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Cloudera plugs Oracle into Google's bastard grid child

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Cloudera — the commercial Hadoop outfit — has teamed with Oracle-tools shop Quest Software to offer an Oracle connector for its stuffed-elephant distro.

The connector — which moves data between Oracle and Hadoop — will be available from both the Cloudera and Quest websites. As part of the new partnership between the two companies, Quest will also offer free downloads of the Cloudera distro.

Based on research papers describing Google’s proprietary software infrastructure, the open source Hadoop platform is a means of crunching epic amounts of data across a network of distributed machines. Named for the yellow stuffed elephant belonging to the son of project founder Doug Cutting, the platform underpins online services operated by everyone from Yahoo! and Facebook to — believe it or not — Microsoft.

Codenamed "Ora-Oop," the new open source connector from Cloudera and Quest connects Oracle and Cloudera’s Hadoop distro — known as Cloudera's Distribution for Hadoop, or CDH — via an interface that allows for bidirectional data transfers. It supports Oracle data types and table variants.

Cloudera already offers a Hadoop connector for relational databases known as SQOOP. It supports SequenceFile and text-based targets, and it includes certain performance enhancements for loading data from MySQL.

Hadoop mimics GFS, Google's distributed file system, and MapReduce, Mountain View's distributed number-crunching platform. In 2004, Google published a pair of research papers on these back-end technologies, and Doug Cutting used these papers to build a platform that would back Nutch, his open source web crawler. Hadoop was open sourced at Apache, and it was gestated with ample help from Yahoo!, which hired Cutting in 2006.

Cutting — also known for developing Lucene, the open source retrieval library — is now with Cloudera, an outfit that applies the Red Hat model to the Hadoop platform. You can download the company's Hadoop distro here.

Google recently won a patent on MapReduce, but it has agreed to grant a license to Hadoop. Mountain View uses Hadoop as a kind of teaching tool, a means of preparing potential hires for its Big Data ways. ®

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