Pivotal Stakes a Claim on Computings 3rd Era

Just before Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz left his former job at VMWare, he gave what might be called an “I have a dream” speech. He began by acknowledging that the Software Defined Data Center marketplace didn’t belong to VMware alone, and ended it with a vision for a company that he had yet to build:

"The story of how application development, deployment and operations is going to be reinvented is just as compelling, just as important, but has not been written. The participants in the creation of this story do not know how it will end.”

That company is Pivotal and every step it takes, every move it makes takes it closer to realizing Maritz’s vision.

All the Big Data Capabilities You Need

Today Pivotal introduces its Big Data Suite, an annual subscription based software, support and maintenance package that bundles Pivotal Greenplum Database (analytics), Pivotal GemFire, Pivotal SQLFire, Pivotal GemFire XD, (real time in memory) Pivotal HAWQ over Pivotal HD (fastest queries) and Pivotal HD into a flexible pool of big and fast data products for customers.

In other words, Enterprises can realize the efficiency, ease and economics of buying everything they need to build best-in-class big data solutions from the same vendor Vs. spending time and resources patching together, heterogeneous solutions which, almost inevitably, end up with making some sort of compromise.

But that’s not all. Pivotal’s Big Data Suite was built to offer flexibility so that Enterprises don’t have to make choices about where they store and when they process their data. Pivotal’s pitch says it perfectly:

With the Pivotal Big Data Suite, unlimited Pivotal HD unshackles enterprises to stretch their Business Data Lakes to store everything and analyze anything, without fear of runaway license and support costs.

Changing the Economics of Big Data

Pivotal is bundling its big data software, support and maintenance into one suite and selling it by subscription based on the number of cores on two or three year terms and a cumulative contract minimum.

It’s priced “aggressively.”

What, exactly does that mean?  Josh Klahr, Pivotal’s vice president, Data Platform Product Management says that we’ll be surprised about how affordable it is and that some of Pivotal’s current customers will get more without having to spend an extra cent. If you consider that some Pivotal Greenplum customers may be able to move to Pivotal’s Big Data Suite and all that it has to offer without actually spending more, that’s impressive.

Especially because subscribers will have access to PivotalHD, Pivotal’s enterprise Hadoop distro at no extra charge.

It probably also implies that Pivotal will price its big Data bundle to win the lion’s share of the business. After all, you can’t be Windows of the Cloud if you’re priced like a $5000 Vertu phone.

Wake up, Larry Ellison, Wake up

While the Cloudera/ Intel affair has dominated the big data buzz this week, Pivotal’s news is more of a threat to Oracle at this point, than it is to Cloudera. The latter’s vision thus far, doesn’t hold a business application layer. As far as the other Hadoop players, they’re, for the most part, in an equally as compelling, but very different business.

But when it comes to Pivotal versus Oracle, one company walks the walk, the other talks the talk and hopes that it lemmings will buy “it.” Let’s see how that goes.

But, provided that Pivotal is headed in the right direction and that it can execute, we are beginning to see one of the pioneering players of computing’s third era stake its claim.