Hortonworks feathers nest with IBM deal

IBM BigInsights users migrating to Hadoop-flinger’s HDP

By Rebecca Hill


IBM has slipped a ring on Hortonworks' finger – offering the Hadoop distributor access to a potentially lucrative market.

The corporate love-in between the founders of the Open Data Platform Initiative will see Big Blue adopt HDP for its Hadoop distribution, with existing users of its data analytics software platform BigInsights set to migrate to Hortonworks Data Platform.

The move signals a further divide between Hortonworks and its competitor Cloudera, which had previously been jilted by IBM.

Back in 2015 Cloudera refused to sign up to the Hadoop interoperability program known as the ODPi – with boss Doug Cutting questioning whether it was really part of the open-source community – and got crossed off IBM's Christmas card list in the process.

"Once we committed in 2015 to an open distribution based on ODPi, the work with Cloudera came to a natural close," an IBM spokesperson told The Reg. "Cloudera chose not to support ODPi, and customers are looking for openness, like that provided by players like Hortonworks."

And, despite a lack of backing from heavyweight Hadoop flingers MapR and Cloudera, the ODPi continued on, while Hortonworks and IBM increased their partnership.

IBM confirmed in February that it was making Hortonworks available for its Elastic Storage Server and Spectrum Scale products, and earlier this week the pair announced a data ingest, stream processing and analytics platform, Hortonworks DataFlow, for IBM Power Systems.

The latest deal, billed as a way of helping businesses better analyse and manage their data, will see IBM fully integrate HDP with its Data Science Experience (DSX) and Machine Learning platforms.

The collaboration involves plans to develop a package that integrates HDP with IBM Big SQL, which the pair claim will give Hortonworks clients "a familiar method of managing their data".

As a result, Hortonworks should get much greater access to the data science and machine learning markets, not to mention bagging the firm access to IBM's customer base.

This could give Hortonworks an inside track over its competitors, because organisations are less likely to switch allegiances between Hadoop distributors.

Rob Bearden, CEO at Hortonworks, claimed in a canned statement that IBM's data science and Hortonworks' open and connected data platforms will "benefit not only our respective clients, but also the Apache open-source community because of our combined investment and collaboration".

According to Zion Market Research, the Global Hadoop space will swell to $87.14bn by 2022, up from the $7.69bn recorded in 2016. ®

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