Hadoop, though, needs to be spruced up with third-party support and also faces a knowledge gap, impeding its growth, Baldeschwieler said. "That's our opportunity and our role and our aspirations -- to really bridge the gap and make Apache Hadoop much easier to install, use, and manage in companies around the world." Hortonworks will sell training and support and make Hadoop better, taking on such tasks as opening up APIs and improving administration, management, availability, and robustness, he said.
Jay Rossiter, senior vice president for Yahoo's Y! cloud platform group, said Hadoop is not quite mainstream but is getting there, with governments and companies involved in areas like the Web and finance adopting it. Yahoo starting developing Hadoop about five years ago as a research project, Rossiter said at the event. Besides Yahoo, companies like IBM have used it: IBM leveraged Hadoop in the Watson computer system recently featured on the "Jeopardy" TV game show.
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