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DataRobot-managed AI cloud now generally available

With the managed version of its cloud platform, the vendor will run machine learning projects for enterprises that don't want them on the public cloud.

DataRobot now offers enterprises the option for the vendor to manage their AI workloads and machine learning projects on its private cloud.

The AI vendor made its Dedicated Managed AI Cloud service generally available on Wednesday. The new service is a hosted version of the vendor's AI Cloud platform, introduced a year ago. It comes a month after DataRobot laid off 26% of its staff amid management turmoil and said it would restructure the organization.

The service builds on DataRobot's AI Cloud by offering enterprises the latest features of the service in a virtual private cloud managed by DataRobot experts, according to the vendor.

Advantages of both approaches

The Dedicated Managed AI Cloud provides enterprises with the best characteristics of cloud and on-premises deployments, said Bradley Shimmin, an analyst at Omdia.

It lets enterprises deploy AI workloads in their own data centers while still receiving the scalability and flexibility of the cloud without the challenge of managing projects in house, he said.

"I don't have to manage, set up and secure those resources," Shimmin said. "I don't have the downside of having to share those resources with other customers on a platform" like a public cloud.

The managed-cloud approach is also useful for enterprises concerned about security that still want cloud-level performance, he added.

"If you're a startup working in the financial sector, [this] kind of makes sense," he said. "If you're a gaming startup that's just making your game and you're not even working with customer data yet … you would either self-host it or you would go for the pure SaaS."

The need for options

The managed service can make AI operations easier for organizations by removing the burden of worrying about how many servers are required and maintaining them, said Mike Gualtieri, an analyst at Forrester Research.

If you're a startup working in the financial sector, [this] kind of makes sense.
Bradley ShimminAnalyst, Omdia

DataRobot is also catering to potential customers that are looking for options, he said.

"One of the big trends in cloud computing is hybrid cloud computing," Gualtieri said. This means enterprises are not only running their workloads on public clouds but also on premises. "It makes DataRobot more attractive because there's more deployment options."

While DataRobot did not provide pricing information for the Dedicated Managed AI Cloud, Gualtieri said the vendor should strive for a model that aligns with the consumption-based pricing of public cloud vendors like Google and AWS.

The vendor should also strengthen its edge AI strategy, he continued. "The models created in DataRobot -- how can they deploy those on the edge?"

The managed cloud is DataRobot's first product release since former CEO Dan Wright quit in July after reports that other executives sold company shares when sales projections were down. Former president and COO Debanjan Saha, who was interim CEO after Wright's departure, was appointed CEO on Sept. 20.

The once high-flying vendor, which raised more than $1 billion in venture capital since its founding in 2012, fired more than a quarter of its staff in August as part of an organizational restructuring. Earlier layoff rounds came in March and May 2020.

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