Cloudera 2.0: Cloudera and Hortonworks Merge to form a Big Data Super Power

We’ve all dreamed of going to bed one day and waking up the next with superpowers – stronger, faster and even perhaps with the ability to fly.  Yesterday that is exactly what happened to Tom Reilly and the people at Cloudera and Hortonworks.   On October 2nd they went to bed as two rivals vying for leadership in the big data space. In the morning they woke up as Cloudera 2.0, a $700M firm, with a clear leadership position.  “From the edge to AI”…to infinity and beyond!  The acquisition has made them bigger, stronger and faster. 

Like any good movie, however, the drama is just getting started, innovation in the cloud, big data, IoT and machine learning is simply exploding, transforming our world over and over, faster and faster.  And of course, there are strong villains, new emerging threats and a host of frenemies to navigate.

What’s in Store for Cloudera and Hortonworks 2.0

Overall, this is great news for customers, the Hadoop ecosystem and the future of the market.  Both company’s customers can now sleep at night knowing that the pace of innovation from Cloudera 2.0 will continue and accelerate.  Combining the Cloudera and Hortonworks technologies means that instead of having to pick one stack or the other, now customers can have the best of both worlds. The statement from their press release “From the Edge to AI” really sums up how complementary some of the investments that Hortonworks made in IoT complement Cloudera’s investments in machine learning.  From an ecosystem and innovation perspective, we’ll see fewer competing Apache projects with much stronger investments.  This can only mean better experiences for any user of big data open source technologies.

At the same time, it’s no secret how much our world is changing with innovation coming in so many shapes and sizes.  This is the world that Cloudera 2.0 must navigate.  Today, winning in the cloud is quite simply a matter of survival.  That is just as true for the new Cloudera as it is for every single company in every industry in the world.  The difference is that Cloudera will be competing with a wide range of cloud-native companies both big and small that are experiencing explosive growth.  Carving out their place in this emerging world will be critical.

The company has so many of the right pieces including connectivity, computing, and machine learning.  Their challenge will be, making all of it simple to adopt in the cloud while continuing to generate business outcomes. Today we are seeing strong growth from cloud data warehouses like Amazon RedshiftSnowflakeAzure SQL Data Warehouse and Google Big Query.  Apache Spark and service players like Databricks and Qubole are also seeing strong growth.  Cloudera now has decisions to make on how they approach this ecosystem and they choose to compete with and who they choose to complement.

What’s In Store for the Cloud Players

For cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google, this recent merger is also a win.  The better the cloud services are that run on their platforms, the more benefits joint customers will get and the more they will grow their usage of these cloud platforms.  There is obviously a question of who will win, for example, EMR, Databricks or Cloudera 2.0, but at the end of the day the major cloud players will win either way as more and more data, and more and more insight runs through the cloud.

Talend’s Take

From a Talend perspective, this recent move is great news.  At Talend, we are helping our customers modernize their data stacks.  Talend helps stitch together data, computing platforms, databases, machine learning services to shorten the time to insight. 

Ultimately, we are excited to partner with Cloudera to help customers around the world leverage this new union.  For our customers, this partnership means a greater level of alignment for product roadmaps and more tightly integrated products. Also, as the rate of innovation accelerates from Cloudera, our support for what we call “dynamic distributions” means that customers will be able to instantly adopt that innovation even without upgrading Talend.  For Talend, this type of acquisition also reinforces the value of having portable data integration pipelines that can be built for one technology stack and can then quickly move to other stacks.  For Talend and Cloudera 2.0 customers, this means that as they move to the future, unified Cloudera platform, it will be seamless for them to adopt the latest technology regardless of whether they were originally Cloudera or Hortonworks customers. 

You have to hand it to Tom Reilly and the teams at both Cloudera and Hortonworks.  They’ve given themselves a much stronger position to compete in the market at a time when people saw their positions in the market eroding.  It’s going to be really interesting to see what they do with the projected $125 million in annualized cost savings.  They will have a lot of dry powder to invest in or acquire innovation.  They are going to have a breadth in offerings, expertise and customer base that will allow them to do things that no one else in the market can do. 

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