Hitachi Data Systems joins big data spending spree

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Hitachi Data Systems joins big data spending spree

Hitachi Data Systems plans to acquire Pentaho as a way to bring that company's big data analytics and Internet of Things technology not only to the HDS storage business but to permeate it throughout its parent company, Japan-based Hitachi.

Orlando, Florida-based Pentaho develops a big data analytics and business data analytics platform that will be a significant and important addition for HDS and Hitachi, said Kevin Eggleston, senior vice president for social innovation at HDS.

"The capability that Pentaho brings to market applies to all of what Hitachi does," Eggleston told CRN US.

Hitachi's social innovation strategy has been to bring big data and the Internet of Things, or IoT, to market by combining it with Hitachi's large industrial and IT capabilities, which it can bring to bear to focus on the business, Eggleston said.

"Hitachi Data Systems is the largest IT part of Hitachi, so we're taking the lead in big data and IoT," he said. "But Hitachi is a large company. The industrial side has companies building machines that use big data and IoT to make their offerings more useful to customers."

On the IT side, HDS plans to integrate Pentaho's technologies into its own analytics platforms as part of solutions for health care, machine-to-machine computing, public safety, automotive and connected cars, and energy, Eggleston said.

Quentin Gallivan, CEO of Pentaho, said his company's technologies are based on three major open source projects. These include Kettle, an open source data integration and big data integration engine; Mondrian, a commercial open source online analytical processing (OLAP) engine; and Weka, an open source machine-learning system for data mining.

Pentaho has used these three projects as the foundation of a commercial platform for easily helping customers move data and blend unstructured data with machine data, and to embed analytics into applications, Gallivan told CRN US.

"We are a part of the big data fabric," he said.

Neither Eggleston nor Gallivan would discuss how much HDS is planning to pay for Pentaho. When asked about a Bloomberg report that HDS plans to pay between US$500 million and US$600 million for the company, they would only say that the acquisition is the biggest ever of a privately held big data company.

If so, the deal is a big one.

Big data acquisition activity in July unveiled a US$350 million acquisition of RelateIQ, which sells a "relationship intelligence platform" that gathers and analyses data from salespeople's interactions with contacts, including email, calendars and smartphone calls.

Enterprise information management company OpenText last month unveiled the closing of a US$330 million acquisition of Actuate, a developer of personalised analytics and insights software.

TIBCO last May acquired Jaspersoft, a developer of open-source business intelligence reporting, analytics and visualisation tools, for approximately US$185 million.

More recently, HP this week acquired Voltage Security, a developer of encryption technology targeting big data.

Gallivan described Pentaho as a late-stage, venture-capital-backed company that is currently more focused on aggressive growth and hiring than it is on becoming profitable. The company has so far received US$60 million in funding, but until the pending acquisition closes, it has not received any funding from Hitachi or HDS.

However, Gallivan said, the two companies are not strangers. They have ties stretching back about 18 months, and in the fall started a relationship under which Hitachi OEM's Pentaho's technology, he said.

This article originally appeared at

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