BFFs Microsoft + Hortonworks : Validating Partner Channels, Big Data for Business

In A Big Data Manifesto from the Wikibon Community, Jeff Kelly clearly presents the ins and outs of Big Data, from how data is processed and analyzed, to Big Data being used for enterprises and vendors. Before getting into the meat and potatoes of Big Data, one excerpt is of note:

“Make no mistake: Big Data is the new definitive source of competitive advantage across all industries. Enterprises and technology vendors that dismiss Big Data as a passing fad do so at their peril and, in our opinion, will soon find themselves struggling to keep up with more forward-thinking rivals.”

The rise of Big Data gave birth to Hadoop, the now most widely accepted open source Big Data framework. (More on Hadoop can be found here.)

Microsoft – staying tapped in with Big Data


When something of this influence hits the scene, technology vendors have to pay attention because the businesses that will be seeking solutions and opportunities will be calling upon them for aid. Being the largest software company in the world, it is only logical that Microsoft has its finger on the pulse of what is to come. If Microsoft wants to maintain the massive reach it currently enjoys with a global developer community, it must get more involved with Big Data solutions.   Developers will want software that will be able to address their current and future tasks on every level of the stack.

Back in 2011, Microsoft had been attempting to develop its own Hadoop competitor called LINQ to HPC.   But in October of that year the software firm officially announced it would be partnering with Hortonworks, a Hadoop service provider that was spun off from Yahoo!, because they had “a rich history in leading the design and development of Apache Hadoop” says Microsoft VP Ted Kummert. Shortly after announcing this partnership Microsoft stated that it would be discontinuing work on LINQ to HPC to “focus effort on bringing Apache Hadoop to both Windows Server and Windows Azure.  Hadoop has emerged as a great platform for analyzing unstructured data or large volumes of data at low cost, which aligns well with Microsoft’s vision for its Information Platform.” With the announcement that it would be working with Hortonworks, Microsoft also released the SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse Hadoop connectors.

Hortonworks – validated through Microsoft support


Fast-forward a year-and-a-half, Hortonworks delivers an announcement of its own for the release of the beta version for Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) for Windows. The continued partnership of Microsoft and Hortonworks was seen at the 2013 Strata Conference where Herain Oberoi, Director of Product Marketing for Server & Tools Business at Microsoft, and John Kreisa, VP of Marketing at Hortonworks sat down on theCube to discuss their collaboration. The move validates Hortonworks, thanks to Microsoft’s ongoing support.  During theCube segment, Microsoft even noted that Hortonworks had the highest number of committers willing to work with them.

It’s important to point out that even though Hortonworks was spun off of the original Hadoop team, it is still a new standalone compared to others like Cloudera. (For more information on Hortonworks, Cloudera, and how they relate to Hadoop, go here.)
The main thing that Hadoop vendors are seeking to provide is an enterprise-ready platform solution. By partnering with Microsoft, Hortonworks is definitely in a good position to reach more customers. The established stance of Microsoft in the industry, coupled with the Hadoop insight of Hortonworks just fit for great promises and possibilities.