Microsoft + Hortonworks: Hadoop Besties

Hadoop has become the defacto platform for open source data storage. Microsoft, known for its proprietary software, is making a splash in the open source community with its partnership with Hortonworks. Herain Oberoi, Director of Product Marketing for Server & Tools Business (STB) at Microsoft, and John Kreisa, VP of Marketing at Hortonworks, popped into theCube at Strata last month to discuss the partnership with show host John Furrier (full video below).

The partnership, some 1.5 years in the making, is a Hadoop data platform for Windows. You have the ability to port Hadoop to Windows and run natively on the Windows platform. Hortonworks is the only Hadoop distro that is available on both Linux and Windows. And yes, if you’re wondering, it’s 100 percent open source with zero lines of proprietary code. As we noted two weeks ago, Hortonworks is amassing quite a stable of partners in its horizontal approach to Big Data solutions for Hadoop.

Microsoft bets big on Hadoop


Microsoft is betting big on Hadoop. As Oberoi said in his interview, its part of the solution to a problem his team is trying to solve: How do you enable outcomes based on insights?

That requires the whole stack: BI tools that sit on top, how do you get data from external sources in the middle, how do you manage your data at the bottom.

Let’s work with Hortonworks. These are the guys that are driving the direction of Hadoop, they have the most number of committers.

Driving the direction of Hadoop, and the number of committers — two very plain but effective reasons for choosing someone to partner with on an emerging platform. The Windows development community is massive, now that the ecosystem is enabled with an at-scale distribution opportunity. The community drives the process…it also is the main contributor back to a platform to nurture and grow it. The number of committers that Hortonworks already had along with the fact they were actually contributing source code made the partnership a no-brainer for Microsoft.

Whether you are wanting to build a completely different BI stack inside Hadoop, or integrate with your traditional warehousing, Microsoft can serve both of those markets. Take existing BI tools and have them work across either — it’s clear that Microsoft has a very clear vision. Someone who is familiar with Excel will be to get value from data that may sit on Hadoop, but understand the value as simply and easily as if it were in Excel.

Frameworks and simplification, a joint effort by Microsoft and Hortonworks. So what is the business value for both companies on the Hadoop partnering?

Hadoop besties


Kreisa on Hortonworks:

  • fundamentally changing how data is stored within the enterprise
  • lowering the overall cost of data exposure

Oberoi on Microsoft:

  • time to value and return on accessibile data
  • how quickly can you build a solution and what insight can you get from it that is meaningful to your business

The Hortonworks partnership is a very brilliant business move in this blogger’s opinion: delivering mass adoption (Linux & Microsoft) coupled with a broader workload approach to accessing the data in more interactive ways. We are in the midst of the Big Data land grab likened to the first day of school and picking your desk for the year. Real-time accessible data. Big deal if you ask me.