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Old Big Data Cozies Up with New Big Data

Teradata has teamed up with Hortonworks so they can push Hadoop-leveraging Big Data analytics together

Teradata, once famous for massaging huge classical databases so Wal-Mart, say, could stock just so many navy blue whatevers, has teamed up with Hortonworks, the months-old Yahoo-spun off open source Apache Hadoop supporter, so they can push Hadoop-leveraging Big Data analytics together.

The old-line Big Data house already has an alliance with Cloudera, the first-to-market Hadoop commercializer, and if Teradata customers are absolutely positive they want Cloudera's Hadoop distribution they can get it from Teradata.

However, Teradata's new non-exclusive alliance with Hortonworks, which can out-credential its rivals, will give it more of an air of authenticity since a lot of the guys involved in getting Hortonworks off the ground built Hadoop for Yahoo, the code's originator, and the code that now underpins Facebook, Twitter and eBay.

Anyway, Cloudera's also in bed with Oracle.

The industry's newest pair is supposed to do joint R&D, support and marketing and deliver integrated enterprise architectures that tackle all aspects of Big Data processing including a set of reference architectures for data-crunching Hadoop clusters.

Teradata sees volumes of raw data being poured into Hadoop then passed to the Aster Data SQL-MapReduce analytics widgetry Teradata bought last year for refining and moving on to a Teradata Database where normal people, well, relatively normal people can consume it and draw inferences.

Having being collaborating for a while, they already have connectors for Hadoop to Aster and Hadoop to Teradata's Database as well as back again so Hadoop can store data.

The pair said "businesses will be able to quickly load and refine multi-structured data" - such as weblogs, text and customer interaction data - "some of which is being discarded today, for discovery and analytics."

Teradata takes the position that Hadoop, over and above being crotchety to set up, deploy and manage, has confused everybody.

Tasso Argyros, co-president of what is now Teradata Aster, blogged that "It is usually not clear what use cases apply to traditional technologies versus new; how to reconcile existing technologies with new investments; and what type of projects will provide the highest ROI versus a long and painful failure. Teradata and Teradata Aster...want to earn the trust to advise our customers on how to use complementary solutions, like Hadoop - and make sure that the total solution works and reliably succeeds in tackling big business problems."

He says, "Our goal is to NOT let even one enterprise customer fail with a Big Data project. We have enough collective experience to guide customers to avoid failed projects and traps."

This is where Hortonworks comes in. It's supposed to explain the role of Hadoop in the data center, and how Hadoop technologies can bring value to the enterprise.

The New York Times observes that the alliance "to the extent that it adds credibility and exposure to both Teradata and Hortonworks it is likely to lead to a thinning out of the number of different players, and squelch the likelihood that different and incompatible types of Hadoop will evolve" since enterprise customers want a stable and open Hadoop.

Hortonworks has previously projected that in five years or less more than half the world's data will be stored in Apache Hadoop.

By the way, Hortonworks, which has designs on being the Hadoop market leader - and the tie-up with Teradata should broaden its customer footprint - confirmed that its initial CEO Eric Baldeschwieler, the former VP of software engineering for the Hadoop team at Yahoo, has been replaced by COO Rob Bearden, previously COO of both SpringSource and JBoss, two successful (and ultimately acquired) commercial open source companies, who was handling Hortonworks' business side.

He's supposed to be good at making open source operations ultimately turn a buck.

Baldeschwieler is now CTO and Baldeschwieler's hires, VP of engineering Mark Himelstein and VP of customer support Marko Nicosia, are reportedly gone.

According to GigaOm the start-up has collected $50 million in VC backing, a number we couldn't get it to confirm.

Microsoft has got Hortonworks helping with its Hadoop-relieved SQL Server 2012 and Hadoop on Azure.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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