October 4, 2011

Cloudera versus Hortonworks

A few weeks ago I wrote:

The other big part of Hortonworks’ story is the claim that it holds the axe in Apache Hadoop development.


… just how dominant Hortonworks really is in core Hadoop development is a bit unclear. Meanwhile, Cloudera people seem to be leading a number of Hadoop companion or sub-projects, including the first two I can think of that relate to Hadoop integration or connectivity, namely Sqoop and Flume. So I’m not persuaded that the “we know this stuff better” part of the Hortonworks partnering story really holds up.

Now Mike Olson — CEO of my client Cloudera — has posted his analysis of the matter, in response to an earlier Hortonworks post asserting its claims. In essence, Mike argues:

I think Hortonworks likes to make the argument “But our contributions, on average, are more important than Cloudera’s contributions.” That claim perhaps aside, Cloudera’s argument looks persuasive.

Anyhow, the main bases for deciding whose enterprise support for Hadoop to buy — Cloudera’s or Hortonworks’ — are probably:


6 Responses to “Cloudera versus Hortonworks”

  1. Leon Katsnelson on October 5th, 2011 11:21 am

    it is really disheartening to see this pissing war between two really important players in the Hadoop space. Hadoop is in its very nascent stage and there is a great risk of it being hijacked by Oracle and have them marginalize the technology to protect their DBMS franchise http://freedb2.com/2011/10/04/oracle-nosql-hadoop-and-the-cloud-something-borrowed-something-new/.
    Cloudera, HortonWorks, IBM etc. should be working together to popularize Hadoop as a Big Data solution or risk having Oracle turn it in to an ETL tool for Oracle databases.

  2. Eric Baldeschwieler on October 6th, 2011 11:30 pm

    Hi Curt,

    We’re responded to mike’s post here:


    I think it is a pretty open and shut case. Happy to talk with you about it.


  3. Curt Monash on October 7th, 2011 8:21 am

    Hi Eric,

    I don’t think it much matters who deserves brownie points for funding an open source project in the past or present. Rather, I’m concerned about which products/technologies one should adopt and which organization(s) one should do business with to meet one’s objectives.

    Thus, I see Hortonworks’ claims of having made a large share of the Apache Hadoop contributions as being most interesting when building credibility for some other business argument. The example of that most on my mind is “Give us money for support, because we’re the guys who REALLY know this stuff.” A partnership/porting deal — e.g. to a specific hardware stack — would be a different (or perhaps overlapping) case in which such evidence was relevant.

    I think Cloudera’s way of allocating contributions is more relevant to most of those discussions than yours is. I think you’re on more solid ground when you raise the point that not all contributions are equal in weight.

  4. Dianna Doan on October 12th, 2011 5:55 pm

    Actually, Datameer contributed the most code (tongue in cheek) to Hadoop. Read the story here http://bit.ly/qXcQJh

  5. Is IBM Taking Its Hadoop Case To The Streets? | BigDataOnCloud + FreeDB2 on October 14th, 2011 4:16 pm

    […] more to the open source but is this such an important criteria? If we were to judge by the sparing between Cloudera and Hortonworks we would conclude that it is. I personally think that what really matters is bringing legitimacy […]

  6. Execution for IT vendors: a worksheet | Strategic Messaging on January 30th, 2012 1:23 pm

    […] all just becomes more true in the open source world, where the software itself is commonly […]

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