CSC turns to Pentaho for Big Data - and more

Profile picture for user mbanks By Martin Banks July 14, 2015
CSC's deal with Pentaho overcomes a problem for its Big Data platform, but the bigger prize may lie in the Internet of Things.


© Mark Carrel -
More than just Big Data?The long-standing relationship between CSC and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has received another fillip following the decision to add Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) technology from Pentaho to its Big Data Platform as a Service, which it introduced last year.

This is a move that could be seen as a `given', especially as Pentaho finally joined the HDS stable as an acquisition just a month ago. However, according to Pentaho's Executive VP of Business Development, Eddie White, this was no given:

We have been working on this relationship for some while, and were conducting the development and trials during the process of due diligence with HDS, so it is not a given by any means. We provide the means for getting data onto the CSC platform, and is the only one that can be OEM’d and embedded into their system.

That is, to a large degree, why Pentaho has been selected. By providing big data as a platform-based service, CSC is obliged to spread its capabilities a good bit wider than if it was simply engineering a turnkey solution for an individual customer.

To get decent market penetration it has to be able to cope with a wide selection of data source formats and structures, and feed the results into more than one big data environment.

For now, CSC is geared to Hadoop-based environments, but there are already two prime options when it comes to commercial distributions of that open source environment – Hortonworks and Cloudera. CSC is therefore offering access to either as a choice.

Pentaho has been able to match that by having existing connectors to Hortonworks and Cloudera, allowing the one ETL to transform data into either specific format. It also offers connectors for MongoDB, which also forms part of the CSC big data platform offering.

In addition, Pentaho also has connectors available for SAP HANA. While earlier this year Pentaho’s CEO, Quentin Gallivan, did not see SAP’s HANA as a big data contender yet, he did acknowledge that it had potential.

The availability of the HANA connector, therefore, maps well onto CSC’s existing commitment to HANA and getting SAP users into the cloud. The availability of ETL tools for data transition and transformation is liable to be a help rather than a hindrance in that role, as well as helping to move HANA towards being a frontline option for big data analytics tasks.

Of IoT and the industrial internet

Perhaps the one to watch here, however, is how this combination of CSC, HDS and Pentaho plays out in other areas – most notably in the Industrial Internet and the Internet of Things.

CSC has for some time been on a long haul of bringing applications and tools together where they make sensible packaged service offerings – to that extent it can certainly be numbered amongst the big name `solutions’ vendors are moving in the platform/packaged service direction.

Gallivan was pretty clear here that he sees Pentaho’s ETL capabilities providing significant opportunities in IoT. This will be especially so now it is an integral part of HDS - which is itself already a major player in providing IoT tools, services and solutions.

To this mix must then be added CSC’s existing work in IoT, its move towards packaging up and `platformising’ solutions that target increasingly broad vertical market sectors and the fact that HDS is a significant contributor inside CSC in terms of compute resources and services.

My Take:

Coupling up ETL tools with big data analytics is an obvious step to take. But the wider issues of the relationship between CSC, HDS and Pentaho, opens up many more opportunities for exploiting the latter’s tools, but could prove to be a key in opening up many new IoT market opportunities.