HPE buys MapR assets

HPE has scooped up the assets of MapR, the doomed Hadoop vendor, for an undisclosed sum.

MapR ran into severe business problems in its first fiscal 2020 quarter, with customer purchases  collapsing, and a potential investment round terminated. At the end of May 2019, MapR announced it had two weeks to find an investor or close down. That deadline was extended to July 3.

Since then, radio silence. Until today.

The HPE transaction includes MapR’s technology, intellectual property, and domain expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning and analytics and data management.The announcement does not mention MapR staff joining HPE.

HPE issued this quote from CEO Antonio Neri: “MapR’s file system technology enables HPE to offer a complete portfolio of products to drive artificial intelligence and analytics applications and strengthens our ability to help customers manage their data assets end to end, from edge to cloud.”

HPE will extend BlueData capabilities for stateful container-based applications with MapR. BlueData was bought by HPE in November last year. Its EPIC Big Data-as-a-service software runs large-scale distributed analytics and machine learning workloads in Docker containers.

By adding MapR technology to BlueData, data scientists and data analysts will be able to stitch together AI/ML and analytics data pipelines in minutes across on-premises, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud environments.

HPE will add ‘appropriate ‘MapR partners, meaning resellers, ISVs and system integrators, to its partner program.

The good old days

MapR was founded in 2009 by CEO John Schroeder to build a big data analytics business based on Hadoop technology. At its peak the company was valued more than $1bn. Total funding was $280m, collected in seven rounds, with the last raising $56m in September 2017.

The company developed a data platform for artificial intelligence and analytics applications powered by scale-out, multi-cloud and multi-protocol file system technology. The XD Distributed File and Object Store manages both structured and unstructured data.

MapR broadened its software technology to include artificial intelligence and machine learning and added Blockchain and Kubernetes container support. The software runs on-premises or in the AWS and Azure public clouds.

MapR Technologies allows for multiple workloads in the same environment and offers expansive APIs for easy access. It handles a variety of data types from files and streams to documents and multi-cloud and container support.


With fellow Hadoop analytics big data developer Cloudera also running into problems it is clear that the Hadoop era has run out of growth.

MapR Technologies is a unicorn that crashed to earth. The month-long pause since the July 3 deadline suggests that purchase negotiations for MapR’s business were involved and tortuous.

The lack of comment from MapR executives in HPE’s announcement is telling, and what it’s telling Blocks & Files is that relatively few MapR staff are joining HPE.

The development roadmap for MapR’s Data Platform will now be examined by HPE and, no doubt, re-evaluated.