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August 30, 2013updated 19 Aug 2016 9:24am

Scoop: HDS quietly taking on Splunk in big data

Never one to blow its own trumpet


Information management and storage maven Hitachi Data Systems has never spent a huge amount of time or energy on brash marketing campaigns, or flashy announcements of technologies long before they are actually available. But it seems to be taking its softly-softly approach to almost extreme levels, as I found out yesterday that it’s got a machine data analytics platform on the market which it hasn’t even bothered to publicly announce yet. Talk about hiding your light under a bushel.

Hicham Abdessamad, EVP of global services at HDS told me that the firm has delivered a big data platform tailored for machine data analytics to a number of customers already, even though the platform has not been publicly announced. That puts it into competition with the likes of Splunk, which saw an IPO last year pricing it at 28x revenue, or a market cap of $3.2bn. So to say it’s a pretty hot market right now would be an understatement.

"When we talk about big data, there have been a number of use cases, and I think some of those really lack teeth," Abdessamad said. "But to me analysing machine data, and increasingly all of the data that will be generated by sensors – what some are calling the ‘Internet of things’ – that’s actually going to be very powerful because it will help you deliver a better quality of service."

Asked if HDS is taking on Splunk and its ilk, Abdessamad said, "Some customers have come to us and asked us to build an alternative [to Splunk] and we’ve done that. Customers have used it for different things. Some use it for security, for fraud detection and intrusion detection; telcos have used it to detect and reduce network congestion in near real-time."

And what is this real-time machine data analytics platform called? The Hitachi Stream Data Platform, according to Abdessamad.

A little digging on the internet suggests this is likely an upgrade or revamp of a data processing platform HDS first built for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, referred to in documentation as the Cosminexus Stream Data Platform. The Tokyo Stock Exchange used that platform to drive down the speed with which indexes were calculated from one second to just 10 milliseconds.

With the machine data analytics market having been given a shot in the arm by Splunk’s bumper IPO, surely it’s only a matter of time before HDS makes more noise about its capabilities in this area. Then again, why make a fuss, right?

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