Big data mergers: the elephant has left the room
Data management

Big data mergers: the elephant has left the room

In 2014, at the peak of the big data boom, 3,200 people attended a San Jose summit dedicated to the technology at its centre: Hadoop. Embodied by an ever-cheerful yellow elephant, Hadoop was the principal focus of its two poster child companies, HortonWorks and Cloudera. But in 2018, the conference dropped reference to Hadoop all together and six months ago, HortonWorks and Cloudera merged and did the same.

"We don't reference Hadoop at all when we talk about our capability," says Stephen Line, VP of EMEA for Cloudera.

While some observers have seen the merger, and the shift in emphasis away from Hadoop, as a result of businesses struggling to achieve value from big data-style technology, others see these events as signs of maturity in the market.

Complementary features

Line says the merger was justified because of a certain commonality in the two code-bases, and complementary features built around Hadoop. While Hortonworks has emphasised data infrastructure, with its DataPlane Service, Cloudera has been building machine learning and artificial intelligence features to improve data scientists' productivity.

"Since the merger was announced we have signed up 145 new enterprise customers, suggesting they understand the reasons behind it," he says.

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Lindsay Clark

Lindsay Clark is a freelance journalist specialising in business IT, supply chain management, procurement and business transformation. He has worked as news editor at Computer Weekly and several other leading trade magazines. He has also written for The Guardian, The Financial Times and supplements to The Times. 

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