Big data and the vendors that help us leverage it are “all that” in 2015. The evangelists have created believers. Enterprises are strategizing and implementing, their pilots are done. And entrepreneurs are crushing data and creating smart products, the kind we haven’t seen before.

With only one work week completed in 2015, here’s the hottest of the hot news.

EMC Federation Intact, for Now

EMC is weighing down VMware. This was the sentiment of activist hedge fund Elliott Management last summer and it hasn't stayed quiet … until now. This morning Elliott and EMC agreed to a nine month standstill, which seems to have come with a provision in the form of two new EMC board members: Jose E. Almeida, CEO of Covidien and Donald J. Carty, the former CEO of American Airlines and CFO of Dell. Elliott reportedly collaborated with EMC in the selection.

Why does Elliott get a say? It owns a $1 billion stake in EMC and had made it clear that it believed that EMC and VMware were worth more as separate companies than together, something that EMC CEO Joe Tucci doesn’t agree with. VMware is part of the “EMC Federation” which also includes RSA, EMC II (which owns IIG aka Documentum and Syncplicity), Pivotal and VCE.

“Both Joe and Don are strong and experienced executives and we believe they will bring invaluable perspectives to the Board’s ongoing review of EMC’s strategic direction,” said Jesse Cohn, portfolio manager at Elliott Management, in a press release.

Tucci parroted something similar.

We can’t wait to see what kind of “invaluable perspectives” the new directors bring to Tucci and how they’ll affect EMC.

MongoDB Gets Bucks and a Prize

Developers love MongoDB. So do their bosses and the business end users for whom they build solutions. There are lots of reasons for this. Perhaps first and foremost because the document database was created for an interactive, mobile, social, data rich world where problems must be solved and answers must be served almost instantaneously. Relational databases like Oracle struggle to do this. For MongoDB it’s a breeze.

At MongoDB World last year we saw customers as diverse as,, The Weather Channel, MetLife and the City of Chicago sing its praises. Not only that, but we also heard how quickly solutions that might have taken a year to build with more traditional databases take only a few months (often even less).

MongoDB is also open source, always improving and has a huge, enthusiastic community around it. You don’t have to sit alone or cough up big bucks to get help solving your problems.


Last week, MongoDB got two huge votes of confidence. DBEngines named it the fifth (out of 207) and the most popular NoSQL database on the planet. Not bad considering that it first saw the light of day in 2007.

Older databases, such as Oracle, weren’t built for the mobile, social, big data, real-time world. MongoDB was. But it’s not just that, MongoDB is easy to learn, especially for those who have built solutions on platforms like Alfresco, Documentum, OpenText and IBM Content Manager and the like.

Technology soothsayers predict that MongoDB will go public this year. The timing might be right. (We’ll have a better feel after we see how Box’s IPO  fares.) Either way, the Big Apple-based NoSQL database company needn’t be in a hurry. It’s in the process of raising $100M in new venture capital and has already amassed $79.9 mil.

Hortonworks Silent Period Ends

Open source Hadoop provider Hortonworks, which wowed the big data world when it went public last month, ended its silent period last Thursday. Investment analysts, like JMP Securities, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs have all rated it as an outperform or a “buy." Considering that its IPO offer was $16 per share and it’s now trading at (click to get current quote), we’re impressed.

And though the Hortonworks team could have spent the holidays in Aruba, Aspen or the Magic Kingdom, it seems that at least a few of them might have been plugging away at Apache Falcon, a data life cycle management solution that integrates with Apache Hadoop and HDP, Hortonworks flavor of Hadoop. It’s not surprising. The team at Hortonworks has consistently demonstrated that they are as much about the work and the community as getting rich. To learn more about Falcon’s latest release, read Hortonworks engineer Seetharam Venkatesh blog post.

Stay Tuned

We expect to see Big Data solutions and applicability to go wild in 2015. Later this week we’ll explain how they make retailers smarter. Hortonworks competitor MapR has said that it will go public later this year. Teradata, now that it has partnerships with all three Hadoop vendors, will try to establish itself as the “go to” solutions for large enterprises. We could keep going, but it will be easier simply to visit CMSWire to see.