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Cloudera – the all-star Silicon Valley startup that first commercialized Hadoop – has announced a partner program designed to further push the open source distributed number-crunching platform into the enterprise.

"In order to present a comprehensive solution for the customer, with Hadoop as the underpinning new technology, you also need relationships across the industry. That's how you make a solution a complete solution," Cloudera chief operating officer Kirk Dunn tells The Register. "We're trying to make it easier for the customer to deploy Hadoop."

The Cloud Connect Partner program will certify third-party hardware and software for use with Cloudera's open source Hadoop distro and its for-pay enterprise incarnation of the platform, and it will distribute Cloudera software through authorized resellers and service providers. Dell Computer and data integration outfit Informatica are charter members of the program, and Dunn indicates that the Cloudera has already certified other big-name outfits.

Just last week, Dell introduced a pre-built Hadoop cluster based on Cloudera's software.

The program will also offer online training, seminars, engineering support, marketing support, and an online portal where both partners and customers can go to educate themselves on Hadoop. According to Dunn, this portal will include marketing presentations, technical presentations, videos, and other resources.

Hadoop is a means of processing large amounts of data across clusters of low-cost machines. Based on Google's GFS distributed file system and MapReduce distributed number-cruncher, the open source platform "maps" tasks across a collection of clusters, splitting them into tiny sub-tasks, before "reducing" the results into one master calculation. Hadoop was founded by Nutch crawler creator Doug Cutting, who named the project after his son's yellow stuffed elephant.

Cutting helped bootstrap the open source project while on the payroll at Yahoo!, but in 2009, he moved to Cloudera. Like other net giants – including Facebook and Twitter – Yahoo! uses Hadoop on its back-end, but like Cloudera, the struggling web giant also sees the platform making inroads across the enterprise. Earlier this summer, Yahoo! seeded a Cloudera competitor – known as HortonWorks – using its core Hadoop engineers.

Asked about HortonWorks arrival, Dunn gives the party line. "The awareness of Hadoop is getting bigger, and that's good for everyone," he says. According to Dunn, the Cloudera partner program has been the works for "six to nine" months. ®

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