Overall, a customer's database environment could be compared to a wedding cake, he added. In this scenario, Hadoop would sit at the widest bottom layer, crunching large data pools to find the "needles in the haystack," or actual information of value. Those needles would then be fed into IQ for further analysis, and potentially to an even faster system like HANA, he said.
"We're saying there's a place for both, and let customers use them where they make sense."
One expert took a measured view of Sybase's announcement.
"There's a lot of goodness here, but it's just not enough. There's nothing terribly differentiating about any of this," said Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus. Other vendors such as EMC's Greenplum division are further along the trail, according to Kobielus.
That said, Sybase will undoubtedly build on these initial features later on, he added.
Missing pieces include Sybase's own distribution of Hadoop, advanced MapReduce modeling tools or support for Hadoop sub-projects like the Pig programming framework, he said.
A Hadoop distribution would give Sybase "greater control over the full stack in terms of performance."
Overall, Hadoop and MapReduce don't necessarily address anything you can't also do now with a high-end, massively parallel data warehousing system, but "it's on a roll in terms of adoption" with "a vibrant ecosystem of vendors," Kobielus said. "It's getting to the point where it's the Linux of Big Data."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com