UPDATED 12:53 EDT / NOVEMBER 27 2018

AI

HPE acquires BlueData to boost its AI and analytics ambitions

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. today revealed that it plans to acquire BlueData Software Inc., a startup focused on making it easier for companies to use artificial intelligence and analytics tools.

HPE expects to close the deal by the end of January. The company didn’t share the financial terms, but it’s reasonable to assume that the price tag was at minimum in the eight figures. BlueData has raised $39 million from investors and boasts an impressive client roster that includes the Nasdaq Stock Market.

BlueData sells a platform called EPIC that promises to simplify the deployment of distributed data processing applications. The startup originally focused exclusively on analytics software such as Hadoop, but recently extended its capabilities to machine learning frameworks.

These kinds of workloads require specialized skills to set up and can take a significant amount of time to deploy at scale due to their complexity. According to BlueData, EPIC can shorten the process to just a few minutes. It provides preconfigured versions of popular AI and analytics applications that are packaged into software containers to speed up deployment.

Software containers enable applications to seamlessly run across many different kinds of infrastructure, a feature that EPIC harnesses to let companies set up their workloads on both on-premises environments and the public cloud. Furthermore, the platform provides automation capabilities for handling day-to-day tasks. BlueData claims that this combination of features enables customers to reduce deployment costs by up to 75 percent.

The platform represents a valuable addition to HPE’s portfolio. Machine learning, analytics and containers are all major focus areas for the company, particularly in the context of better supporting the growing portion of its enterprise customers that are embracing hybrid cloud infrastructure.

HPE indicated in today’s announcement that EPIC will be integrated with its Apollo server family. The series consists of machines specifically designed to run analytics workloads and other data-intensive workloads, or in other words, the application category that BlueData’s software targets. 

“Our vision was to create an infrastructure software platform like VMware for data-intensive distributed applications,” wrote BlueData chief executive officer Kumar Sreekanti. “It’s very satisfying to see the idea and vision for our company become part of a legendary Silicon Valley pioneer like HPE.”

Sreekanti, a former vice president of research and development at VMware Inc., added that “by combining BlueData with HPE’s strong brand, global reach, broad portfolio including the HPE Apollo Systems, and enterprise relationships, we can double down on our investment in R&D innovation and reinforce our technology differentiation for AI and Big Data Analytics infrastructure.”

Photo: HPE

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