Cloudera Shows Off Optimizations for Elastic Cloud Infrastructure Environments at Strata + Hadoop World 2016

Cloudera has added new technology enhancements to its data management and analytics platform to make it easier for companies to take advantage of elastic, on-demand cloud infrastructure for business value from all their data.

The move to the cloud has become a top priority for CIOs, said Charles Zedlewski, vice president, of products at Cloudera, at Strata + Hadoop World 2016 in NYC. “We have been running our platform for customers in the public cloud for many years now, but in the last few years it has become the fastest growing kind of infrastructure that we run on.  As our customer count in the cloud has grown, we have been making more enhancements and optimizations to our platform to help them better take advantage of what is different and special about working on cloud infrastructure which is more elastic.”

Cloud Drivers

The three key benefits Cloudera delivers to customers when they are doing analytic data management in a public cloud are first, greater agility with the ability to more easily add a new application, replicate an existing environment, and more quickly address customer needs; second, the ability to use cloud as a way to lower the total cost of an analytic data environment; and third, helping support strategic mandates to lower or eliminate their data center footprint, an initiative that analytics teams may be better able to advance than DevOps or mainframe teams, noted Zedlewski.

“Our main mission is helping people profit from their data,” said Zedlewski. It is about helping solve business problems through a big data platform, through either predictive applications or analytic SQL applications or operational applications, but then also addressing how can the company can deliver that for  customers with more agility, lower cost, and with lower dependency on a data center footprint, he noted.  “Those are all improvements that we have made in our product as cloud becomes a higher and higher fraction of the workloads that we run.”

Key Updates

According to Cloudera, Cloudera Enterprise 5.8 enables customers to run Apache Impala (incubating) against cloud-native object stores including Amazon S3. This means customers can now run high-performance SQL analytics and BI workloads on data in Amazon S3 without having to transform or move that data to another location on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Today, Cloudera customers can also use processing and query engines Apache Hive, Apache Spark, and Hive-on-Spark (typically 3x faster than Hive on MapReduce) directly against data in Amazon S3.  

And, for Microsoft Azure customers who use PowerBI Desktop to build reports, Microsoft has added a preview connector for Impala, allowing customers to use Impala to pull large volumes of data, of varying types and sizes, into their analytic dashboards and make it accessible to any number of users.

Another key growth area for cloud, Cloudera says, is the interest in multi-cloud and hybrid architectures. Increasingly, companies want to be able to run certain workloads on-premises and other workloads in the cloud either for additional scale, for development and testing, or to comply with service-level agreements or industry regulations. At the same time, customers want to reduce their risk by not locking their data into a specific cloud service offering.

According to the vendor, Cloudera Director makes it easier for customers to deploy and manage the lifecycle of Cloudera Enterprise clusters across cloud environments. Customers can select from templates for AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and now Microsoft Azure for rapid provisioning and cluster grow/shrink and terminate along with the ability to monitor and manage all clusters from a single unified interface.

Additional features of Cloudera Director now include the new integrated usage meter pricing with automated billing for a pay-as-you-go computing experience to go along with node-based pricing in the cloud; the ability to deploy into multiple regions and availability zones from a single Cloudera Director instance; the upcoming availability to deploy Cloudera Director via the Azure Marketplace; and support for spot instance and pre-emptible instance provisioning.

Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Support

Observing that the 8,000 customers in the world are among Cloudera customers, and almost all own at least one server, Zedlewski said, “Data centers are still alive and well - but they also all have at least one cloud application, and increasingly, they all have more than one public cloud infrastructure provider.”

The message that Cloudera consistently hears from customers is that they need to be able to build their application once and run it in any cloud environment while preserving all the benefits, said Zedlewski. The multi-public-cloud-deployment model, he said, is driven by different teams and departments making decisions on its own, different public cloud providers having different strengths and weaknesses, and also a preference for diversification since it is unlikely “that any large enterprise would put 100% of their eggs in one basket.”

Enterprises are also still are maintaining their physical data centers and have fixed infrastructure in many places for a variety of reasons, but increasingly, Zedlewski said, there are also multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments. “We see demand for both.”

For more information, go to