What the Cloudera & Hortonworks Merger Really Means

by Morgan Krueger |  11 |  MAPR

What the Cloudera & Hortonworks Merger Really Means image..


Cloudera and Hortonworks have announced they are merging. The goal, in their own words, is to “create the world’s leading next generation data platform provider, spanning multi-cloud, on-premises, and the Edge.”

That statement caught our eye because we have a partner who has been offering that for years – MapR! Not only does MapR deliver a next-gen data platform provider that spans multi-cloud, on-premises and the Edge, but their constant innovation has provided customers with the value of a highly differentiated platform. It is for this reason that a constant stream of customers migrates from Cloudera and Hortonworks to MapR each year.

With that in mind, we looked a little deeper into what initiated this merge and what it signals about the data industry. Merges inevitably cause a plethora of internal disruption, as combining the processes, departments, and knowledge of two companies is a lengthy and difficult process. This period of confusion and upheaval will take an estimated three years, as it includes duplicate products being eliminated and customers being forced to shift to new offerings. Knowing this, there must have been a strong driver that forced Cloudera and Hortonworks together.

According to VentureBeat, this merger signals that Hadoop’s influence is declining and therefore the market can no longer withstand two large Hadoop competitors. The trends behind this decline? Companies are shifting to the public cloud, which has much lower storage costs than Hadoop, and the rise of “serverless” cloud services has eliminated the need to run Hadoop at all in some cases. At the end of their article, VentureBeat suggests that “after a good 10 years of Cloudera and Hortonworks being the center of the Big Data universe, the center of gravity has moved elsewhere.”

It is for this reason that the Cloudera and Hortonworks merge may be less a merger of technology, and more a merger of cost efficiency. Indeed, Hortonworks chief executive Rob Bearden said the merger, “will create value for our respective stockholders and allow customers, partners, employees, and the open source community to benefit from the enhanced offerings, larger scale and improved cost competitiveness inherent in this combination.

At the end of the day, Hadoop falls short of the needs of today’s customers, crippling its profitability and growth. In terms of scale, reliability, and security, MapR has a clear advantage. MapR was originally founded to build the next generation data platform and was created with the anticipation that workloads would evolve. MapR has a clear advantage over Cloudera and Hortonworks due to a strong ML/AI story, as MapR supports POSIX and the ML/AI libraries.

While MapR has advanced Hadoop and Spark deployments, a quarter of MapR business is in the public cloud. Moving forward, MapR will continue its strategy of listening to customers’ desires and constantly innovating. It is this innovation that has kept MapR on the leading edge of its industry, with a highly differentiated platform. In the words of MapR, “We continue on an aggressive mission to bring you more capability for the end-to-end data science workloads and also make it easier to manage MapR in a multi-cloud, GPU and containerized world.” 

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