On Thursday April 26 VMware announced that it has acquired Cetas, an early stage startup focused upon making access to advanced big data analytics much easier and cheaper. The obvious goal of this is that if you make something easier and cheaper, more of it gets consumed, which then allows more people to benefit from it. 25 years ago, mobile phones were expensive, the size of shoe boxes, and few people could afford to buy them and bother to use them. We all know how ubiquitous mobile phones are now, and this is entirely due to the democratization and commoditization of mobile phone access.
What Does Cetas Do?
Cetas makes it easy to apply advanced self-learning complex event processing technology to random sets of data. Furthermore it is built from the ground up to handle “big data” which means that it is designed to handle large data sets, large amounts of rapidly arriving data, and data that arrives at high rates of frequency (at or near real time rates). VMware thinks that Cetas is good for three primary uses cases shown in the diagram below.
There are two very interesting problems that VMware could potentially address with Cetas. The first is that doing analytics at cloud scale (think of trying to analyze data about every virtual server at Amazon at the same time) is clearly a big data problem, and a challenging problem purely on the front of making the analytics work and be easy to use with data sets of that size.
The second has to do with Operational Performance and Application Performance data. Right now VMware collects data from its hypervisor at 20 second intervals and rolls that up into 5 minute intervals for access via the vSphere API. These intervals are too long, and the rollups obscure too much data, but until now VMware has not had any way to analyze the data to make it more useful. Cetas therefore can potentially solve problems that apparently the Integrien technology that VMware purchased a couple of years ago is not suited to address.
How is Cetas Deployed
Cetas is available as a cloud resident service (analytics as a service), or as an on-premise solution.
When we look back five years from now, we will probably conclude that the Cetas acquisition was one of the most significant acquisitions that VMware did. The Cetas technology is going to bring real time self-learning analytics to several layers of VMware’s management offerings over time. As soon as VMware gets into the business of producing and analyzing real time, continuous and deterministic management data the final nail will be driven in the legacy management solutions that sample and operate at 5 minute intervals.