Cloudera shakes off Hortonworks fixation, realises AWS was the big baddie all along

Plans to squeeze out enterprise data cloud in next two quarters


Cloudera and former open-source database rival Hortonworks may have merged in a defensive manoeuvre but CEO Tom Reilly seems to have spied a bigger existential threat – AWS.

The boss man said this while adding meat to the bones of his enterprise data cloud (EDC) strategy on a conference call with analysts last night, confirming the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) running on public clouds will debut in the "next two quarters".

A private cloud version is planned for "later in the year", Reilly confirmed. EDC will incorporate "multiple analytic functions" on the same data, be "secure and compliant", and be open to "avoid vendor lock-in". At least that's the aim.

The initial release of CDP, Cloudera said, will provide data warehousing and machine learning as a "native cloud service" via one control panel to manage the infrastructure, data and workloads across hybrid and multi-cloud installations.

Cloudera merged with Hortonworks, "our number one competitor", in early January, which means the firms "don't have to discount as aggressively" – it will "shorten sales cycles".

"And now who is our number one competitor? It's Amazon," said Reilly. "Even in Q1 as we look at our competitive roadmap... it's Amazon's [in]-house offerings in the data management and analytic space."

He said Cloudera can use CDP to compete against Bezos' bruisers because it can sell multi-vendor clouds and hybrid clouds too. Amazon has already unsettled Oracle, so it is surprising its product development took so long to darken the door of Cloudera management.

As for the financials, the Cloudera and Hortonworks mash-up reported revenue of $144.5m for Q4 ended 31 January, up from $105.7m: subscription grew to $123m from $86.82m; and services grew to $21.5m from $18.9m.

Expenses were the enemy of Cloudera in Q4, a rise of 72 per cent to $190.8m resulted in an operating loss of $86.96m, versus $38m the year before. Net loss more than doubled to $85.5m.

For the year, Cloudera reported sales of $479.94m, up from $372.29m. It recorded a loss of $192.6m from $369.6m.

Reilly said integration of the two businesses was advanced with back office systems and facilities consolidation left to do. He said combined customer list stretched to 2,000 names. ®

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