EMC is bringing to market a ready-built engineered system for hosting big data application stacks, designed to be capable of storing and analysing large volumes of data, and backed by services to help customers to make the best use of data assets.
Due for limited availability from April, the Business Data Lake comprises technologies from EMC Federation companies. It is based on the VCE VBlock physical infrastructure with VMware virtualisation, and the analytics layer with the Pivotal Big Data suite and Pivotal HD SQL-on-Hadoop query engine and other tools.
In this sense, the Business Data Lake can be seen as an extension of the VBlock platform, which is made up of pre-built engineered systems, but with additional software and services to target the growing business requirement for an easy to deploy big data solution.
The problem it aims to address is that organisations often get bogged down in the complexity of building their own big data systems, according to EMC's chief technology officer for UK and Ireland, Sean Horne.
"As these things develop, life becomes more and more complex. You might require an application, a reporting tool, a repository, an ingest tool and platforms to run all these things on, so it quickly becomes quite complex trying to build a solution that actually delivers you an outcome," Horne told V3.
"A lot of enterprises now are saying: ‘I just need someone else to take the engineering off my hands and do this integration work with us.' And that integration work needs to include external vendors as well as the vendor they are buying from."
To this end, each deployment of the Business Data Lake will be tailored to each customer's requirements through EMC services such as a Big Data Vision Workshop that will identify business goals and strategy, plus the Proof of Value service to demonstrate the feasibility of a targeted use case involving customer data.
And while the solution typically includes the Pivotal Big Data suite, EMC intends it to be an open platform enabling customers to integrate with the Cloudera or Hortonworks big data tools if they wish.
A key piece of the system is a management tool called the Data Governor that sits atop the platform and provides orchestration capabilities, enabling customers to define a set of performance or discovery requests to be performed.
However, EMC is saving full disclosure of this tool for the EMC World event, according to Horne, who would only say that it is "a GUI-based wizard that you can use to download an infrastructure and do analytics on it based on any analytics tool that you choose to use".
Initially, the Business Data Lake will be offered under what EMC calls Directed Availability, which means that it will be offered to selected customers that will effectively be taking part in pilot deployments to enable EMC to meet customer expectations. This will begin in April with full general availability to follow later in the year.
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