Hortonworks Lets Partners Get Hands-On With Hadoop

The move comes a week after the company launched Hortonworks Data Platform 1.2, the latest release of its Hadoop distribution.

"This is a partner-enabler," said John Kreisa, Hortonworks marketing vice president, in an interview, referring to the Hortonworks sandbox release. "Channels are a huge strategy for us."

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The sandbox is a free, hands-on learning environment for businesses, ISVs and Hortonworks partners who want to evaluate Apache Hadoop -- the open-source system Hortonworks is based on -- and learn how to work with it, according to the company. Users can access demos, videos and hands-on tutorials through the sandbox, according to Hortonworks, and learn how to work with Hadoop projects such as the Apache Pig scripting language, Apache Hive query software, Apache HCatalog metadata services and Apache HBase nonrelational database.

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The sandbox, which users download to their own systems, was constructed using a virtualized, single-node implementation of the Hortonworks Data Platform 1.2. The tutorials were developed by Hortonworks' training team.

"It's not an inconsequential infrastructure installation," Kreisa said of Hadoop, adding that the sandbox offering is part of his company's efforts to expand Hadoop's adoption rate in the marketplace.

"A lot of IT professionals need to have their first hands-on experience with Hadoop," said Philip Russom, a research director at The Data Warehousing Institute, in a statement.

The Hortonworks Data Platform 1.2 "represents a strong push toward enterprise readiness," said Jim Walker, Hortonworks' product marketing director, in an interview.

A key enhancement in the new release is the inclusion of the latest release of Apache Ambari, the cluster management technology that also helps IT managers monitor the performance of Hadoop systems and identify the cause of performance bottlenecks and other operational issues.

The new release also provides improved security and multithreaded query for Hive, and enhancements to the platform's HBase and HCatalog components. Also included in Hortonworks for the first time is Apache Mahout, the open-source machine learning algorithms.