November 26, 2018

SDS and SDN for the IT Press Tour #29

The IT Press Tour, the leading IT event for IT press, has announced participating companies for the 29th edition planned 1st week of December in Silicon Valley.

Eleven companies will participate with famous names, some are new on the market, some are well established, here is the full list:
  • CloudGenix, leader in SD-WAN,
  • DDN Storage, largest private storage provider,
  • Hammerspace, innovator in metadata management,
  • Igneous, disruptor in data protection for large unstructured data environment,
  • Minio, fstest growing object storage company,
  • Panasas, established high performance file storage vendor,
  • Pica8, key driver of the SDN segment,
  • Quantum, reference in secondary storage,
  • RStor, emerging player in enterprise performance computing,
  • Rubrik, cloud data management key player,
  • and Vexata, fast storage for hogh demanding applications.
Super week in perspective, dense with hot technologies and projects, great leaders and executives, the tour will shake the market again. I invite you to follow us with @ITPressTour, #ITPT, various publications and reporters Twitter handles.
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November 13, 2018

November 9, 2018

Yellowfin introduces a new dimension

Yellowfin, a leader in BI, just announced 2 new extensions named Signals and Stories to its flagship platform.

The idea is to extend the Yellowfin BI Suite with 2 key elements that offer the most accuracy insights to the business for business leaders and managers who continue to be frustrated by the current approach. Data consumers consume insights via dashboards that are still limited and don't provide the full value of their data. Time is a fundamental dimension and advanced filters to select only what matter.

The first extension is Signals that accelerate time to value by providing changes in trends immediately and finally go beyond what a "classic" dashboard can offer. They're time-series slices, to discover deviations but not alerts or thresholds with 6 patterns: spikes/troughs, change in trend direction, step changes, new/low attributes, change in volatility and change in aggregate. Yellowfin uses industry best-practice and proven algorithms, learns from users interactions and leverage its metadata layer. This new service reduces significantly the pipeline of actions from the data preparation to the signal display and offers live results on live data across data sets. It seems that the classic approach are more asynchronous.

The second extension is Stories is the natural companion of Signals as it gives context to facts and infos detected. It also works for Tableau and Qlik and finally allows cross-vendor storytelling embedded into reports.

Clearly Yellowfin has introduced 2 key extensions to its Suite that create a gap with other players. Yellowfin Suite is one of the most mature analytics solution of the market providing data discovery and preparation, dashboard, now Signals and Stories to finally offer a very comprehensive automated analysis storytelling and collaboration approach. 2019 will be very interesting for analytics and real time insights.
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November 8, 2018

Peter Godman left Qumulo

Qumulo, one of the few File Storage gem, just lost its CTO and founding CEO Peter Godman. Even if it seems to be planned it's a surprise for the outside world as the company is doing well and product continues to penetrate the market at a rapid pace with multiple key successes. As of today, his LinkedIn page and company leadership page continue to show him as CTO but its departure was confirmed by Bill Ritcher, CEO of the company. An other departure a few months ago, Ken Cheney who has led the business development effort. Hum, something is happening there or some strategy divergence exist or just personal projects?
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November 7, 2018

GPU databases are hot

Kinetica is our second meeting with The IT Press Tour in that rapid growth data segment following MapD, now OmniSci, a few months ago. It started around 2010 at GISFederal with the first ever GPU database named GPUdb designed by Nima Negahban and Amit Vij to help US Army track terrorist threats. Currently GISFederal web site redirects you to Kinetica site. Then USPS picked GPUdb to boost routes optimization and increase accuracy. We can called this period the research and proof of concept phase with the first adoption and validation.

The second phase, more commercial of course and worldwide, is associated to Kinetica. The structure was born early 2016 with seed founding from Ray Lane, former Oracle executives. One year later, the company raised a series A of $50M and Paul Appleby joined as CEO to immediately put senior DNA at the exec level. The entity was incorporated for the long run and has already more than 100 employees. Since 2018, market adoption has accelerated in many verticals.


Kinetica argues, we all agree, that data is the new oil fueling the business. Good examples are smart applications, IoT, social media, medical, AI driven insights... So having the right engine to compute a vast amount of data is critical. Key fundamentals elements are:
  • GPU to process things in parallel,
  • In-memory to boost response time,
  • distributed to offer scalability,
  • streaming, ingest and on-the-fly analytics,
  • SQL-style query capability to facilitate adoption and applications integration with finance, retail, healthcare, telecom or energy vertical use cases.


The company is ready to address 2019 challenges, among them real-time use cases, IoT demanding environments and AI as a key business differentiator.
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November 1, 2018

The four 3Par Musketeers are coming back

We were surprised to see Craig Nunes leaving Datrium a few weeks ago with all things he did for this company but we immediately realized that Craig had sure something in mind he will share soon. And he did as Nebulon evolved at a rapid pace developing a new approach to Cloud.

The company was founded in 2018 by a famous group of 4 who already worked together during the 3Par adventure: David Scott, Siamak Nazari, Sean Etaati and Craig Nunes. Other key members of the team came from Google, DeepLearning.ai, Stanford University and HPE/3Par of course.


We don't have any info about funding, we find only 5 people on LinkedIn and the company doesn't have yet a website. The team is based in Los Altos, CA. The mission is around storage for Hybrid IT building a new approach for what they called Cloud-Defined Storage, first time we heard this term. We hope to meet soon the team and learn more from Nebulon with The IT Press Tour.
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October 26, 2018

Aera Technology ready to disrupt the market

The recent IT Press Tour offered to the press crew the opportunity to meet and visit Aera Technology, led by Frederic Laluyaux for a few quarters now.

Under his leadership, the company, named in the past FusionOps made a real shuffle, renamed Aera Technology, new directions and new funding of $50M. We all remember what Frederic did at Anaplan taking the rein of the company in 2012 with a few dozens employees and leaving almost 4 years later in a very different position with more than 500 hundreds people, coming from a confidential player to a market leader with 4 VC rounds for a total of $220M under his tenure. Wow a real success that fueled Anaplan to be introduced a few days ago to the NYSE. Efforts and strategy put in place by Frederic have paid off.

Aera Technology plays in a different segment but have some similarities with Anaplan: the company exists before Frederic arrived, it's pretty small, confidential with strong technology.

The main idea of the company is top optimize and boost enterprise's business processes by considering cognitive automation. This approach addresses these business challenges with a different angle with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data modeling expertise and business optimization knowledge.

The effect or value proposition is a self-driving enterprise service able to suggest business directions and tactics, becoming a trusted advisor for the executive team. In term of steps, the Aera cycle is based of 4 key permanent functions critical for the accuracy of recommendation:
  1. Understand phase with crawlers navigating the environment and swallowing tons of data,
  2. Recommend phase with suggestions for financial improvement and operational gains,
  3. Predict phase is crucial, it is a real-time data service leveraging AI and ML to deliver key precise informations to sustain and improve the business.
  4. Act phase is related to the execution of the decisions.
Beyond the traditional interaction, the human-machine interface is also a key piece of the solution with a similar experience like Siri, Goole or Alexa voice control. Let's start with "Aera? ..."

A good example of Aera is given by Merck KGaA healthcare division. The company runs the solution to improve significantly the supply chain process with better predictions, real time visibility and reduction of supply shortages. The team will expand the perimeter of Aera from 100 to 5000 products following the pilot phase. Merck understands the competitive advantage provided by Aera, it reminds the early days of SAP and ERPs when early adopters increased their gap with followers.

The core element is the Aera Cognitive Operating System aka Aera COS which groups the 3 bottom layers on the architecture diagram above: Crawlers, Data Processing Engine (DPE) and Cognitive Data Layer (CDL). The solution built by Aera uses Apache Hadoop and Spark, Redis, we heard also Exasol, all running on AWS. The next key component is the Aera Cognitive WorkBench (CWB) which provides new methods to make decisions on/with data and delivers real-time recommendations to improve the business line. It clearly accelerates decisions and visibility is highly improved. Again it's difficult to control what it's not well measured so imagine for predictions...

Fueled by AI, the CWB allows the decision maker to add a new dimension of thinking aligned with the speed of changes by competition, customers and market demands.

Aera belongs to a small group of players that leverage enterprises and market data to boost business thanks to its unique cognitive approach fueled by AI, ML and specific advanced algorithms. Something is happening with Area.
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October 25, 2018

Platform.sh announces white-label offering to boost adoption

Platform.sh, the emerging leader in modern applications cloud hosting, just unveiled a new business iteration of its platform named White-label SaaS Factory. This initiative targets companies with desire to move their applications to the cloud rapidly and securely in a very cost effective way.

The idea behind this offering is to maximize development team time and invite them to concentrate their effort on their core applications and services instead of suffering by infrastructure tasks. Platform.sh offers a way to provide all services and layers to dev. teams fully localized and branded for the customers. The company leverages two key differentiators, its instant-cloning technology and "batteries included" continuous deployment workflow.


With Platform.sh running on AWS, Azure and Orange Cloud, the flexibility is already there with recognized API capabilities and proven billing functions. This approach delivers the promise of the cloud - elasticity, simplicity, flexibility, ubiquity and speed - inviting developers to migrate their apps without risks and scale their company business. Congrats to Frederic Plais and his team.
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October 23, 2018

Kaycee Lai is back

Promethium, the new company of Kaycee Lai, just exits the stealth mode and announced a seed round of $2.5M led Zetta Venture Partners. Kaycee has successful tenure at Avamar then EMC, Delphix, Virsto then VMware, Primary Data and more recently Waterline Data.

The company develops a data context automation platform to address needs in data governance and business intelligence and analytics with a self-service approach. With GDPR pressure and a few other regulations, data governance has become a must have. We'll learn more about the company in the coming weeks for sure. Congrats to Kaycee and his team.
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October 18, 2018

Yellowfin, a trusted BI player

Yellowfin, an Australian BI company, came from a long way to meet The IT Press Tour team. Founded in 2003, the company, a profitable ISV, with no VC money ever, splits the market in 3 areas to explain market trends and evolutions: 1985-2005 with BI, 2005-2015 with Data Discovery and we recognize here some famous data services layers such the data preparation, data discovery itself and data visualization, and finally 2015 and future with Smart Analytics fueled by Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning of course lots of automation. The market is growing at a rapid pace to reach $18.8B in 2017 to $22.8B in 2022 according Gartner and propelled by of course the Hadoop/Spark ecosystem and by also new companies addressing new data challenges with new technology components base don AI & ML.

Gartner defines 3 waves from semantic layer-based platform to visual-based data discovery platforms to finally augmented analytics. and Yellowfin belongs to this last category. Bizarre the last part is not named platform despite we know the power of this term in our industry today.


In 15 years, Yellowfin secured 27k+ clients in 75 countries with 300+ global partners meaning that the technology is well known, proven and adopted with customers like Coca-Cola, BMC, Honda, Vodafone, Taco Bell, KFC and Xerox... many big ones.


The product is a BI and Analytics platform that integrates data preparation, data analysis and dashboards with security and governance and runs on-premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid mode. Clearly Yellowfin is a recognized player with several awards that needs to maintain its leadership in the category being shaked by new comers with new ideas and other platform philosophies. We heard that the company will introduce something big soon that make others followers, we'll cover that for sure...
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