Pivotal Seeks Better Enterprise Cloud, with EMC Roots and GE Cash

4/24/13Follow @wroush

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built-in analytics services to free developers from having to instrument all their code by hand, he added.

And sitting underneath the data fabric will be a “cloud fabric” based on Cloud Foundry, an open-source hosting service created by VMware. It will allow Pivotal One customers to connect to a variety of outside cloud services, including Amazon Web Services, private clouds, and clouds based on the OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service standard.

“Bringing these things together is something that is going to take us quite a bit of time,” Yara cautioned. “Our notion is to provide first commercial release in the fourth quarter, or less than 6 months from now. However, I think that the journey to executing the full vision of Pivotal One will be measured in years, not months.”

After the speeches by Maritz and Yara, I asked GE’s Bill Ruh how the strategic partnership with Pivotal came about. “We certainly use EMC and VMware in our own IT department, but actually the connection didn’t come through that,” Ruh said.

Scott Yara, Pivotal's senior vice president of platform and products, speaking at today's launch event.

Scott Yara, Pivotal's senior vice president of platform and products, speaking at today's launch event.

He says researchers at GE’s San Ramon software center decided about nine months ago to experiment with applications based on Hadoop, but they soon realized it didn’t have all the features GE would need to support industrial-grade services. And the first wave of Hadoop companies, such as Cloudera, were focused mainly on providing support rather than help with application and infrastructure development.

“As we were looking at what we had to do to build these new industrial Internet services, we realized that we needed to think about platforms that would enable us to build and launch services very rapidly, and we realized we weren’t going to be able to build it all from scratch,” Ruh says. “We needed some partners. When I met with Paul and we started having a conversation, we didn’t even know about Pivotal. But as we started talking, he came in and said, ‘We are doing this bigger thing and we would love to talk about how we could work together.’ We felt like this was a horse we could ride on.”

Ruh says he doesn’t expect GE’s investment will buy the company any special influence with Pivotal, but he does think GE will act as a “first customer” for many Pivotal creations. “We will be making lots of announcements in the future about those applications,” Ruh says. “We will certainly, as a company, be doing a lot with this.”

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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