Big Data

Why MongoDB and Cloudera prove big data is now mainstream in the enterprise

MongoDB and Cloudera both demonstrate that enterprise adoption of big data is getting bigger and faster—as large firms scale out their initiatives.

For years we've heard the promise of big data, with grandiose predictions of it changing everything from how we treat cancer patients to how we sell chocolate bars. The hype, however, was always far out in front of the reality.

Until now.

As Cloudera and MongoDB's most recent quarterly earnings indicate, enterprises are not only piling into big data technologies at an unprecedented rate, but they're also scaling up their data initiatives. This suggests that companies that, just a few years ago, were mostly guessing at big data are finally getting productive.

Developer-driven revolution

To see the future of enterprise computing, keep an eye on developers. And to keep an eye on developers, arguably one of the best strategies is to watch MongoDB adoption. The popular next-generation database has long been a developer darling, and is often an enterprise's first taste of big data success.

Which his why it's so telling that MongoDB now boasts nearly 7,500 customers, up 72% year-over-year. Interestingly, more and more of those customers are buying into MongoDB's Atlas, a cloud-based service for managing and scaling MongoDB. How much more? Atlas revenue growth has increased 400% year-over-year and now represents 18% of all of MongoDB's roughly $240 million run-rate. This Atlas adoption, coming on the heels of MongoDB adoption, suggests that companies are becoming more comfortable running their big-data applications in the cloud.

SEE: Everything as a Service: Why companies are making the switch to SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and more (Tech Pro Research)

These early MongoDB adopters include banks like HSBC, travel giants like Royal Caribbean, SaaS innovators like Squarespace, and more. This big data revolution, in other words, is no longer for the early adopters.

According to the company, close to 6% (438) spend $100,000 each year with MongoDB. This is up from 296 customers spending $100K in annual recurring revenue (ARR) just a year ago.

Big and getting bigger

If we jump over to Cloudera's earnings call, we see much the same trajectory. Cloudera, for its part, now has 568 customers spend more than $100K each year in ARR. While this is significant, it's perhaps even more telling that the company also has 69 customers spending at least $1 million each year. It's also significant that new customers now average $87,000 in average deal size versus $65,500, suggesting that the technology has become such that companies can go bigger, faster.

SEE: Special report: The art of the hybrid cloud (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

This is a clear indication that companies are more than kicking tires on big data: They're driving the equivalent of 18-wheelers.

Like MongoDB, while Cloudera has its share of early-adopter customers, it also sells to companies like Tata Steel, Zions Bank, Husky Oil, and more. Some, like ANZ Bank, have been working with Cloudera for several years.

Also, like MongoDB, Cloudera's customers are increasingly comfortable running in the cloud (roughly 26% of Cloudera customers have moved workloads to the cloud). Finally, as MongoDB now sees approximately 30% of its business each quarter coming from migrations from legacy databases so, too, does Cloudera see enterprises dumping old-school data warehouses and the like for a more modern approach to data.

In sum, we're no longer in the early, explorative phase of big data. Big data has finally gone mainstream.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/monsitj

About Matt Asay

Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.

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