October 18, 2019

Promethium ready for a blast

Promethium, emerging player in data governance, did a very compelling session during the recent 32nd IT Press Tour. We met the company in March 2019 and we discovered a great vision of user experience operating analytics. We have to admit that we had some doubt about the reality of this vision and we were wrong as Kaycee Lai and his team finally just released its solution. The product is GA and is real, the demo was impressive, the user experience is very intuitive offering a super fast results in a fraction of the time taken by a "classic" approach.

To summarize the product capabilities, let me re-introduce the problem it solves. The long chain of tasks represents at least 7 type of actions and each of these silos can be optimized but it is limited to its own perimeter.

These silos are often deployed with specific dedicated products and it makes the insights quest a tough long journey. Promethium took a very different path and it was the vision of Kaycee Lai coming from Waterline Data, collaborating in tons of analytics projects with various partners. Integration was a nightmare and finally products glue is a must but not enough. The company approach shakes classic techniques with a first phase of questions powered by the integration of Natural Language Processing aka NLP, followed by a data discovery step from various data sources such Hadoop with Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR flavors, databases with Oracle, Teradata, SQLServer and MySQL, S3-based data repository like Snowflake, AWS, Redshift, RDS and Athena and soon Salesforce.

Then queries and results phases with additions of AI intelligence. Based on this method, Promethium is able to shrink the time, manual efforts and TCO by a high factor inviting the user to test multiples scenarios in the time it took in the past.

All this beauty is realized by Data Navigation System aka DNS with 5 modules:
  • Data Discovery with Smart Bot and Smart Explorer,
  • Data Modeling with NLP Question Builder, Data Map Builder and Directions Builder,
  • SQL Builder with SQL AI,
  • Data Virtualization with Kaleidoscope to watch and check generated SQL commands and finally
  • Data Governance with Guardian to check compliance.
Definitely a great session with a magic demo that confirm the vision and now reality of Kaycee Lai. Congrats.

October 17, 2019

New VC round for Corelight

Corelight, leader in network traffic analysis based on the open source framework Zeek, just announced today a new VC round with its $50M Series C led by Insight Partners and participation of Accel. The total amount raised as of today reaches $84.2M. This new round confirms the role of Corelight and therefore Zeek in today network security with at least 15 companies embedded its engine.

October 16, 2019

Kinetica continues to lead the GPU DB market segment

Kinetica, leader in GPU database, met last year during the #28 IT Press Tour, delivered again a very good session for the 32nd edition a few days ago. We saw the progress around partnerships, market footprint and adoption and of course the product.

Initiated in 2009 by Amit Vij and Nima Negahban with an US Army project around realtime active analytics, Kinetica as a company was founded in 2016 and has more than 140 employee as of today with $63 million raised so far. The company should confirm soon a big financial news probably during the next NVidia GTC in Washington November 4, 5 and 6th.

As data is the new oil and drives business, having the full master of it and insights from it is a major advantage. Thus being active, dynamic and realtime represents a key differentiator to boost data-driven business.

The company has tuned its positioning with real use cases in various industries being "the active analytics platform for next-generation data-driven applications".

Deployed on-premise with NVidia, IBM, HPE or Dell EMC or in the cloud like Azure, AWS, GCP or Oracle, Kinetica GPU accelerated database offers flexible data sources and supports tiered storage natively in the product. NVidia is listed as a strategic partner, and the only one, and we anticipate big news between Kinetica and NVidia in the next few weeks.

The product includes algorithms and machine learning models to enhance developments cycle and expand users experiences transparently.

Kinetica is now controlled with KAgent to deploy and manage cluster instances on-premise or in the cloud. The GPU-accelerated DB represents a central data processing engine for real-time business and various industries. Having such technology is considered as a major differentiator for users against similar industries, and it boosts Kinetica annual figures with exponential growth.

This session was very interesting with great progress and accelerated market adoption, pay attention to Kinetica in the coming few months.

October 14, 2019

Kinetica prepares its Series B

Kinetica, leader in GPU DB, already raised $63M in 3 rounds - Seed, Venture and Series A. We understood during a visit this morning at their HQ in San Francisco that the company is in the process to raise its Series B. We'll write a new post as soon as we get confirmation.

October 11, 2019

The IT Press Tour #32 will be amazing again...

The IT Press Tour, the leading IT event for WW IT press, has recently published participating companies for the 32nd edition planned October 14 to 18th in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Twelve companies will join the press crew, some of them are well established and we already met them and some participate for the first time:
  • Ayehu, player in IT automation based on AI,
  • Bouquet.AI, emerging actor in chabot,
  • Commerce.AI, builder of a commerce platform fueled by AI,
  • Compliance.AI, developer of a regulatory change management platform powered by machine learning,
  • Corelight, leader in network traffic insights and security,
  • Kinetica, reference in GPU database for advanced analytics,
  • Onepanel, creator of a multi-cloud workflow automation for AI,
  • Petuum, key vendor of AI-based solution for the industry,
  • Promethium, pioneer in automated data governance,
  • RapidAPI, fast growing actor in API cataloging and service,
  • ShieldIO, key innovator in Real-Time Homomorphic Encryption™,
  • and Valohai, emerging developer of a deep learning platform-as-a-service.
Dense and unique week in perspective with several hot players in hot technology sectors and new press members as well, the tour will shake the market again. I invite you to follow us with @ITPressTour, #ITPT, various publications and reporters Twitter handles.

September 27, 2019

Partnership between Data Dynamics and Lenovo

Data Dynamics, strong player in file storage virtualization and management, met during recent June IT Press Tour, just announced an agreement with Lenovo.

The agreement allows users to acquire StorageX directly from Lenovo and its resellers. It will give to Data Dynamics a new dimension and a clear boost to its business and revenue. Very good news,


September 25, 2019

Disks vendors made similar mistakes

The recent Western Digital exit of the enterprise storage segment with the sale of its Tegile business to DDN confirms again management mistakes and by the way, the opportunism of the buyer to build rapidly an attractive portfolio, good for them.

We saw this kind of mistake, I mean here the WD one, so many times even if we understand taking risk belongs to the game but... as often, the root cause is people coming from outside of the segment but high in the orgchart with the power to decide... When it's a small move for a big company, it is presented as a detail and could be digested without any big impact except non productive investment, if it's a small company and management made such mistake, it can put the company into a fragile position and guess what, these people will leave the company but its situation is still under potential troubles. So many examples of that in our industry... and we see these people continuing doing "such bad decisions".

WD has thought that it would have been possible to offer platforms and systems and it turns out that the reality is finally different. A few years after Seagate, WD experiences similar disappointments but it was anticipated, no doubt, the opposite would have been a surprise. On the other hand, we understand the strategic necessity for WD to extend their product line suffering from competition from the other side of the world. At the end it's a question of product, knowledge, role and business practices.

An other question is linked to the product itself, is it a good enough one? at least DDN made again a good deal following Intel Lustre business, Tintri and Nexenta. DDN is building a serious offering targeting the enterprise storage segment. As an investor in Tegile, same for Amplidata, WD acquired the company to "save" it, finally avoiding a bankruptcy and find a exit eventually. Wow what a path...

September 20, 2019

DDN continues its enterprise journey

DDN, one of the storage leader and private one, adds a new component in tis enterprise storage portfolio with the Western Digital IntelliFlash acquisition. It's a real surprise even if the DDN enterprise storage journey, started with Tintri and Nexenta, could invite the market to anticipate such move.

Strong in HPC, Media and Entertainment and globally in technical markets, DDN has made 3 intelligent acquisitions that HPE, always looking for bargain, has completely missed. DDN creates now product lines differentiators and confirms that the coming months and 2020 will be interesting. We expect some cross technology usage and also a change in ExaScaler and GridScaler solutions based on established and recognized technologies, respectively Lustre and IBM Spectrum Scale aka GPFS, but not seen as DDN innovative products even if there are delivered as well integrated appliance. What about ... in the portfolio? It would be a fantastic new blood owning a key technology so who will be the next?


September 18, 2019

iXsystems protects JFK assets

iXsystems, a leading provider of open source systems and solutions, just confirmed tht the JFK Presidential Library in Boston has selected TrueNAS.

The product chosen is the M-Series line with the M50-HA to serve, store and protect 25M documents representing several hundreds of TB. The OpenZFS properties and the open source approach were a key advantage in the decision process thanks to the unique features of ZFS.


August 29, 2019

Lightbits Labs extends vSAN

Lightbits Labs, a emerging leader in NVMe/TCP, continues to increase its visibility as the company was actively present at the Micron booth during the recent VMworld 2019 conference. The opportunity to pitch several times the extension of vSAN with its external shared SSD storage array SuperSSD or just with any SSD array powered by LightOS was just good. The trigger here resides in the need to grow the storage on some nodes or globally, some may have reached their limit, or wishing a shared storage for more scalability and still using vSAN. For readers who wish to learn more about Lightbits please refer to my different posts: March 2019 and April 2019.

Micron is one the Lightbits investors with Dell Technologies Capital and Cisco. It's interesting to see that Micron had an agreement in the past with Excelero, an other NVMe software player, promoting a joint solution named SolidScale based on NVMesh announced in May 2017. Micron has stopped this solution a few months later in October 2017 and Micron SolidScale disappeared (micron.com/solidscale still redirects you to a 404 error page). At the same time, a marketing voice from Excelero said that "SolidScale has not been killed" but for almost 2 years, the product is lost somewhere in a dark tunnel having difficulties to find the exit as it never reappeared. Or it's a lie, I let you choose...

Back to the session title, it's a clever idea even if the theme of the session mixing words like converged and disaggregated is always strange, not only for me. You get the idea here with the photo below.

The second presence was directly at the VMware innovation zone.

Lightbits Labs also announced its 2nd generation of LightField acceleration card with increased performance and reduce size to fit in 1U servers.

The IT Press Tour #34 in March 2020 in Israel will be the perfect opportunity to meet and visit Lightbits Labs R&D center.