Needless to say, 2020 was an unforgettable year in a lot of ways and we were all happy to say goodbye to it. The pandemic has ushered in new ways of how we conduct businesses, remote work cultures, telehealth, grocery/food deliveries, etc. While certain industries were hard-hit by this change, most of the businesses were able to adapt, pivot, and take on this adversity in their stride. As a matter of fact, these new challenges gave way to tremendous opportunities for businesses to optimize their key success metrics by leveraging technology.
Streaming data (or data-in-motion) is one such technology space that thrived during these times. Everyone was looking for real-time insights by analyzing what is going on currently within their businesses and taking corrective action pro-actively. Cloudera DataFlow (CDF), the industry’s leading real-time streaming data platform, was truly at the frontlines helping our customers find clarity with their data during these dark times. Digital Transformation efforts across various companies were accelerated since the need of the hour is to get immediate actionable intelligence and make business decisions faster. CDF played a key role in such projects in bringing all the real-time data together and making it consumable for the key stakeholders at the right time.
Overall, I think we had a great year from a product perspective. Here is a recap of what we had delivered successfully with CDF in 2020, overcoming all obstacles the year threw at us. And I bow in reverence to our engineering and product teams that were laser-focused on the roadmap and truly delivered fantastic results.
Embracing the hybrid cloud model
We delivered all the key tenets of CDF on Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) Data Hub as well – Flow Management for Data Hub, Streams Messaging for Data Hub, and Streaming Analytics for Data Hub. This enables our customers to truly extend the same powerful streaming capabilities of our CDF platform onto the public cloud as well. Spin up clusters of NiFi, Kafka, or Flink very quickly onto your public cloud environments on AWS or Azure. Click here for a quick overview video or download our eBook to get more details.
Extending the Kafka ecosystem to CDP
Cloudera (and Hortonworks) has always prided itself on its investment and innovations around Apache Kafka. We released the game-changing Streams Messaging Manager a couple of years ago and it shook the Kafka world with its absolute ease of use in curing Kafka blindness. Similarly, Streams Replication Manager, based on Mirrormaker2, proved that Cloudera truly delivered innovations that met the fundamental needs of enterprises such as business continuity. Last year, we extended our love for the Kafka ecosystem by adding support for Kafka Connect and Cruise Control as well. The best part is that we bundled all this into the CDP Streaming Edition, which also includes Apache Flink. By making it part of CDP, not only do you just get the simplicity of 1 SKU to purchase but you also get the benefits of CDP and its unified security and governance layer – Cloudera SDX. Check out this awesome white paper that explains why Cloudera has the best Kafka ecosystem in the industry today.
Flink Thought Leadership
Last year, we also got to showcase our thought leadership in Apache Flink. It has been more than a year since we added Flink to CDF and we have several exciting customer success stories with it already. So, in order to share our thought leadership in this space, we decided to sponsor Flink Forward, an event focused on the Flink developer community. Our keynote, delivered by our VP of Engineering, Joe Witt, and Sr. Manager for Flink Engineering, Marton Balassi, was extremely well received. We decided to extend our Flink thought leadership showcase by creating a series of webinars called the “Flink Powerchat series”. An information-packed set of sessions that explained everything from the fundamentals of Flink to the most advanced concepts and some hands-on demos. If you are interested, you can watch it on-demand as well. We also wrote a white paper comparing the different stream processing engines in the market today and this was much appreciated by our customers.
Streaming Analytics event across industries
We recognized that the notion of real-time streaming analytics was critically important to several industries. So, we decided to elevate the technical conversation to the level of business use cases and highlight it to LOBs, senior executives, and IT leadership across multiple industries. We did this by organizing an event called “Streaming analytics in the real world”. Renowned speaker and thought leader, Bernard Marr, delivered the keynote at this event. This was one of our most successful events of the year with a few thousand attendees. The key highlight of the event was that it had 8 parallel tracks for different industry-specific sessions. We followed all that with a fantastic deep dive into the CDF product stack with some exciting demos. Check out the on-demand event and enjoy the rich content.
Late last year, we made a small yet key acquisition to enhance our streaming offering. Cloudera acquired Eventador, an Austin-based company that specialized in simplifying access to streaming data. While Eventador was already supporting cloud services for Kafka and Flink, one of its key products was SQLStream Builder, which enabled analysts and personas like those to access real-time streaming data with just simple SQL. This solved a fundamental problem for key personas in organizations that need immediate access to such data but are unable to because they are at the mercy of data engineers and their complex code implementations. Cloudera saw the amazing value this product brought to the already powerful CDF offering we had. We are coming out with some exciting innovations powered by the Eventador technology in 2021.
While I can gloat about all our amazing accomplishments on the product side, the true success metric of all that is when our customers reap the benefits of our technology when they implement it in meaningful ways. Last year, we saw one of the biggest edge implementations at a large O&G customer of ours. They deployed over 130K MiNiFi agents across their entire IT landscape for log monitoring and analysis. We saw Severstal reap fantastic operational gains by implementing our Kafka as the backbone for delivering massive volumes of real-time manufacturing feeds for instantaneous analysis. Clearsense, our healthcare customer of many years, started adopting our technology into telehealth and more advanced innovations to meet the demands of the pandemic. Johns Hopkins and Rush University were using CDF at the forefront of the pandemic for various use cases spanning COVID spread analysis, contact tracing etc.
We are absolutely thrilled by what 2021 holds for us. We can’t contain our excitement about what we are going to be shipping out this year. We are more than eager to see how our customers are going to adopt our technology for more innovative and mission-critical use cases. We are strapped in for a thrill ride. Join us in the fun! Stay tuned for more updates. Follow us on Twitter or visit our home page often.