An Inside Look at the Intel – Cloudera Partnership

In March, Intel announced that the company would exit the big data analytics software market after investing resources and several years into development of its own Apache Hadoop* distribution. What may haveCloudera-Intel-Logos.jpg come as an even bigger surprise was the substantial equity ($740 million) and intellectual property investment in Cloudera, provider of the most popular Hadoop* software version on the market and a competitor with Intel’s distribution. What’s behind Intel’s largest ever data center venture deal?

Intel’s big data roadmap

Intel’s commitment to data analytics and big data solutions for the enterprise has been—and continues to be—strong and unwavering. In addition to Intel’s Hadoop distribution, the company has invested heavily in high-performing infrastructure that can be optimized specifically for big data environments, high-performance computing (HPC), and rack-scale architecture.

Looking down the road, I find it easy to see how the partnership with Cloudera helps move big data forward and into the mainstream of enterprise IT. The combination of Cloudera’s leading big data software framework and Intel’s high-performing infrastructure will provide a flexible, world-class, enterprise-ready platform. Developers across industries will have a powerful, standard, and flexible platform on which to build their big data solutions.

Put simply: This recent investment represents yet another commitment to big data.

A win-win move

An investment in big data and infrastructure is a great move for the industry—and for Intel. A Forbes* article reports huge growth in the big data market, including an IDC forecast of a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 percent, roughly six times faster than the total IT market. Infrastructure is the largest and fastest growing segment, with a five-year CAGR of close to 50

Big data market bar graph.jpg

Source: Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2013–2017 Forecast. IDC (December 2013).

The partnership will help Cloudera deepen its customer base outside of North America, and the large cash infusion helps it remain independent and competitive in the constantly changing vendor landscape.

Together, Intel and Cloudera will continue to drive innovation through open-source technologies. Intel’s distribution of Hadoop software had been optimized to take advantage of security and performance features in our hardware. We are now working on a roadmap to incorporate those benefits into Cloudera’s version too. In addition, Intel and Cloudera will join forces on foundational Hadoop technologies to move the software framework forward and encourage open-source developers to innovate in and on top of the Hadoop platform.

Cloudera also will work closely with Intel to make sure its products make the best use of Intel data center technologies. For example, testing has shown that Intel architecture can significantly boost big data processing speed for improved performance. Intel data center infrastructure will provide an environment for development and benchmarking at scale.

The Intel-Cloudera solution roadmap is wide open with the potential to make it easier for enterprise IT to derive value from business data. I think this is a good thing—for the industry, for Intel, and for Cloudera. What’s your perspective?

Mike Moshier

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