Hadoop Vendors Recruit More Partners in Big Data War

Hortonworks Inc. and MapR Technologies Inc. -- two of the leading vendors of Hadoop-based distributions -- this week announced partnerships to enhance their Big Data analytics offerings.

The two companies are often described with Cloudera Inc. as the top three players in the Hadoop space. They take different approaches with their distributions based on the open source Apache Hadoop technology, however, as the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) is completely open source and MapR sells a framework with its own proprietary enhancements. They have all been trading partnership announcements back and forth as the burgeoning Big Data market shakes itself out.

In the latest, Hortonworks today announced a strategic partnership with Hewlett-Packard Co. in which the companies will meld the HDP with the HAVEn Big Data platform from HP, which is investing $50 million as part of the deal.

"HP and Hortonworks have committed to integrate their engineering strategies and deepen their existing go-to-market collaboration, enabling HP customers to deploy the HDP as the Hadoop component of HP HAVEn," the companies said in a statement. "HP will also work to certify HP Vertica with Apache Hadoop YARN, the architectural center of Hadoop 2.0."

The Big Data wars.
[Click on image for larger view.] The Big Data War.
(source: Forrester Wave report, made available by MapR)

MapR, meanwhile, just two days earlier announced a pact with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS), a company that provides IT, business process, engineering and assurance services through the Global Network Delivery Model software development initiative.

The partnership will combine several TCS data analytics and data management products with the MapR Distribution for Apache Hadoop that features enterprise-grade enhancements such as advanced disaster recovery, security, real-time file access, hyperscalability and support. The various TCS tools provide sensor data analytics, a unified view of internal and external data, migration between Hadoop and enterprise data sources, archival Hadoop storage, and a desktop Hadoop cluster management tool.

This week's announcements are the latest in a trend of Hadoop distributors securing financing deals and strategic technology partnerships. In fact, the new deals were almost mirror images of other agreements announced in the past month, with the Hadoop companies trading consulting/technology pacts with financing agreements.

Hortonworks earlier this month formalized its own alliance with a technology consulting firm, Accenture Ltd. About a week earlier, MapR had announced completion of $110 million in financing, led by Google Capital's $80 million investment. With both of the financing agreements, an executive from the major investor has joined the board of directors of their respective Hadoop distribution partners.

Cloudera hasn't been sitting still, either. On the same day of the Hortonworks/Accenture signing, Cloudera announced its own consultancy-related agreement, this one with Capgemini. The Cloudera Enterprise data management platform is being bundled with Capgemini service and support to offer two new products: an Enterprise Data Hub Accelerator to help companies execute their initial forays into Big Data and a "Data Science-as-a-Service" that provides the Cloudera platform with "anticipatory intelligence services." Cloudera's Hadoop distribution is open source, but it's bundled with other native components in various offerings.

On the monetary investment side, Cloudera this spring made waves with a whopping $900 million round of multi-partner financing.

As reported last spring, the recent moves reflect the companies' continuing struggle for financial success in what a Forrester Research Inc. analyst described as a "cutthroat market."

Of course, in addition to service and technical partnerships and financing, performance is likely to be an equally important differentiator among the three leading Hadoop distributions. For a detailed technical benchmark comparison of the respective offerings, Altoros Systems Inc. last year published an analysis available for download after registration.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.