The Open Data Platform rebrands as ODPi under the Linux Foundation

The members of the controversial Open Data Platform for Hadoop initiative have formally moved the project under the Linux Foundation, in a move that will further irritate those who’re opposed to it. In addition, the group has also announced a fresh batch of new members, plus an update on its work to introduce a core spec and reference implementation.

Now known as the Open Data Platform initiative, or ODPi, the project sparked considerable anger from opponents including Cloudera Inc., which dismissed the effort as little more than a marketing gimmick. Cloudera pointed out the ODPi’s stated goal of driving interoperability across Hadoop projects was not something customers were crying out for, and refused to join the effort.

Nevertheless, the group’s members, which include Hortonworks Inc., General Electric Corp., IBM, Infosys Ltd., Pivotal Software Inc., EMC Corp., VMware Inc., and others went ahead and founded the project anyway. Now, the group has announced its project is officially being hosted under the Linux Foundation as a collaborative project.

“The state of Apache Hadoop demands open standardisation and integration that can accelerate and ease deployments among its massive user community,” said Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin in a statement. “We’ve seen this model work with open-source technologies experiencing rapid growth – projects like Debian, among others – and know it can increase adoption and open up opportunities for innovation on top of an already-strong Hadoop community.”

At the same time, the ODPi has welcomed Ampool Inc., DataTorrent Inc., Linaro Ltd., Squid Solutions, SyncSort Inc., Toshiba Corp., UNIFi Inc., Xiilab Co. Ltd., zData Inc. and Zettaset Inc. into its fold as new members.

The ODPi also provided an update of its work, saying that more than 25 companies were collaborating to deliver an initial ODPi core specification. It also said it’s developing a new certification program to ensure consistency and compatibility throughout the Hadoop ecosystem. Meanwhile, the group’s leadership is also being reorganized – the ODPi will soon select what it calls a “technical steering committee” to lead the project, though it says each member of the initiative will have an equal voice as a means of ensuring equality among all participants.

The big question is whether or not the ODPi’s work will have an impact on the development of Hadoop under The Apache Software Foundation (ASF). At the time of the group’s formation, Hortonworks president Herb Cunitz insisted it wouldn’t, saying the idea of creating a core set of Hadoop components is no different to the Linux kernel.

But in a statement to ZDNet yesterday, Cloudera’s chief strategy officer and co-founder Mike Olsen reiterated his belief that the group’s work was totally unnecessary and will only serve to confuse customers.

“The Apache Software Foundation is the home of the Apache Hadoop ecosystem, and the place that the work on the projects belongs,” Olsen said, adding that Cloudera will continue to make substantial contributions to the ASF going forward.

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