UPDATED 08:40 EDT / JULY 18 2013

Seeking the Edge on Machine Learning, Cloudera Acquires Myrrix

Cloudera is bolstering its analytics lineup with the acquisition of Myrrix, a London-based startup that offers a “complete, real-time, scalable clustering and recommender system.” The solution is built on top of the Apache Mahout machine learning project, which in turn is based on founder Sean Owen’s open source Taste engine.

Owen announced the buyout in a Tuesday entry on the Cloudera blog. He didn’t disclose the terms of the acquisition, but did reveal that he’s joining the company as Director of Data Science in London. He also highlighted the main reason Cloudera decided to buy its way into the machine learning space. “Generally, learning works better with more data. If the price of collecting and processing data is falling, while the value of learning from it is increasing, then the number of situations where learning is profitable to deploy is exploding,” Owen explained in his post. “Whereas before large-scale machine learning was something a few big specialized companies bothered with, now, data-savvy companies of all sizes can accomplish many viable machine learning projects.”

Cloudera is spearheading the push to make Big Data more affordable and accessible for enterprises that can’t match the IT budgets of hyperscale titans such as Google and Facebook. According to Owen, the company will leverage Myrrix’s engineering talent and IP to incorporate predictive analytics capabilities into its Hadoop distribution.

For Cloudera, machine learning represents an opportunity to gain an edge in the increasingly competitive Big Data marketplace. HortonWorks, one of its fastest growing rivals, recently received $50 million from Tenaya Capital, the Dragoneer Investment Group, and existing backers. According to chief executive Rob Bearden, the capital will fuel the firm’s expansion and accelerate its engineering efforts.

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