Feeds

Open source Hadoop engineers may spin off from Yahoo!

Hooligans could birth stuffed elephant startup

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Yahoo! may spin off its Hadoop engineering division, creating a startup offering support and services around the open-source distributed number-crunching platform, according to a report citing people familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Yahoo! is "weighing" a Hadoop spin-off and that Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark Capital has discussed the possibility with the company. Such a startup – in which Yahoo! would retain a stake – would compete with the likes of Cloudera, the Northern California startup founded by an all-star lineup of former Yahoo!, Google, Oracle, and Facebook employees.

Asked to comment on the report, a company spokeswoman told us: "Hadoop has been and will continue to be an important area of investment for Yahoo!. We are currently exploring options to increase investment to further benefit the Hadoop community. We will share more details as appropriate."

Based on research papers describing two of Google's proprietary back-end software platforms – GFS, its distributed file system, and MapReduce, the number-crunching piece – Hadoop was founded by Doug Cutting, a developer once known for the Lucene open-source retrieval library. He is now known for Hadoop. And his son is known for lending the name of his yellow stuffed elephant to the project.

Cutting started the project for use with Nutch, his open-source web crawler, but he was soon hired by Yahoo!, and the project – open-sourced at Apache – has grown into a much larger stuffed elephant.

It's now used behind the scenes not only at Yahoo!, but also at such names as Facebook, eBay, and Twitter. Yahoo! is still the project's largest contributor – at least according to Yahoo! – but in 2009, Cutting left for Cloudera, which has helped bring the platform to the enterprise. Cloudera now provides support, services, and software for about 90 customers running the platform. The startup offers its own open-source Hadoop distro as well as a for-pay enterprise incarnation of the platform.

Yahoo! once offered its own distro – based on the version of the platform it uses on its own servers – but recently, in an effort to simplify the Hadoop landscape, it discontinued this Yahooligan offering. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.