Hitachi Vantara seeks more “adaptable, composable, analytical” IoT
Hitachi Vantara seeks more
Hitachi’s customer service robot EMIEW3 (Credit: Hitachi)

Hitachi Vantara seeks more “adaptable, composable, analytical” IoT

Adrian Bridgwater reports from Pentaho’s final standalone PentahoWorld conference in Orlando, Florida, as the company becomes part of Hitachi Vantara. 

The artist formerly known as Pentaho has become a fully subsumed and integrated brand inside its Hitachi parent.

Now part of Hitachi Vantara, alongside Hitachi Data Systems and Hitachi Insight Group, Pentaho staged its final standalone PentahoWorld conference this week in Orlando, Florida, taking the opportunity to explain how it intends to grow to become an even bigger data analytics proposition as part of the new group.

Hitachi Vantara drives its IoT technology proposition through its Lumada product group. Lumada is software, but it is (arguably) broad enough to warrant being called a platform, in the sense that it can work as a substrate layer and data fabric, upon and into which other services and degrees of intelligence can be engineered.

During sessions at PentahoWorld 17, Internet of Business uncovered three core truths that speak to how data analytics will need to be put to work inside the IoT: adaptive execution, composability and new tiers for analytics. Initially, let’s consider the fact that Lumada works to provide data prioritization, filtering and real-time edge analytics with secure data integration.

Read more: Toyota, Hitachi partner for smarter manufacturing

Why adaptive execution matters

Data prioritization and filtering go an important step of the way to explaining how a ‘more adaptively executed’ IoT works, insofar as users need to control where storage happens, where compute happens and which processing engine is tasked with a given job. In a world where smart machines need even smarter processing differentiation, this adaptive control is (arguably) essential.

First introduced in Pentaho 7.1 and now enhanced in the October release of Pentaho 8.0, the company’s adaptive execution technology allows IoT-focused developers to match workloads with the most appropriate processing engine, without having to rewrite any data integration logic.

“On the path to digital transformation, enterprises must fully exploit all the data available to them. This requires connecting traditional data silos and integrating their operational and information technologies to build modern analytics data pipelines that can accommodate a more connected, open and fluid world of data,” said Donna Prlich, chief product officer for Pentaho software at Hitachi Vantara.

Read more: Hitachi Vantara combines Pentaho, HDS and Insight to focus on IoT

Why composability matters

Lumada Analytics uses machine learning and data mining tools to uncover patterns in equipment and device data. The software is inherently composable in that it is modular and constructed in definable chunks that can be onwardly engineered into a higher number of possible use cases.

This composability, alongside the use of intelligent application programming interfaces (APIs), means that customer use cases can keep in-house analytic systems as they are, while they then also they integrate Lumada analytics within the business applications that they run.

At a higher level, these same firms can use connected IoT devices across an organization using the real-time dashboard that exists within the Lumada Studio graphical environment. This software can be used to create interactive web-based dashboards and user-defined reports for managing alerts and notifications.

Also found in this group is Lumada Foundry. Desribed as the underlying framework for the Lumada IoT platform, this Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for Lumada is based on a distributed microservices architecture, in order to enable developers and data engineers to deploy, upgrade and scale services for software residing on-premises or in the cloud.

Read more: Hitachi Data Systems chief: IoT is going ‘sector specific’

Why tiers, analytical longevity matter

Third in our group of IoT analytical mechanics insights, we can also point to new meta layers for data processing. In a world where applications are working to process not just terabytes but also petabytes (and soon exabytes) of data, Hitachi Vantara says that there is a logical argument for a new tier of analytics at a higher more aggregated meta layer.

Downward from this, and after the initial processing and filtering that this stage has given us, we can then push those parts of data onward to more front of line business engines that will affect the way any individual firm operates.

Allied to this train of thought is the suggestion that the average useful application in the near future may only endure and provide useful service for perhaps around one to three years, but the data that these apps use, change, affect, ingest and output will last far longer.
Deeper still, the algorithmic logic that these applications rely on will live on longer than the apps as well. So, if we accept these things to be true, then there is an argument for a new architectural approach to data engineering all round.

These key concepts explain some of the way that Hitachi Vantara says it will now grow Pentaho inside the parent. 

Read more: Hitachi Vantara unlocks turnkey IoT appliance

Prlich: “Candy store”

“I look at [our new status in the Hitachi family] and kind of go wow, our whole candy store just got a whole lot bigger. So as we now get to our Pentaho 8.0 release we can appreciate how data volumes and velocity are handled in an IoT world,” said Hitachi Vantara chief product officer Donna Prlich in her PentahoWorld 17 keynote.

“We have been working to broaden our data streaming abilities for IoT implementations – and processing and storage resource management has also been addressed. In this way, devices can build on the ‘adaptive execution layer’ seen in Pentaho release 7.1 so that we can control what happens where. In a world where storage and processing resources are always constrained in the IoT devices, this kind of stuff matters.”

Prlich asserts that now that we also know we have less time to spend on preparing data, we can ‘boost team productivity along the pipeline’ and provide a means of being able to move ‘data to outcomes’ faster.

Candy store or not (and let’s remember that there is always an element of gung-ho keynote showboating here), one thing appears to be coming across from the Pentaho employees now proudly brandishing their Hitachi Vantara badges, and that is that Pentaho is not being dissolved into some invisible absorbed sub-product.

Instead, Hitachi Vantara is openly stating that it bought Pentaho for its data analytics abilities and that it will now turn its product into a multi-billion dollar business if it can.

Coming soon: Our IoT Build events, taking place in London on 14 & 15 November 2017 and San Francisco on 27 & 28 March 2018 are a great opportunity for attendees to explore the platforms, architectures, applications and connectivity that comprise the IoT ecosystem.