Cloudera Partners with SGI as the Hadoop Market Shapes Up


Today Cloudera and technical computing services company SGI will announce a reseller partnership. According to SGI Director of Product Marketing Sunny Sundstrom, SGI has been providing Apache Hadoop related services since the earliest days of Hadoop. In fact, the company claims to have deployed tens of thousands of Hadoop servers. Ed Albanese, head of business development at Cloudera, describes the partnership between the SGI and Cloudera as “a bit overdue.”

SGI will sell customized, pre-configured Hadoop cluster stacks including hardware, software (SGI will offer both Cloudera’s Distribution including Apache Hadoop and Cloudera Enterprise) and support. “Customers like to have a single number to call for support,” says Albanese. Customers will be able to contact Cloudera directly for software related issues, or simply call SGI, which will be working with Cloudera to provide support for both hardware and software. SGI will also offer Cloudera’s training programs.

Cloudera announced several reseller agreements earlier this year, starting with a partnership with Dell. What makes this one different is SGI’s focus on high performance computing and distributed computing, and its deep relationships with defense and intelligence customers. SGI will also announce today that it has broken a Terasort benchmark record for data processing and analysis, beating its competition by 81%. SGI is also known as a hardware infrastructure provider for Amazon EC2. This is a company that knows cloud architecture and HPC.

Services Angle

It seems like we’re starting to see different Hadoop vendors’ strategies solidify. “Hadoop is not stand-alone software, it’s a solution,” Albanese said in an interview. “I think one of the problems people had early on with Apache Hadoop was trying to put it in a box.” That sounds like a not so veiled slam on EMC’s MapR powered Hadoop appliance and Oracle’s Big Data Appliance.

Oracle and EMC are taking the appliance route. HortonWorks is partnering with Microsoft. That leaves Cloudera and its reseller channel to capitalize on the original Hadoop approach: commodity server clusters.

The interest in Hadoop is obviously high, but finding the expertise to get started has become a barrier to entry. Cloudera’s channel strategy should improve both its own market penetration and the larger adoption of the Hadoop platform. SGI is particularly well positioned to extend Hadoop’s reach in enterprise and government. However, HPCC Systems, a LexisNexis spin-off which offers its own Hadoop alternative, is another company to watch in this space.