“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 4/3/2018

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Above the Trend Line: your industry rumor central is a recurring feature of insideBIGDATA. In this column, we present a variety of short time-critical news items grouped by category such as people movements, funding news, financial results, industry alignments, rumors and general scuttlebutt floating around the big data, data science and machine learning industries including behind-the-scenes anecdotes and curious buzz. Our intent is to provide you a one-stop source of late-breaking news to help you keep abreast of this fast-paced ecosystem. We’re working hard on your behalf with our extensive vendor network to give you all the latest happenings. Heard of something yourself? Tell us! Just e-mail me at: daniel@insidebigdata.com.  Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Whew! Last week was a whirlwind as NVIDIA’s GTC event was taking place in Silicon Valley. I always look forward to the main keynote featuring CEO Jensen Huang who is quite the showman. I don’t know how he’s able to command a huge audience for 2.5 hours. So many new and exciting announcements were revealed. How about a super computer, the new DGX-2 for $399,000. What looks like a desktop computer is more like a neutron star, weighing in at 350lbs. Amazing.

But I digress, on with the rumors starting with some new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Teradata (NYSE: TDC), a leading cloud-based data and analytics company, announced that its Think Big Analytics consulting group has become a Service Delivery Partner for NVIDIA, a leader in the design and development of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) which are now increasingly being used in deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and accelerated analytics applications. The partnership, based on a shared vision of optimizing deep learning for enterprise use, increases go-to-market coordination between the two companies and is a win for shared clients looking to scale their AI initiatives … Adobe and NVIDIA announced a strategic partnership to rapidly enhance their industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies. Building on years of collaboration, the companies will work to optimize the Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning (ML) framework for NVIDIA® GPUs. The collaboration will speed time to market and improve performance of new Sensei-powered services for Adobe Creative Cloud and Experience Cloud customers and developers … Splice Machine announced it has partnered with Intrigo Systems, a leading provider of enterprise and cloud solutions in e-commerce, supply chain and procurement. Together, the companies will bring solutions to market that leverage Splice Machine’s Online Predictive Processing (OLPP) platform and Intrigo’s expertise in developing cutting-edge supply-chain applications for retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers … Analytics platform Biotron.io is partnering with medical data company Diagnose.me to combine their expertise and improve patient care worldwide. This partnership will capitalize on Biotron’s strength in data collection and analytics, and couple it with Diagnose.me’s experience in health diagnostics and research. Biotron has chosen Diagnose.me to be their exclusive partner within the health vertical of their business. This partnership supports their mutual ambition of using data analytics to drive innovation within the healthcare industry … FogHorn Systems announced their collaboration with Google to simplify the deployment and maximize the business impact of Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications. The partnership will leverage FogHorn’s Lightning™ edge analytics and machine learning platform with Google Cloud IoT Core, a fully managed service that allows you to easily and securely connect, manage, and ingest data from globally dispersed devices. By combining FogHorn’s compact, advanced edge intelligence solution with Cloud IoT Core’s analytics capabilities, industries, such as manufacturing, oil and gas, renewable energy, smart buildings and more, now have a foundation for optimizing distributed assets and processes … Snowflake Computing, the data warehouse built for the cloud, announced a strategic partnership with Segment, the customer data platform, to provide Snowflake’s cloud data warehouse on the Segment platform. Together, the technology leaders deliver a comprehensive data solution for enterprises to easily aggregate and analyze their customer data at scale to enable data-driven insights. Segment customers now have direct access to an infinitely elastic data warehouse built for the cloud, and Snowflake benefits from a single data connector that brings together more than 40 data sources through Segment’s single API. Through this partnership, customers can store and access their aggregated data in a scalable cloud data warehouse with fast queries and zero maintenance … Datameer, a leader in big data analytics, announced it will partner with IBM to create, manage and deploy business data pipelines for IBM’s new data science and machine learning platform, Cloud Private for Data. The partnership is a comprehensive approach to simplifying and streamlining data integration, preparation, shaping and curation in order to extend data science and machine learning for business teams to make accelerated data-driven decisions …

We also heard of a whole bevy of new funding news … Sift Science, a leading provider of fraud prevention and risk management solutions using real-time machine learning (ML), announced a $53 million Series D funding round led by Stripes Group, a New York-based growth equity firm, with investments in SPINS, Remitly, Flatiron Health, Udemy, GrubHub and more. Prior investors Union Square Ventures, Insight Venture Partners and Spark Capital also participated in the round, bringing the company’s total funding to $107 million … Clari, a leading provider of AI solutions for sales, announced it has closed $35 million in financing led by Tenaya Capital. Participating alongside Tenaya Capital are Thomvest Ventures and Blue Cloud Ventures and existing investors Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital Ventures and Northgate Capital. The new capital will be used to scale sales and marketing and accelerate product innovation for Clari’s AI-based Opportunity-to-Close (OTC) solutions which drive better and more predictable sales execution and forecasting … Valohai, a machine learning (ML) platform-as-a-service company, has raised $1.8M in funding to help international companies accelerate machine learning development and scale their model deployment. The round was led by Nordic seed stage investment company Superhero Capital, with participation from Reaktor Ventures and Business Finland, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. The Valohai platform automates the ML training and deployment infrastructure for companies who are looking to increase their business efficiency by leveraging machine learning. This scalable solution allows companies to run multiple variations of machine learning ideas in parallel, leaving developers free to focus on pushing the boundaries of their research with minimal idle time … Fastdata.io, a real-time stream processing company, announced it has raised a $5M seed round co-led by CrossCut and Pelion Venture Partners with participation from existing investor NVIDIA. Fastdata.io will use the financing to accelerate the adoption of its high performance computing software, FDIO Engine™, the first GPU-native software, which exploits the massively parallel processing capability of NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) to provide real-time stream processing of big data in motion. FDIO Engine is a fast and efficient stream processing software and was designed to meet the critical and growing demand for efficient, real-time big data processing. By processing complex algorithms against terabytes of live streaming data, FDIO Engine accelerates stream processing up to 1,000 times faster than any CPU-based software. It also reduces total real-time data processing costs by more than seventy percent and power and space requirements by more than ninety-eight percent in the data center whether running in the public cloud or on private servers. This new level of efficiency will save billions of dollars in power costs while tremendously reducing greenhouse emissions … Matillion, the makers of cloud data integration tools Matillion ETL for Amazon Redshift, Matillion ETL for Snowflake and Matillion ETL for Google BigQuery, announced it has closed a $20 million Series B round of funding led by Sapphire Ventures, who funds category-leading growth technology companies. Round participants also included new investor Scale Venture Partners, and existing investor, UK-based venture capital trust, YFM Equity Partners. The funding will accelerate the company’s leadership in the cloud data integration category … Fauna Inc., founded by the team that scaled Twitter, has completed a $25M Series A round from top tier VC firms and strategic investors with large footprints in the financial services and consumer Internet industries. Capital One Growth Ventures, the venture capital arm of the financial-services giant, joined GV (formerly Google Ventures), Point72 Ventures, Afore Capital and Costanoa Ventures in the $25M Series A round – the largest-ever for an operational database company. Also participating in this round were consumer Internet conglomerates LINE, NHN and Naver, motivated by a growing need for Fauna’s product offerings within their respective industries. FaunaDB is a NoSQL database for mission critical data. It is a database built from the ground up to combine a high performance distributed transactional query engine with operational simplicity, global scalability and policy-based security. FaunaDB is infrastructure agnostic and is available today for use on-premises as well as a managed cloud service.

In M&A news, we heard … MariaDB® Corporation, the company behind the fast growing open source database, announced that it has acquired enterprise analytics database company MammothDB for an undisclosed sum. Through the acquisition, MariaDB expands its European presence with a new office in Sofia, Bulgaria, and grows its global engineering and consulting talent to further strengthen its modern analytics solution, MariaDB AX, and advance its larger Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) strategy … Infogix, Inc., a leading data and analytics software provider, announced its acquisition of Lavastorm, a leading data preparation and advanced analytics company. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition, effective immediately, is designed to fuse Infogix’s data management heritage with Lavastorm’s data preparation and advanced analytics capabilities. The resulting streamlined approach will enable IT, data experts and business process owners to extract, prepare and analyze data from various sources and deliver these applications to end users directly or through data visualization tools.

In the customer wins category we found … Paxata, a pioneer in empowering analysts to intelligently profile and transform data into consumable information instantaneously,  announced that Unilog, a global technology company that delivers powerful, affordable eCommerce solutions for the B2B marketplace, is using Paxata’s platform to prepare upstream manufacturing data. Unilog then packages the information into a master catalog for downstream customers comprised of midmarket distributors, manufacturers, and wholesalers. By enabling Unilog to gain visibility into its customer’s entire catalog, Paxata is helping them to service their customers faster and improve internal processes.

And finally, with World Backup Day on Saturday, March 31st, we wanted to share commentaries from the data protection, backup, storage and cloud provider community:

Commvault is redefining what backup and recovery means to the progressive enterprise. Companies are managing more data than ever, on a greater diversity of clouds, endpoints and infrastructures. The market is demanding smarter automated solutions to protect all data types quickly. With the demand for smart protection follows the requirement for a smart and automated fast recovery. Enterprises can no longer depend on complex and incomplete backup strategies for their data. When disaster strikes this strategy will lead to slow or incomplete recovery, and the threat of ransomware and other potential disasters are reminding us to act on improving recovery readiness every day. Given this complexity of data environments, the most urgent question enterprises should ask themselves this World Backup Day is not necessarily “are they backed up” but, “are they protected in a way they can recover fast?” – Don Foster, Senior Director of Worldwide Solutions Marketing, Commvault.

In the spirit of World Backup Day, Commvault would like to celebrate the unsung heroes working in the trenches of their IT organizations to ward off never ending threats of ransomware, malware and other disasters. Everyone should take time to recognize the critical role data backup and management admins play in ensuring their enterprise’s success in the face of unprecedented data growth, risk and complexity. These unsung IT heroes, often found working late at their cubicle or deep in their firm’s data center, are responsible for managing and protecting one of their enterprise’s core assets – its data. They must do this even as data volumes grow exponentially and as the types of clouds and other infrastructure data is stored on proliferates. They do it while sophisticated cybercriminals increasingly seek to steal or disable this data, and governments around the world implement new data privacy regulations. Yet not only are these backup admins protecting this data, they are activating it – enabling DevOps to employ it to launch new digital services and marketing teams to analyze it for valuable insights and competitive gain. So, as you consider how these data backup and management admins are not just keeping your enterprise’s operations running but also enabling you to achieve new, remarkable data-driven feats, make sure to pat them on the back, send them a “Thank You” email, or buy them a drink at your next company happy hour. – Bill Wohl, Chief Communications Officer, Commvault.

For many, World Backup Day probably evokes thoughts of ‘gold copies’ stashed away in a safe place waiting to be retrieved when something goes wrong. However, this simplistic example belies the fact that solutions for these situations are often complex and painful to execute, particularly at the enterprise level as many organizations are undergoing major IT transformations. The truth is that, planned and unplanned disruptions are only on the rise, sometimes because of the adoption and innovation of the latest technology. The convergence of these factors will require businesses to look outside traditional backup capabilities and develop an IT resilience strategy that’s up to the many challenges of digital transformation. To deliver an always-on customer experience, especially while undergoing major changes to an infrastructure, businesses need to ensure they have a modern, risk-free platform in place, that utilizes continuous data protection combined with the ability to orchestrate and automate the mobility of applications to the ideal infrastructure. When these capabilities come together, businesses will have an IT resilience strategy to protect their infrastructure and reputation, and also enable innovation and transformation.” – Rob Strechay, SVP Product, Zerto

In 2018 backup and data recovery is critical, and it’s not enough for it to simply, well, back up. Evolved options like archive storage solutions can help to eliminate data loss as well as provide added layers of security from tampering, corruption and ransomware – business necessities in today’s threat landscape. Archive storage can also help drive cost and performance benefits by allowing for greater long-term retention of data. A fully comprehensive data backup strategy should include business continuity, data protection and enhanced security features on top of fast and efficient storage.” Gary Watson, CTO and Founder, Nexsan

Research by Ponemon in 2017 shows that the average total cost of a data breach reached $3.62 million, with a 27.7% chance of the likelihood of a recurring material data breach over the next two years. With the overload of data being created by devices and apps, that number will soar over the next few years. But what can companies do to secure their digital business? They can proactively address the security challenge, and World BackUp day can be the perfect reminder for individuals and businesses to secure the applications that are the lifeblood of their business: back-up, patch-up, and remediate vulnerabilities. To address this challenge, however, we need to encourage security education across all teams responsible for developing and maintaining secure apps. It’s on us—security vendors—to help organizations bridge the divide between the security and development teams so that they’re all working together towards the safety of the business, and the safety of everyone navigating the digital ecosystem through applications.” – Craig Hinkley, CEO, WhiteHat Security

Undoubtedly, data protection is a growing challenge for IT teams, and on World Backup Day, it is important to remember that organizations should not only have a backup strategy, but also test it regularly to determine if data will be easily recoverable and accessible when needed. It is no secret that data loss can have devastating effects on a company’s brand reputation and customer trust, making the ability to recover data quickly after a disaster critical to business survival.” – Neil Barton, CTO of WhereScape

We all appreciate the importance of backing up our data, but a backup plan for the network is usually given less thought. The question is not whether your business will lose Internet connectivity, it’s when. In some areas Internet connectivity can experience service disruption up to several times a month, which exposes businesses to risks of lost revenue, reduced productivity and customer experience issues. One possible solution is upgrading to a more robust wired connection, but it’s expensive and still susceptible to outages and service disruption. An alternative option is to bridge the inevitable gap with wireless WAN failover, which is quick and easy to deploy. There are few businesses that can afford to take the risk of network connections failing, so organizations need to place a priority on backing up their network.” Ken Hosac, VP of IoT Strategy and Business Development, Cradlepoint

Backing up business critical data is more complex than many people realize which may be why backup and disaster recovery plans fall apart in the hour of need. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, and many fall short with a few common missteps. The closer your backup is to the primary data, the more likely it is to suffer the same fate as your primary data. Additionally, performing backups as frequently as possible often falls by the wayside of priorities, but this is a very effective way to prevent data loss. Lastly, while emphasis is frequently on the recovery point of when your last backup was taken, recovery time is just as important. The bottom line is that we all need to take some time to review backup plans and find out if you need to be doing more to prevent the next data loss event lurking around the corner.” – Jason Collier, co-founder, Scale Computing

Data has become an integral component of our personal and professional lives, from mission-critical business information to personal photos and videos, with an estimated 1.8 zettabytes of data generated per year. So it’s surprising that only four in ten companies have a fully documented disaster recovery plan in place, and 30 percent of respondents have never backed up their data. On World Backup Day, we are all reminded of the importance on implementing a disaster recovery and backup strategy that is secure, compliant and scalable to respond to challenging data protection demands. DRaaS solutions also use scalable infrastructure, allowing virtual access of assets with little or no hardware and software expenditures. Data backups are an essential aspect of any disaster recovery plan, because it’s always better to be prepared before a disaster strikes.” – Matt VanderZwaag, director of product development, US Signal

World Backup Day is a good time to remember to not overlook backup and disaster recovery plans as you budget for your primary datacenter,” he said. “All flash is becoming a commoditized market and prices are dropping so there’s no need to overspend in this area. The deals are out there, but organizations will have to work harder than ever to know if they’re truly getting the best deal for the long run on primary storage, which can ultimately free up funds for backup and support solutions.” – Bill Miller, CEO, X-IO Storage


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