The UK operation of Silicon Valley big-data specialist WANdisco has extended its Hadoop deployment with British Gas for another three years.
The new deal is worth $750,000 (£498,000) and is the listed firm's largest big-data deal to date, against first-half earnings of $5m.
David Richards, chief executive of WANdisco, said Hadoop technology is increasingly seen as critical for enterprise big-data projects.
"Enlarging our footprint with existing customers such as British Gas, in addition to gathering new customers, is a very important part of our strategy. This deal clearly demonstrates our ability to expand a small initial big-data deployment into a much larger deal," he confirmed.
The three-year contract is an extension of a trial deployment of WANdisco's Non-Stop Hadoop for Hortonworks at British Gas announced in March 2014.
The solution is now going into live production, with the data volumes to be managed more than doubled. Real-time analytics will be applied to British Gas's connected homes programme, with a view to matching gas supply dynamically with patterns of consumer demand.
The initial 100-node Hadoop cluster deployment enabled real-time data capture from about a million household smart meters, with a view to saving money in data storage and processing as well as minimising data loss and downtime.
"WANdisco was able to demonstrate performance and scale that otherwise could not have been achieved," according to the related London Stock Exchange announcement.
Just before Christmas, the firm also announced it had won a three-year $475,000 Non-Stop Hadoop deal with retailer marketing and loyalty development specialist Dunnhumby – known for its work with Tesco Clubcard – to help the latter support its analysis of retail customers.
November saw it announce a customer-transaction analytics deal with a major US-based credit card company for $250,000 per year.
Matt Aslett, research director for data platforms and analytics at 451 Research, said at the time that products such as Non-Stop Hadoop can boost the adoption of Hadoop in live analytic environments.
"We anticipate increased demand for technologies that enable Hadoop to support mission-critical operational workloads," he wrote.
Following today's announcement, TechMarketView analyst Angela Eager noted that organisations are not prepared to take big data promises on trust. "They want proof of value before committing heavily to this area of technology – which is why 2013-14 was a a period for proof-of-concept activity.
"The hope is that 2015 will see many of those convert to enterprise implementations."
However, Eager also noted that WANdisco's losses have been mounting and cash burn increasing. These "welcome signs of momentum" on the big-data side were coming at a cost, she warned.
British Gas has been looking to replace its legacy enterprise database technology due to its high cost, lack of functionality and inability to handle the large volumes and variety of data required for new big-data applications with continuous availability, according to WANdisco.
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