EMC's Pivotal Initiative takes off with enterprise PaaS debut

Summary:The new enterprise Platform-as-a-Service from EMC and VMware taps consumer trends but realizes that not all businesses are interested in big public clouds.


SAN FRANCISCO -- EMC is pulling back the curtain further on its new Pivotal Initiative spin-off with the debut of Pivotal One, a new Platform-as-a-Service entry designed to bring consumer-familiar cloud features to the enterprise.

See also: EMC's Pivotal Initiative launches: Now comes the execution part | EMC's Q1 falls short, customers cautious on IT spending

Introduced during a media presentation at Pivotal Labs on Wednesday morning, EMC execs boasted that Pivotal One integrates data fabrics, programming frameworks and support for legacy infrastructures.

Some of the typical target uses cases that Pivotal is shooting for include real-time telecommunications and future retail scenarios, large-scale intelligent agriculture, and intelligent industrial control and services utilizing telemetry.

"The short reason for Pivotal's existence is we feel there's a need for a new platform for a new era," said Maritz.

Paul Maritz, formerly CEO of VMware and now at the helm of Pivotal, offered some background about the project, outlining that it is based upon "key assets and people" from across both VMware and EMC.

"The short reason for Pivotal's existence is we feel there's a need for a new platform for a new era," said Maritz.

Referencing the "Googles, Facebooks and Amazons" of the world that do IT "differently" from enterprise companies, Maritz posited that "we need to allow enterprises to partake in these new set of capabilities that we tongue-in-cheek call 'consumer capabilities.'"

Maritz noted that these consumer-like strategies consist of automation as a fundamental approach as well as rapid app development.

But Maritz acknowledged that enterprises have "additional needs" that consumer companies don't. That boils down to addressing legacy systems and realizing that enterprises just don't want to build consumer-scale clouds, often preferring private cloud deployments.

"We're going to have to offer enterprises choice on which cloud they want to deploy their services on," Maritz asserted.

But Maritz acknowledged that enterprises have "additional needs" that consumer companies don't.

Much like large tech competitors such as Hewlett-Packard and Intel , among others , Hadoop is a key component to Pivotal on in-memory data grid technology for analytical queries.

Pivotal is actually relying heavily on open source technologies as it is also based upon the Cloud Foundry open source Platform-as-a-Service, as well as Spring, an application development framework for Java.

With these components, the goal for Pivotal is to offer more scalability, automation, and resiliency on an application fabric that enables rapid app development as well as provides support for database services and analytics.

"This is the new modern hardware," quipped Scott Yara, Greenplum's co-founder and senior vice president, about the cloud fabrics while giving a nod to Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers such as Amazon Web Services and OpenStack.

Yara also asserted that "the notion of being able to start with a set of a few virtual servers" and then scale automatically has to be "a core aspect of the application fabric provided."

Admitting that it is going to take awhile to string all of these pieces together, Yara said that clients can expect a commercial release of Pivotal One "less than six months from now."

Topics: Cloud, Big Data, EMC, Open Source, VMWare, Developer


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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