Databricks provides Google Cloud, container choice for on-premises

Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and CEO of Databricks Inc., speaks during a television interview for Bloomberg Technology on October 22, 2019 in San Francisco.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Databricks announced on Wednesday that its software for storing and analyzing large amounts of data will be available on Google’s public cloud.

The launch opens up a new growth channel for a company that wants to be ready to go public this year. At the same time, Google is given access to trendy software that was previously only available through the two largest US cloud competitors Amazon and Microsoft.

Databricks has also evolved its software to enable customers to move systems running on Google cloud to their on-premises servers with minimal effort, said co-founder and CEO Ali Ghodsi in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday. In the past, Databricks was only available as a cloud-based service.

“We have been pressured by customers for years,” he said.

To get there, Databricks worked with Google engineers to modify the software so that it could run in a virtual container. This is a lightweight alternative to the more traditional virtual machine software developed by VMware. The software runs on a Google Cloud service based on Kubernetes, a container management tool that Google released under an open source license in 2014.

Kubernetes abstracts the underlying computing infrastructure and enables programmers to be more innovative, said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.

The introduction of Databricks to Google’s cloud marketplace could lead to an increase in the consumption of compute and storage resources in the Google cloud that lags behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Snowflake, whose software stores a huge amount of data, supported Google’s cloud in 2019 before going public in 2020.

“We bring billions in sales to cloud providers, so they need us,” said Ghodsi in an interview earlier this month. “We are the killer app.” Businesses rely on Databricks to process many different types of data for use in applications or explored in data analysis tools like Google’s proprietary Looker.

Databricks and Google first discussed a collaboration two years ago. Ghodsi said he spoke to Kurian the week he joined Google, replacing former VMware CEO Diane Greene.

“Google will transform itself after joining,” said Ghodsi. “We even see the same team members we worked with before. Only the type of cadence and ability to execute has changed dramatically and it’s great to see.”

CapitalG, a corporate venture division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, participated in Databricks’ latest funding round announced earlier this month. Databricks had talks with CapitalG for over a year, Ghodsi said.

Databricks had annual sales of more than $ 425 million in fiscal 2021, up 75% year over year, Ghodsi said. According to LinkedIn, the company employs over 1,800 people.

SEE: Thomas Kurian from Google Cloud on the future of cloud computing

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