Thoughts on HPE’s Acquisition of MapR

By Hubert Yoshida posted 08-05-2019 00:00


In June I posted a blog commenting on the cloud management company MapRclosing its headquarters and laying off 122 workers. At that time Cloudera, another cloud big data management company, announced reduced earnings and reduced outlook which drove its stock down over 38% to around $5. It was only in January of this year when Cloudera and Hortonworks, two of the biggest players in the Hadoop big data space, announced an all-stock merger, which was expected to give new life to these companies in the big data analytics market.

Therefore it was not surprising to hear today’s news of the acquisition of MapR by HPE. With this acquisition HPE said the deal includes MapR’s technology, intellectual property and expertise in artificial intelligence and data management. There will also be a number of employees joining with this acquisition. The MapR technology will be folded into HPE’s Intelligent Data Platform, a set of technologies for data lifecycle management.


Just a few years ago, cloud data management companies like MapR, Cloudera, and Hortonworks were Unicorns, the darlings of Wall Street. Analysts attribute this decline to a natural consolidation of the “surplus of enterprise Hadoop companies” after the hype and frenzy of the VC community reached its peak. The cost of sales and services are very high and the pay per use model puts a squeeze on cash flow. The difficulty of monetizing a business based upon open-source software is challenging. Analysts are also predicting that the Big Data Analytics ecosystem will converge around AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud and many of these smaller companies will be acquired or displaced by the large public cloud vendors.

MapR’s technology will be particularly valuable to HPE in helping customers stitch together data pipelines across multiple on-premises and cloud environments as well as to run multiple workloads in the same environment. According to Patrick Osborne, vice president of big data and secondary storage at HPE is quoted as saying, “ MapR’s distributed file system provides the capability of a data fabric that allows people to manage their analytics on the edge as well as in the core. We didn’t have a technology that would allow customers to do that.”

Although there are many advantages for HPE in this acquisition, they still have to compete with the hyper-cloud vendors in the big data analytics cloud ecosystem, AWS, Azure, and Google cloud who have a clear head start. The recent acquisition of Tableau by SalesForce and Looker by Google, are indicative of a trend by public cloud providers moving to provide end to end big data analytics solutions across multiple clouds. HPE will have to play catchup while integrating the technology, personnel, partners, and customers of MapR. They will also have to solve the revenue problems that plagued MapR. 

While Hybrid cloud provides an opportunity to augment public cloud offerings, HPE and MapR will have upfront development and support costs which will impact cash flow.  Customers want to move to the cloud faster than MapR can allow them. These customers do not have the luxury of waiting for and trialing CDP while there are other options that are available today.

Hitachi Vantara customers have several options for accelerating their movement to the cloud and big data analytics for structured and unstructured data. One approach is to develop a data lake with Pentaho and other best of breed data ingestion and data orchestration tools for big data analytics that can span multiple cloud delivery platforms with a common meta data catalog and schema. Pentaho’s low code approach can simplify and accelerate the implementation of big data analytics. Hitachi Vantara has taken this approach internally for our enterprise data that need to reside within our private cloud

Another option from Hitachi Vantara is to use our REAN Cloud ,a global Cloud Systems Integrator (CSI), Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Premier Consulting Partner in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) and Microsoft's Azure Silver Partner membership. REAN Cloud offers consulting & professional services, including cloud strategy, assessment, cloud migration, and implementation to realize our customers’ vision. REAN Cloud provides a REAN Cloud Accelerated Migration Program (RAMP) which can accelerate the migration to public cloud from a matter of weeks to days with their automated services and migration consulting expertise. Migration to the hyper cloud vendors enables the use of their menu of analytics tools. REAN Cloud incudes 47Lining an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with Big Data Competency designation. 47Lining develops big data solutions and delivers big data managed services built from underlying AWS building blocks like Amazon Redshift, Kinesis, S3, DynamoDB, Machine Learning and Elastic MapReduce.

A full transition to the cloud has proved more challenging than anticipated and many companies are looking to hybrid cloud solutions to transition to the cloud at their own pace and at a lower risk and cost. Companies are looking for DataOps tools and platforms, and systems integrators that can help them create data lakes and deliver big data analytics in a timely manner. They want proven vendors who will be with them for the long term and who already have the platforms and services for hybrid cloud and big data analytics that can work within the ecosystem of public and private clouds.

All comments are my own and should not be considered to reflect the opinions of Hitachi Vantara.