Hortonworks Expands Its Big Data Certification Options For Partners

Big data software provider Hortonworks has expanded its partner developer certification program, adding certifications in operations, security and governance for partners that develop software around the vendor's Hadoop-based platform.

Hortonworks said the move would accelerate growth of the Apache Hadoop ecosystem.

The additional certifications are in response to requests from development partners that want certification designations in specific capabilities, said John Kreisa, strategic marketing vice president at Hortonworks, in an interview.

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"We're seeing more partners moving into the program because of the certifications they can get and express the level of integration they have," he said.

Hortonworks' flagship product, the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP), is based on the open-source Apache Hadoop software. Partners, including ISVs, resellers and OEMs, develop applications that run on HDP and take advantage of its big data management capabilities.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has offered a developer certification program for some time, Kreisa said, with more than 100 software products already certified to work with HDP's APIs. Earlier this year, Hortonworks added a certification for ISVs working with YARN (Yet Another Resource Negotiator), the open-source resource management technology developed by the Apache Software Foundation as a Hadoop subproject.

The new HDP Operations Ready certification assures that applications can be run and managed on HDP from an operational perspective. More specifically, the applications are certified to work with Apache Ambari, the open-source toolset for provisioning, managing and monitoring Hadoop clusters.

The HDP Security Ready certification tests and validates applications to work with HDP's security-related components, including the Apache Knox gateway and Apache Ranger comprehensive security management system. The latter is based on technology Hortonworks acquired when it bought XA Secure in May.

The HDP Governance Ready certification guarantees that application data is integrated with the platform through automated and managed data pipelines as spelled out and facilitated by the Apache Falcon data workflow engine.

There are more than 400 ISV partners now in the Hortonworks program at various stages of certification, according to Kreisa. Microsoft System Center, Teradata Viewpoint, and products from VMware and Syncsort, for example, have already been certified as operations-ready to work with HDP, he said.

Hewlett-Packard is participating in the program as part of a strategic alliance the companies announced in July under which HP's HAVEn big data system is integrated with Hortonworks' HDP.

"Hortonworks is a close partner for us and is important for our HAVEn strategy," Chris Selland, HP's business development vice president for big data, said in an interview.

HP is participating in the Hortonworks certification program to align the two vendors' product road maps and integrate HP products with HDP to assure interoperability, Selland said. "It's about performance, it's about security [and] tighter integration." But he declined to provide details, saying it involved unannounced HP products.

Kreisa said the expanded certifications should bring more ISVs into the Hortonworks fold, expanding the company's ecosystem and providing it with a competitive advantage over other Hadoop distributions.

The certification program is linked to Hortonworks' partner program, which covers the company's systems integrator, reseller, ISV, OEM and training partners.