Big data company Cloudera and IBM’s SoftLayer are getting in on the turnkey data center software action. The companies just announced multi-layer SoftLayer
solutions running the Cloudera platform. The on-demand solutions are built on bare metal servers engineered for Cloudera best practices and designed and deployed through SoftLayer’s solution designer tool.
Here’s the pitch: The capabilities and features of Cloudera -- as well as Hadoop in general -- require significantly greater levels of computing resources than typically found in services built on virtualized technologies. The SoftLayer platform features bare metal cloud servers -- which IBM said delivers higher performance profiles and advantages over virtual cloud servers -- deployed on demand, billed on a pay-as-you go basis, and with full remote access and control. With SoftLayer, the company said, customers have the power Cloudera demands with the flexibility of cloud infrastructure.
"Running big data applications on bare metal servers gives users both the raw performance and consistency they need to analyze vast amounts of data in real-time,” said Marc Jones, vice president of product innovation for SoftLayer. “The ability to provision a large scale Hadoop cluster in just a few hours sets this offering apart with speed and agility.”
A Good Deal for Enterprises?
Jones said SoftLayer is pushing the envelope of what’s possible on the cloud by giving enterprises both the power and flexibility they need to tackle the toughest workloads.
Whether the solution lives up to the hype remains to be seen. What we do know is that Cloudera provides scalable tools for managing and analyzing vast amounts of varied data.
At the core of its Cloudera Standard and Cloudera Enterprise editions is the power of open-source big data software Apache Hadoop. Cloudera Standard is a free download that combines CDH -- Cloudera's open source and enterprise-ready distribution of Apache Hadoop -- with Cloudera Manager. The latter provides cluster management capabilities like automated deployment, centralized administration, and diagnostic tools.
SoftLayer solutions with Cloudera are available now. Prices start at $699 per-month. This price includes an Xeon 5620-based server with 24GB of RAM and two 500GB SATA drives. But is this really a good deal for enterprises? We caught up with Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, to get his thoughts on the new offering. He told us the data center has become top of mind for CIOs and big data solutions are difficult to deploy.
Why You Want Turnkey
“Deploying big data solutions puts immense amounts of pressure on the network and storage infrastructure,” Kerravala said. “I think over the next couple of years we are going to see more turnkey solutions because a lot of these solutions depend on IT bringing their operational teams together and that’s something many companies still struggle with.”
Technologies like the SoftLayer-Cloudera solution offer a way for those struggling companies to get up and running more quickly with the confidence of a pre-integrated, pre-tested and validated offering. Many turnkey solutions allow turn up in a couple of weeks. SoftLayer is promising turn up within a few hours.
“Most companies don’t have the technical skills to bring up a full big data solution in a couple of weeks, so for many companies turnkey is the only viable option,” Kerravala said. “When you think about where companies spend their money, 40 percent of the budget goes to people costs. If you can bring in a solution -- even if you pay a little bit more for it because it’s turnkey -- and it lowers operational costs by just a few percentage points, it has a big impact. For most companies turnkey makes far more sense than building it yourself.”