The Apache Software Foundation's Hadoop technology could find a wider audience after today's launch of a Hadoop-based system from Hortonworks, a startup backed by Yahoo that's also a leading contributor to Apache Hadoop projects.
Hortonworks unveiled a technology preview of the Hortonworks Data Platform Tuesday in an effort to recruit systems integrators, ISVs and OEMs to adopt the software. The company expects to release a broader public technology preview of the platform in the first quarter of 2012 followed by its general availability.
"The goal is to build a huge ecosystem around Hadoop," said Hortonworks CEO Eric Baldeschwieler in an interview. While the company will be making the Hortonworks Data Platform available directly, the CEO said Hortonworks' more immediate focus is making the technology available through the channel.
The company also debuted the Hortonworks Technology Partner Program, through which it will offer technical support and training for ISVs and solution providers, and the Hortonworks System Integrator Program to provide support, training and certification for systems integrators.
Hortonworks was established in July by Yahoo and Benchmark Capital to promote the development and adoption of Hadoop, an open-source framework for developing distributed, compute-intensive applications that analyze huge volumes of data. The software was originally developed by Doug Cutting, a then-Yahoo employee who is now the Apache Software Foundation's chairman.
Baldeschwieler said Apache Hadoop will be processing as much as 50 percent of the world's data within five years.
Hortonworks is following Red Hat's Linux business model, offering the Hortonworks Data Platform as a free product and selling contracts for support, training and other services. The company also develops technology that extends Apache Hadoop, including a set of application programming interfaces for ISVs for integrating it with third-party tools.
The Hortonworks Hadoop distribution includes the Hadoop Distributed File System, HCatalog metadata management service, Ambari installation and management system, HBase distributed database, and the Pig development platform, among other technologies.
Hadoop has traditionally run more effectively on Linux. Last month Hortonworks announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft under which the two companies are working to improve distributions of Hadoop for Windows Server and Windows Azure and to integrate Hadoop with Microsoft's SQL Server database.
Hortonworks will be competing with Cloudera and other companies that offer Hadoop-based software and services.