(Adds comment from webcast)
By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 Intel Corp said
on Thursday it made a significant investment in Cloudera and
will make the fast-growing startup its preferred distributor of
software for crunching Big Data.
The top chipmaker said its equity investment in Cloudera
makes it the company's single largest strategic shareholder and
it comes as Intel looks to expand its server business to make up
for falling sales of personal computers.
Intel said the stake in Cloudera is its largest data center
technology investment ever, although it did not disclose the
size of the deal.
Cloudera, like rivals HortonWorks and Pivotal, focuses on
helping corporate customers manage data through "Hadoop," an
open-source software system that can sort and handle the massive
amounts of information, increasingly called Big Data, generated
through the Internet and mobile devices.
Intel said it will promote Cloudera's Hadoop platform and
transition away from its own customized version that it had been
promoting as optimal for Intel server chips.
Cloudera will now engineer its Hadoop offerings to work best
with Intel's server chip technology, which enjoys around 94
percent market share in data centers.
Intel will have a seat on the board of directors of
Cloudera, which is widely expected to go public this year.
Shares of Intel were unchanged at $25.38.
Intel hopes that encouraging more companies to leap into Big
Data analysis will lead to higher sales of its high-end Xeon
With Intel's core market of personal computers shrinking,
the chipmaker's server business is becoming a larger component
of the company's profits. But its growth has recently fallen
short of expectations.
Big Data is also a key part of the Internet of Things, a
term referring to the increasing connectivity of everyday
devices from cars to smoke alarms.
Finding ways to analyze and make use of vast amounts of data
collected by those smart devices is becoming a major opportunity
for IT companies including Intel.
After falling behind in making chips for smartphones and
tablets, Intel aims to make sure it is a major player in the
Internet of Things by supplying processors used in new devices
as well as the server hardware and software used to analyze the
data those devices create.
"Hadoop, as the data platform, and the investment we are
making together to make sure it's the platform of choice,
becomes the connection between those two major initiatives at
Intel: the Internet of Things and the data center," Diane
Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's
Data Center Group, said on a webcast.
Intel's investment comes after Cloudera said last week
raised $160 million from T Rowe Price, Google Ventures and other
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by Andrew Hay)