How the Hortonworks/Cloudera merger shifts the Hadoop landscape

Strategic Alliance Executive, IBM Analytics

The Hadoop landscape looks a little different after Cloudera and Hortonworks’ recent announcement of a $5.2 billion merger.

According to the Hortonworks press release, “the combination establishes the industry standard for hybrid cloud data management, accelerating customer adoption, community development and partner engagement.” News outlets are already buzzing about the possibilities as seen in this CNBC video. 

As with all mergers, it will take time. The merger’s completion is slated for the first quarter of 2019 and, in the interim, the companies will continue to operate as two separate entities.

For many, the announcement was unexpected, as the two businesses had a rather public rivalry for years, but when you consider that cloud has been slowly encroaching on the Hadoop space, and both Hortonworks and Cloudera have had challenging revenue numbers, it starts to make sense.

Why Hortonworks and Cloudera are a good match

Hortonworks and Cloudera have much in common, with both companies focusing on offering their own secure Apache Hadoop distribution. In doing so, they have simplified the process of making use of Hadoop, which in its native form is not easy to use and lacks the features and functionality that larger enterprise companies require.

Both Cloudera and Hortonworks are market leaders in the Hadoop space. Hortonworks targets big data technologies and end-to-end data management, while Cloudera has focused more on data warehousing and machine learning. Having these combined capabilities will serve to broaden and strengthen the newly integrated portfolio of products, services and solutions.

Where IBM fits in

The merger is also good news for IBM. Over the past 10 years, IBM, Hortonworks and Cloudera have shaped the market for big data and analytics, and they will continue to do so. The existing IBM partnership with Hortonworks will extend to the newly merged company and the IBM/Hortonworks contract will ensure clients’ current investments are supported.

The addition of Cloudera will only improve the IBM and Hortonworks partnership, the success of which has already resulted in IBM being named Hortonworks Partner of the Year.

Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden made this clear:

"The IBM partnership is very important for us to maintain. We are going to be extremely committed to IBM and to make that a successful partnership."

That’s to be expected given, the strong synergy between the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP), Hortonworks Data Flow (HDF), IBM Big SQL, IBM Data Science Experience and other IBM/Hortonworks products, which work together to help customers achieve analytic results faster and at scale.

In addition, IBM recently announced the IBM Hosted Analytics with Hortonworks offering that combines the best from both companies in one solution. Hosted on the IBM Cloud, it is designed to store, explore and score big data. And as IBM products and services continue to evolve, they will be integrated into the evolving Hortonworks/Cloudera portfolio.

Good news for clients

The merger represents a new opportunity for IBM client organizations as well. Post-merger, collaboration between all parties will drive new “unity” products and solutions providing a number of advantages. These include a broader portfolio to choose from, greater cost competition, and entitlement to a future, unified Hortonworks/Cloudera platform for current IBM/Hortonworks customers.

The IBM and Hortonworks long-term contract covers our partnership for many years. Both IBM and Hortonworks will continue to sell and support Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and Hortonworks Data Flow (HDF). Hortonworks products will be supported for a minimum of 3 years or until the Hortonworks/Cloudera “unity” product(s) are available for upgrade.

We are excited about the future with the unified Hortonworks and Cloudera. We’re looking forward to how our partnership will benefit organizations through leadership in open source, hybrid data management, unified governance, data science, machine learning and AI. For more information on a joint IBM and Hortonworks offering you can own today, read our guide to IBM Hosted Analytics with Hortonworks.

You can also schedule a free, one-on-one consultation with our experienced data professionals and distinguished engineers who have helped thousands of clients build winning data management strategies.  Ask our IT pros.