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CenturyLink Taps Cloudera for Managed Big Data-as-a-Service

CenturyLink Inc. is combining its global communications expertise with Cloudera Inc.'s Apache Hadoop-based analytics distribution for a new Big Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) offering.

Like other BDaaS initiatives, CenturyLink Big Data as a Service with Managed Cloudera aims to help enterprises leverage Big Data analytics to gain competitive business advantages without having to acquire their own high-priced and hard-to-find data scientists and developers.

Instead, that elusive talent is made available to provide consulting, training and guidance to help organizations get started via quick-start programs and real-time deployment support. CenturyLink said the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is placing more demands on the IT infrastructure maintained by enterprises that don't have the in-house resources, expertise and strategy to capitalize on Big Data analytics opportunities in order to increase sales, streamline operations and improve customer engagement.

The great demand for Big Data talent has driven up the salaries of data scientists and specially trained developers, making them among the most sought-after employees as academic and training programs struggle to provide more experts.

"Cloudera and CenturyLink's innovations with Big Data analytics can drive true business transformation at a time when many companies are finding it hard to harness the power of increasing volumes of data," said Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly in a news release last week. "Companies that break down their information silos are finding themselves better positioned to capture new market share and deliver superior customer service."

CenturyLink BDaaS
[Click on image for larger view.] CenturyLink BDaaS (source: CenturyLink)

In addition to infrastructure, network, monitoring and support services provided by CenturyLink, the new managed service provides guidance to help customers identify use cases and assess needs in quick-start workshops that can last from one day up to two weeks, depending upon specific circumstances and needs.

After that, deployment support is available to help organizations first set up proof-of-concept projects and then scale them into production analytics projects. This support covers data ingest, storage and access methodologies, the Louisiana-based CenturyLink said.

"CenturyLink BDaaS is enhanced by adding data and advanced analytics consulting services supported by a deep bench of Cloudera-certified data scientists and Cloudera Hadoop solution administrators, developers and architects," CenturyLink said. "The solution, bolstered by CenturyLink's global high-speed network connectivity, provides storage, processing, and management components deployed on CenturyLink Cloud Bare Metal servers. The bare metal private cloud environments, which allow customers to achieve faster time-to-market, improved data protection and rapid public cloud scalability at a lower cost, have been certified by Cloudera as an architecture that meets its rigorous criteria for ensuring optimal performance and efficiency."

The new offering comes after CenturyLink and Cloudera -- often characterized as one of the "big three" Hadoop distributors along with Hortonworks Inc. and MapR Technologies Inc. -- announced an expansion of their strategic alliance in September.

Pricing details are available through custom consultations.

"With numerous vendors offering components for Big Data solutions today, a key to achieving success for customers is services and support," CenturyLink quoted 451 Research analyst James Curtis as saying. "Providers that offer data and analytics consulting, deployment support and customized infrastructure and application solutions, should be able to deliver enhanced strategic value for customers."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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