning or monitoring clusters, nodes or other explicit tech infrastructure. Cloudera says its provides a “zero-ops” customer experience, embedding DevOps, SecOps, and CloudOps as part of the service, and allowing customers to focus on their workloads, their data, its governance and business outcomes instead.
While CDP was already available on all three major public clouds as well as being deployable on private clouds, these scenarios involved its usage in a Platform as a Service (PaaS) capacity, which requires more knowledge and proactive management from the customer. Cloudera sees CDP Cloud as appropriate for the majority of Global 2000 organizations, whereas CDP One is aimed at the Global 5000.
Cloudera’s 2021 acquisitions of SaaS specialist vendors Cazena and Datacoral provided the company a huge shot in the arm on its journey to being a SaaS provider. For example, Cazena previously provided its own self-service data warehouse and data lake offering by providing a SaaS-like abstraction layer over the various data services offered by the cloud providers, as well as platforms from independent analytics vendors whose products were runnable in the cloud.
Cloudera, meanwhile, already had a cohesive platform focused on a full range of data management, analytics (lake, warehouse and even BI) as well as machine learning. That’s a good story when compared to the prospect of integrating multiple specialist vendor platforms, but it still required the provisioning and management of CDP clusters in order to make those services usable. Combining Cazena’s self-service interface and Cloudera’s analytics services now brings the latter to the broader audience Cloudera seeks.
Acquired Technologies; Organic Integration
In addition to the Cazena deal, Cloudera’s other acquisitions over the last several years have helped it build out its platform. Acquiring Gazzang back in 2014 gave the company enterprise security capabilities lacking in the older big data technologies; purchasing Sense in 2016 gave it a robust machine learning platform. And the blockbuster 2018 merger of Cloudera and Hortonworks brought a certain unity and defragmentation to the open source analytics stack. Hortonworks had already XASecure, the company behind the Apache Ranger data governance platform and Onyara, the company behind the data ingest platform Apache NiFi. Scooping up Arcadia Data in 2019 capped things off, by giving the new Cloudera good BI and data visualization capabilities.
Another hallmark of the Hortonworks merger was a combination of engineering talent and a strategic decision to build CDP as a refactored, rationalized platform, rather than haphazardly mashing up Cloudera’s Distribution of Hadoop (CDH) with the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). The “peace dividend” that came of that meant the avoidance of what otherwise could have been substantial technical debt. Instead, the company got the chance to integrate its acquired assets in a technologically sound way, rather than just cobbling them together under a single brand — which unfortunately can occur frequently in the enterprise tech world.
In June of 2021, Cloudera itself was acquired by private equity concerns Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and KKR, which took the company private later that year. While some industry observers may have seen that development as a setback, it has in any case allowed the company to focus on CDP’s rigor and usability, both of which paved the way for CDP One.
Cloudera is featuring corporate travel management concern CWT as a lighthouse customer for CDP One. In an interview aired as part of the keynote at the Cloudera Now event last week, Gordon Coale, CWT’s Lead Enterprise Architect for Data, said the company is using its CDP One-based data lake both for external services like end-user personalization in its mobile app and internal corporate data sets, ad hoc data sets and small use case data sets.
Coale said the company has a “relatively small data analytics team,” making other analytics solutions, — which Coale said “were either too labor-intensive or skill-intensive” — a tougher fit. Cloudera says CWT was able to get CDP One ready for data in two days, and in production use in four weeks.
CWT was a private preview customer, but Cloudera says CDP One is now available to customers “that sign up” and that it will be widely available later this year.
Disclosure: Cloudera is a client of post author Andrew Brust’s company, Blue Badge Insights.