How does the Cloudera and Hortonworks merger signify the obituary of Hadoop?

Cloudera and Hortonworks have decided to unite. They seem to have realized that it is better to synergize rather than compete. This is in line with the trends in the corporate world over the last few years. Technology companies Dell and EMC decided to work together in 2015. Recently, the Telecom giants in India – Vodafone and Idea agreed to merge to form a combined entity.

A lot of thought goes into the decision before companies decide to merge. Something similar must have happened between Cloudera and Hortonworks.

However, a hue and cry from a few sections about the Cloudera-Hortonworks merger has led to several speculations. One of them is that the merger is Hadoop’s Obituary!

This cannot be further from the truth. Why is it so –

Is there a substantial equivalent?

Hadoop is one of the most popular frameworks for Big Data and is widely accepted and used by the industry. Unless a more robust framework is available that can effectively compete and gain an equivalent recognition that Hadoop has, it is not easy to do away with Hadoop.


Hadoop can be implemented in several ways.

  • Cloud – Those with a low appetite for owning infrastructure prefer the cloud
  • On-premise – Those working in regulated areas or where the data is highly secretive prefer owning their infrastructure or a private cloud.

However, going the cloud way does not signify the end of Hadoop, as a few people like to believe. It only shows the flexibility that Hadoop offers. Besides, Cloudera and Hortonworks have made it easy for any organization to adopt Hadoop.

Fast evolution

Like any other popular and fast-emerging technology, Hadoop is bound to change. For example, those using MapReduce for processing till a few years ago are switching to Spark. The same is to happen with other areas of Hadoop. This just shows the inherent healthy evolutionary nature of the technology. After all, why would people invest in evolving a technology (read Hadoop) that is supposedly on the “deathbed” (as some people would like to believe)?

Are we comparing apples to oranges?

An example given by people wanting to write an obituary of Hadoop is how cloud options for processing data are the better options. Going the cloud way is indeed sensible. Also, using Hadoop-as-a-service or an equivalent is bound to be better as an option in a few cases (though not all). However, how does that signify the end of Hadoop?

Having been a part of the Big Data world for the last several years, I have not only used Hadoop but also closely watched it grow. What I see as the future of the merger is as follows –

Clients get the best of both Products

Both Cloudera and Hortonworks have acknowledged that they complement each other well. The combined entity will be able to provide superior end-to-end data management (courtesy Hortonworks), warehousing, and machine learning (courtesy Cloudera). Clients will not need to choose between Cloudera or Hortonworks but get the best of both offerings. This is especially important for those who have made significant investments in either of the products.

Effective Cloud and SaaS offerings

I won’t surprised if the combined entity comes up with a strong cloud offering to combat the likes of Google and Amazon. They have partial offerings in the cloud, such as Cloudera Altus. They are bound to strengthen it further. Offering a better Hadoop-as-a-service offering will also be the next step in this journey.

As I mentioned, this merger will make it easy to adopt Hadoop. To conclude, Hadoop is here to stay. I look forward to your comments and views! Please comment on the above or share your opinions with me at “[email protected].”