Build Newsletter: Dell, Our Big Data Promise, Unicorns & More—Nov 2015

November 16, 2015 Gregory Chase


sfeatured-buildIf you haven’t read the Build Newsletter before, it’s for developers, architects, and digital business leaders who are focused on transforming how companies build and use software for serious competitive advantage.

In this edition, we talk about the newly announced acquisition of EMC by Dell, how we’ve freed over 5 million lines of code into the “open source wild” this year, the latest on unicorns and digital transformation, lots of Cloud Native updates, and more. If you have talent and expertise to bring to these areas, we are growing and hiring like crazy!

First, The Big News—Dell, EMC, The Federation, and Pivotal

Right off the bat, let us talk about Dell and EMC—a deal worth about $67 Billion. Upon completion, it will be the largest technology acquisition in the history of the world, and Dell would become the largest single vendor of PCs, servers, software, and storage equipment in the world. Fortune, SiliconANGLE, Re/code, and many others covered the news. You can also read what Michael Dell said about VMware and the EMC Federation or see what he said about Pivotal:

I think EMC has said that there is an intent to take Pivotal public, and I agree with that what goes on at Pivotal is quite incredible.
– Michael Dell

Over 5 Million Lines of Code—Delivering On Our Open Source, Big Data Promise

Greenplum is now open source and on GitHub!

About 10 months ago, we promised the open sourcing of Pivotal GemFire, Pivotal HAWQ, and Pivotal Greenplum, and this past month we delivered the last step of that promise. Together, this effort represents over 5 million lines of code and probably makes us the #2 open source company in the world. Here is what Application Development Trends, InfoWorld, and VentureBeat had to say.

The last piece of the promise, the new open source Greenplum Database lets you do really fast, petabyte-scale SQL queries and has been recognized as the leading Gartner Magic Quadrant visionary in the space. Now it is the world’s first open source, massively parallel processing data warehouse too. For more info, this podcast gives a rundown of the features. zData has provided a new sandbox or you can go download it from

With that news covered, there are plenty of things happening in the big data space. IDC announced a new big data forecast, and they expect infrastructure, software, and services to maintain a 23.1% compound annual growth rate from 2014-2019, ending up at $48.6 billion. Some CFOs think their data may grow 1000% in the next five years. Vertically, the biggest spenders will be discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, banking, media, and securities/investments.

In other open source news, Google released TensorFlow, an artificial intelligence engine, and Microsoft released a similar product called DMLT, their Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit. CoreOS launched Clair, an open source tool for monitoring the security of containers. The Linux Foundation launched the Open API Initiative. In the same vein as the Open Container Initiative and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, this program addresses the API economy and extends the Swagger framework, offering API metadata that makes interfaces self-documenting and automatically discoverable. There was also a pretty cool hackfest for Apache Ambari.

Let’s Talk Unicorns, Disruption, and Digital Transformation

OK, Square’s IPO seems to be putting an exclamation point on 2015 being the Year of the Unicorn. As the term Unicorn reaches a saturation point—VCs are offering advice on needed changes, equity research analysts are projecting negative outcomes, and other experts believe good things are coming.

Regardless, unicorns are generating a new type of competition. As our CEO pointed out earlier this year, Uber owns no vehicles, Facebook writes no content, Alibaba has no inventory, and Airbnb owns no real estate. Yet, they are the world’s largest at what they do and because they have successfully used technology to disrupt their markets.

Many of our customers are talking about how they must compete on software and data—disrupt or be disrupted. Home Depot shares they are going through a full-on digital transformation to address competition from companies like Amazon. Tesla is extremely disruptive to automobile manufacturing organizations and is even generating high-res data for future autonomous purposes. Their competitor and our customer, Mercedes Benz, knows they must continue to deliver digital driving innovations to compete. Another customer, BMW, is using big data analytics to perform predictive car maintenance and improve their customer experience. Our digital transformation stories go on—Comcast, Verizon, CoreLogic, Lockheed Martin, Humana, Garmin, Kroger, and DISH Network. Each of these companies knows that they must become software and data driven.

For an idea on what the dollar impact is for technology innovation, look at FinTech, where, every hour, $757,000 is loaned by Lending Club, 9000 money transfers happen on Venmo, and $37K is loaned to small businesses with PayPal Credit. Our own Chris Mills, CTO of Pivotal EMEA, recently penned an article in Global Banking and Finance Review, where he explained how Fin-Cos need to think hard about disruption, citing Atom Bank as an example. The GM of Pivotal Ireland, Kevin Flanagan, also shared a similar perspective, in Business & Finance.

Perhaps, as this article states, “We may be living in a Disruption Hyperbole Bubble. But we are not living in a Disruption Bubble.” While the unicorn club is crowded, we have to remember that data-driven and IoT-centric business operations are impacting GDP and powerful new application platforms are stuck to us 24×7.

If you are competing digitally, you should definitely check out Pivotal’s advice on embarking on the Cloud Native Journey here or check out the slides.

Lots and Lots of Cloud Native Stuff Going On

The Cloud Native application space is chock full of updates.

First, the European CF Summit just happened—of course, we were a sponsor and “powered” about 10 sessions among 450 attendees. The first european event of its kind, Cloud Foundry further proved its growth is continuing to be strong. The Cloud Foundry Foundation now has 50 members—let us welcome CA Technologies, Cisco, Citigroup, Hitachi, Royal Bank of Canada, and SUSE. Cloud Foundry also now supports .NET apps, OpenStack APIs are growing, and we can push either code or containers to the platform with support for Docker®. Sys-con did a great roundup, and here are all the slides.

For Pivotal Cloud Foundry® (PCF), the past 30 days have included a highly buzzed about set of announcements. First was the integration with Apigee for one-click API management on PCF. Then, PCF 1.6 was launched, which included Spring Cloud Services, support for .NET and Docker®, various integrations for continuous delivery, and support for Microsoft Azure. Indeed, it was buzz-worthy. InfoQ, siliconANGLE, SDTimes, CRN, Application Development Trends, and ITBusinessEdge covered the new release. Even Microsoft covered Cloud Foundry and PCF support in Azure.

Here is the rundown on all the announcements for those that want more information:

To close out this section, Wikibon has published a pretty comprehensive piece of research on the Evolving Organizational Dynamics for Cloud Native Applications. If you are serious about a Cloud Native journey, this is worth a read.

The Development Language Roundup

The SpringOne2GX videos are here! Get all the key information on Spring 4.2, Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, Lattice, Spring Cloud Security, DevOps, 12 Factor with Spring, and more. The other big Java conference, JavaOne, also took place and with some trepidation. InfoQ captured highlights from the keynotes, and DZone captured the perspective of 11 Java technology leaders. JAXenter provided a diary for every day, and Scott McNealy, CEO and co-founder of Sun, helped kick it off with a pretty funny crack about working with open source at Oracle—see number four.

Beyond Java, there are some quick highlights from other languages. PyPy 4.0 came out, providing a massive speed improvement over the current interpreter. Right on the heels of version 4, Node.js 5 has popped out, targeting front end developers. The Software Development Times recently chose a GitHub project of the week called Seneca, a pretty interesting microservices toolkit for Node.js. There is also a nice piece on Information Age about the rise of Node.js, and NetBeans is featuring capabilities for both Node.js and JavaScript. PHP 7 is right around the corner, and InfoWorld just did a nice “State of PHP” article. To wrap it up, Go celebrated its sixth birthday this week, and Microsoft has begun experimental support of Go on Azure—we should probably assume Microsoft is a polyglot company going forward.

Build November 2015—Parting Thoughts

To leave with a couple of parting thoughts, we can’t decide which big data story is more unexpected—the fact that big data has become successful in the legal cannabis industry or that $1000 genome sequencing is now here and quickly becoming a component of personalized medicine.

Upcoming Pivotal Events

Upcoming Pivotal Data Community Events

  • Pivotal Open Source Hub: SF: Predicting & Preventing Vehicle Failures Using Streaming Telematics Analysis (zData) – Tuesday, Nov 10 2015 6PM to 9PM
  • Open Data Plaform: PA: Open Data Platform Initiative is now open for business: here’s what it means – Thursday Nov 12, 2015 6PM to 9PM
  • Apache Geode Clubhouse: Roundtable Discussion – Tuesday Nov 17, 2015 9AM to 10AM
  • HAWQ Nest: Advanced SQL Database on Hadoop – Thursday Nov 19, 2015 9AM to 10AM
  • Pivotal Open Source Hub: PA: Pitch Your Open Source Project – Open Mic Night – Thursday Nov 19, 2015 6PM to 9PM
  • Pivotal Toronto User Group: Toronto: Spring Integration 101 with Gary Russell – Wednesday Dec 2, 2015 7PM
  • Pivotal Open Source Hub: SF: Apache MADlib + Apache HAWQ for advanced SQL machine learning on Hadoop – Thursday Dec 3, 2015 6PM to 9PM
  • GreenPlum Community Cluster: A Guided Tour of the GreenPlum Sandbox – Tuesday Dec 8, 2015 9AM to 10AM
  • Pivotal Open Source Hub: PA: Velocity through Consistency – Thursday Dec 10, 2015 6PM to 9PM
  • Big Data Analytics: NYC: Meet Open Source Greenplum. Speaker TBD – Wednesday Dec 16, 2015 6PM to 9PM
  • HAWQ Nest: Data Federation capabilities & PXF – Thursday Dec 17, 2015 4PM to 5PM


About the Author

Greg Chase is an enterprise software business leader more than 20 years experience in business development, marketing, sales, and engineering with software companies. Most recently Greg has been focused on building the community and ecosystem around Pivotal Greenplum and Pivotal Cloud Foundry as part of the Global Ecosystem Team at Pivotal. His goal is to to help create powerful solutions for Pivotal’s customers, and drive business for Pivotal’s partners. Greg is also a wine maker, dog lover, community volunteer, and social entrepreneur.

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