VMware's vSphere virtualization platform now supports Apache Hadoop in a move that will allow businesses to deploy the "Big Data" software in private and public cloud environments and overcome several of Hadoop's shortcomings in scalability and security.
The vSphere support, announced at the 2012 Hadoop Summit that starts today in San Jose, should help spur mainstream adoption of Hadoop by making it easier to deploy and manage the Big Data platform and scale it in virtual and cloud environments.
Hadoop is an open-source platform for developing and deploying distributed, data-intensive applications that help businesses manage and analyze an ever-growing volume and variety of information. Hadoop is a development project managed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), and the software is freely distributed under an open-source license.
"It's fair to say that Hadoop has some challenges," said Fausto Ibarra, VMware senior director of product management, in an interview. He noted that Hadoop today has limitations with elasticity, high-availability, security and multi-tenancy, and that it can take a fair amount of expertise to properly deploy and manage it.
Hadoop, for example, has single points of failure in that if a single node in a Hadoop cluster fails, the entire cluster will shut down.
"It's hard to say that Hadoop is mainstream," Ibarra said. Support from vSphere should "help make Hadoop ready for primetime."
VMware is providing the vSphere support for Hadoop under an open-source effort called "Project Serengeti." Users obtain a free deployment toolkit under the Apache 2.0 license to deploy a Hadoop cluster on vSphere. VMware will continue to work with the ASF and make code contributions to the organization that Ibarra said will improve Hadoop's performance on vSphere.
VMware is also offering a white paper and reference architecture to help IT organizations deploy Hadoop on vSphere.
VMware vSphere support for Hadoop also could be a boon to the vendor's channel partners, Ibarra said, by making it easier for them to provide Hadoop-related services to their customers.
In April VMware acquired Cetas Software, a developer of Big Data analytics technology.