Hortonworks, Teradata announce big data partnership

New meets old in Hadoop, business intelligence mashup

The principles of big data are well-grounded in the concepts of data warehousing and analysis that have been around for years, even decades. The names have changed, and some of the underlying technologies, but the idea of data management is still the pretty much the same: you gotta store it and you gotta figure out how to get at it. Everything in big data is just a variation on that theme.

A new combination of this theme is about to sound itself out today, with the announcement of a new partnership between commercial Apache Hadoop distributor Hortonworks and data analysis vendor Teradata.

Hortonworks has a lot of experience with Hadoop, even though it was just launched at the end of June of 2011. The company was co-founded by Arun Murthy and Eric Baldeschwieler, now Hortonworks' Architect and CEO, respectively, as well as several other members from Yahoo's Hadoop team, which was spun off into the separate commercial venture known as Hortonworks. To say Yahoo is a big player in the Hadoop space is an understatement on many levels: they are regarded as the world's largest deployer of Apache Hadoop, and Hadoop founder Doug Cutting, along Murthy and Baldeschwieler, worked with early Hadoop contributors while at Yahoo.

Murthy, it should be noted, is currently VP, Apache Hadoop at the Apache Software Foundation, which makes him the leader of the Hadoop project at this time. Today, Hortonworks' commercial mission is to provides their own Hadoop distribution as well as training, support, and deployment services.

Teradata comes from older stock. The Miamisburg, OH data-analysis company has a long history of data analysis experience, which is just the thing that businesses with Hadoop stores need: a way to get pertinent information out from those stores. And that history is long by anyone's standards, not just the hyper-speed standards of the Internet: the company was founded in 1979, practically the age of

Today's partnership will enable customers of both companies to leverage the other partner's strengths. Teradata clients will have access to all of Teradata's business intelligence tools and the commoditized storage infrastructure provided by a Hadoop storage infrastructure--and vice versa.

This partnership, from the big data point of view, is exactly the kind of relationship a company like Hortonworks needs. While Hadoop-based products are great for inexpensive and scalable storage, there is still the pervasive issue of mining that massive data and getting useful information out of it. There are a lot of Hadoop-friendly tools out there to do this, of course, but today's announcement formalizes a partnership between two of the larger players in the respective sectors of storage and analysis. Even though the partnership is reported to be non-exclusive, this should strengthen each of Hortonworks' and Teradata's core businesses with new customers looking to tap into business-driving data.

The timing of the announcement is pretty telling, too: it's just in time for the Strata 2012 conference next week in Santa Clara, CA. Clearly both companies are working on building their buzz before rolling into the conference halls next Tuesday.

Get ready, then, for more announcements to come, as members of the big data community start trying to out-buzz each other in the days ahead.

Read more of Brian Proffitt's Zettatag and Open for Discussion blogs and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Drop Brian a line or follow Brian on Twitter at @TheTechScribe. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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