Teaming on data: IBM and Hortonworks broaden relationship

General Manager, IBM Data and AI, IBM

Data is driving business. And as volumes climb with no end in sight, companies have a decision to make: harness and extract insight from that data, or watch your competitors do it as they pass you by. 

One of our tenets at IBM is to help our clients prepare, manage, and analyze their data – and then learn from it. Through data management, analytics and governance for both cloud and on premises environments, we’re helping them leverage their mounting volumes to make data-driven decisions and improve business performance. 

One of the many tools we leverage is Apache Hadoop. To do that over the last year, we’ve been strategically aligned with Hortonworks, a provider of one of the industry’s leading Hadoop distributions. 

In fact, last year at this time our companies announced the melding of the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and the IBM Data Science Experience that expanded data science capabilities deep into the Hadoop ecosystem, and stretched HDP further into the enterprise. 

As Hortonworks, CEO, Rob Bearden said of the partnership last year: “The combination of IBM’s data science and Hortonworks’ open and connected data platforms will benefit not only our respective clients, but also the Apache open source community because of our combined investment and collaboration.” 

This solution is part of a portfolio of services available from the newly-launched European data analytics trust company, Truata, founded by MasterCard and IBM in March. Through innovative new data anonymisation and analytics processes, methodologies and IP, Truata’s offerings will make it possible for organizations to analyze their data in support of the organization’s privacy and data protection requirements of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

IBM was selected by Trūata to be its foundational partner for strategic technology and provide offerings from cloud and analytics to cognitive computing capabilities. In addition to our market leading anonymisation technologies, Truata clients can now integrate HDP, the Data Science Experience and more to create a full-managed and integrated data analytics solution. 

Extending the relationship 

The strong support we’ve received over the last year for our integrated solutions led IBM and Hortonworks to extend our joint efforts even further. Today, we’re announcing the IBM Hosted Analytics with Hortonworks (IHAH), which presents our integrated solution as a service on the IBM Cloud. With IHAH, users are given a fully-provisioned data management and analytic environment via the cloud, for very quick setup, provisioning, security and deployment. 

This speed and ease of use is possible through advanced integration of the IBM Data Science Experience, HDP, and IBM Big SQL. For example, users can now deploy Data Science Experience workloads on all the HDP clusters in virtual Python environments. This means users don’t need to install Python libraries on all the HDP nodes—they can easily consume both the data and the infrastructure of the HDP data lake. 

In addition, we are further simplifying the work for data scientists by enabling them to invoke IBM Big SQL directly from the Data Science Experience, thanks to the sophisticated complex SQL and federation capabilities that Big SQL offers. As a result, customers can now make use of ANSI SQL rather than writing a lot of Python scripts to bring together different types of data from different data stores. 

The Rise of the data platform 

Though these moves are significant in their own rights, they are part of our bigger strategy to help clients advance toward artificial intelligence (AI) through the development of a data platform. 

It’s the reason we created the IBM Cloud Private (ICP) for Data. Released at the end of May, ICP for Data is designed from the enterprise-out to enable clients to manage data across cloud (or multi-cloud) and bring clear data governance capabilities to bear across the whole organization. That’s the baseline. On top of that comes analytics with the platform’s integrated data science, data engineering, and app deployment — all within a single, seamless environment. It’s cloud-agile, lightning fast, and AI-ready. 

When you combine clean, well-governed, accessible enterprise data, with hybrid data management and unified data governance you have the foundation for AI. Consider the U.S. Interstate System architected in the 1950’s, begun in the heartland and expanded outward. Among the many benefits to transportation it also changed commerce forever. An infrastructure of roads, bridges, over and underpasses created a platform for commerce. In one fell swoop, it eased mounting congestion, spurred movement and sharing, and spawned second-order industry, from gas stations to motels. The same is upon us for the internet age: the data platform. Today’s news is another big step in that development.

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