Intel Ditches Hadoop Distribution And Partners With Cloudera

Intel is to team up with Cloudera in order to develop a Hadoop-based big data platform.

That platform will utilise Cloudera’s software capabilities, as well as Intel’s hardware expertise.

Distro Closure

The move also means that Intel will shut down its own Hadoop distribution, which the chip maker released a year ago as a way of extending the reach of its software business and an avenue for selling more of its silicon into systems.

In addition, Intel also is making what officials called “a significant equity investment” in Cloudera that will make the chip maker Cloudera’s largest strategic shareholder and give it a seat on the software maker’s board of directors. Neither company would say how much Intel Capital – the chip vendor’s investment arm – is making in Cloudera, though VentureBeat cited an anonymous source as saying it could be more than $90 million (£54m).

However much it is, Intel officials said it represents the company’s largest data centre technology investment in its history. The announcement comes a week after Cloudera unveiled a round of $160 million (£92m) in investments led by T. Rowe price, Google Ventures and MSD Capital, Michael Dell’s investment firm.

The deal could prove a boon for both vendors. Intel will immediately be able to expand its capabilities in big data by utilising Cloudera’s more established Hadoop distribution and big data expertise, while the software maker will be able to take advantage of Intel’s massive technological and sales resources to grow its reach in the market. Intel’s x86-based Xeon chips can be found in more than 90 percent of servers.

For customers, the partnership will bring together Intel’s significant hardware capabilities and Cloudera’s big data software products “to build a world-class, enterprise-ready platform that everybody can build their big data solutions from,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a video statement.

All Sizes

Right now much of the big data work is being done by larger organisations, according to the companies. A key goal of the deal is to help grow the adoption of big data solutions by companies of all sizes.

“By aligning the Cloudera and Intel roadmaps, we are creating the platform of choice for big data analytics,” Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Center Group, said in a statement, noting that the partnership will touch on every part of Intel’s data centre portfolio, from computers and networks to security, storage and the Internet of things (IoT). “We expect to accelerate industry adoption of the Hadoop data platform and enable companies to mine their data for insights that inform the business.”

As part of the deal, Cloudera will optimise its Hadoop platform for Intel’s architecture – using the architecture as its preferred platform – and support upcoming technologies from the chip maker, including fabrics, flash memory and security. Intel will help promote and sell Cloudera’s big data software and its Cloudera Enterprise as the chip maker’s preferred Hadoop platform. Intel also will throw engineering and marketing resources behind the effort.

In addition, Intel will integrate what it’s done in its own Hadoop distribution into Cloudera’s platform after the release of v3.1 at the end of this month, and the two vendors will jointly work on a migration plan to move those Intel Hadoop customers onto the Cloudera solution.

Growing Focus

Big data is becoming a growing focus for businesses and vendors as the amount of data being generated continues to increase. That growth will only continue to skyrocket as the numbers of sources of data – from mobile devices to sensors to Internet-connected systems – rapidly rises, in part due to the growing IoT. In a keynote at Oracle’s Industry Connect conference 25 March in Boston, Oracle President Mark Hurd noted that in 2012, there were 9 billion connected devices, and that by 2020, that number will reach 50 billion. In addition, Hurd said there has been a 90 percent growth in data over the last two years, and that it will grow 50 times by 2020.

The challenge for businesses is being able to access the useful data, and then leveraging that data to make good and fast businesses decisions.

“Most of the data that’s being created will be … absolutely worthless,” Hurd said. “But there will be pearls.”

In his video statement, Intel’s Krzanich said industries from health care to financial services to the sciences are being inundated by data that is being pulled from multiple sources and assembled and analysed.

“All this research is being done in a much more complex and faster realm than before using big data solutions,” he said.

The partnership with Intel will give Cloudera a platform on which to offer the software maker’s solutions, according to Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly.

Hadoop has changed the entire conversation around data,” Reilly said in a statement. “Based on our ability to store, process and analyze all kinds of data, increasingly in new ways, the potential for advances in business, social and economic environments are vast. … Intel’s vision for delivering open, performance optimised solutions for big data is synergistic to our vision to help companies accelerate time to achieving success.”

Think you know all about Big Data? Try our quiz for size!

Originally published on eWeek.

Originally published on eWeek.

Jeffrey Burt

Jeffrey Burt is a senior editor for eWEEK and contributor to TechWeekEurope

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