Accelerating AI with an Open, Modern Data Lakehouse

Accelerating AI with an Open, Modern Data Lakehouse

Authored by Greg Findlen, Senior Vice President of Product Management of Data Management, Dell Technologies

Last October, I wrote about the challenges that prevent organizations from fully unlocking the potential of AI to drive business outcomes. Since then, the continued rise of AI has shone an even brighter light on one of the most critical ingredients to a successful AI strategy: an AI-ready data platform. 

In a landscape fraught with decentralized data, legacy systems, data sovereignty concerns and cloud-native applications that only operate on data in the clouds, organizations continue to struggle. Research from Boston Consulting Group found that among more than 50% of data leaders, architectural complexity is a major pain point—forcing organizations into significant complexity, generating avoidable costs and losing critical time to value. 

Data practitioners are facing formidable challenges. Traditional data warehouses confine data within proprietary formats, hindering universal access. Data lakes lack reliability and governance and don’t performance well. And two-tier architectures offer two suboptimal choices: either use high quality but old data from a warehouse or use fresh but unreliable data from a lake. The emergence of data lakehouses aims to reconcile these issues, yet choices remain insufficient. Cloud solutions require migration and are cost prohibitive at scale. On-prem solutions are bogged down by legacy and proprietary technology. And open source, while innovative, entails high integration costs. 

IT teams are struggling too. Consolidating disparate data sources into a single source of truth is a never-ending effort. Managing a proliferating array of data infrastructure tools strains resources. The complexity of overseeing multiple components underscores the need for simplicity. 

Clearly, customers deserve a better answer. And just like I said before, one that works with their data gravity and not against it. One that brings simplicity and accelerates time to value. 

Today marks an exciting milestone because we’re delivering on our promise with the general availability of the Dell Data Lakehouse. This new offering provides customers a fully integrated data platform built on Dell AI-optimized hardware and a full-stack software suite, powered by Starburst's powerful and innovative query engine.   

“As Dell continues to lead the charge in storage and compute innovation, Starburst proudly offers its high-performance data lakehouse analytics offering & expertise. Just as Dell's storage technology forms the foundation of the data lake, Starburst serves as the dynamic lakehouse engine, harmonizing data into actionable insights,” said Justin Borgman, Chief Executive Officer, Starburst. “Together, we emerge as the Dell Data Lakehouse powered by Starburst and ready to redefine the landscape of data management and analytics”.  

Five Key Promises of the Dell Data Lakehouse 

As we discussed in October, our vision for an open, modern data lakehouse includes key components to help our customers tackle their greatest data challenges. The Dell Data Lakehouse delivers on five key promises: 

Eliminate data silos. Enhance data exploration with secure, federated querying, powered by Starburst, accelerating time to insights by up to 90%1 and revealing usage patterns that enable smarter data centralization into the data lakehouse. 

Unleash performance at scale. With a distributed, massively parallelized engine running on tailor-made infrastructure that separates compute and storage, achieve unparalleled performance that scales as your needs grow. 

Take control of your data. 100% open format driven and future-ready with modern industry standards such as file formats like Parquet, Avro, ORC and table formats like Iceberg and Delta Lake. Built-in data governance helps you remain in control of your data and empowers you to navigate evolving landscapes with confidence and clarity. 

Democratize insights. Give your data team self-service access so they can create high quality data products fostering a culture of collaboration and exploration to move your business forward. Integrate with a wide ecosystem of tools such as BI, AI and ML tools, enabling a wider reach for innovation across the organization. 

One simplified platform. Designed to streamline deployment, lifecycle management and support services, this turnkey solution encompassing compute, software and storage components delivers a cost-effective and predictable outlay versus cloud-based options. Dell Data Analytics Engine enables 3x faster time to insight at half the cost of other comparable technologies.2 Dell ECS storage can save up to 76% in total cost of ownership versus public cloud offers.3 And finally, Dell Lakehouse System Software can deliver significant operational savings by reducing   manual effort across the lifecycle. 

This technology, coupled with Dell Services, helps organizations accelerate AI outcomes at every stage. Leverage trusted experts from Dell Technologies, named among Forbes 2023 World's Best Management Consulting Firms, to align a winning strategy, validate data sets quickly, implement your data platform and maintain secure, optimized operations. 

The next generation of AI will require organizations to adopt new architectures for their data platform. We believe that platform should be an open, modern data lakehouse that serves as a highly secure, single point of access to all data. The powerful combination of Dell Data Analytics Engine with compute (PowerEdge), object storage (ECS, ObjectScale and PowerScale) and Professional Services gives organizations the ability to set the foundation for a high-performance, scalable data platform for the AI era. 

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