The Incredible, Growing, Commercial Hadoop Market

A few months ago, I posited that additional funding for Cloudera and Karmasphere signifies a large market opportunity for solutions that utilize the open-source analytics tool Hadoop. After all, the argument goes, data volumes are growing for organizations across the board, as is the competitive need to extract as much insight as possible from those stores. This week, Yahoo hosted its third annual Hadoop Summit, and the news it generated only affirmed my beliefs, as I discussed over at GigaOm Pro, that Hadoop will make its early champions lots of money.

What happened is that Cloudera, Karmasphere, Datameer, Talend, Microstrategy and Appistry all announced partnerships, upgrades or entirely new commercial Hadoop products. Even in these early days for commercialized Hadoop, it’s a crowded field for vendors selling Hadoop-management tools, building products on top of Hadoop or integrating Hadoop support into their existing data-management products.

The only potential obstacle for these and aspiring Hadoop vendors appears to be Hadoop’s open source roots. Debate has raged over the past few months about whether there’s money to be made in open-source software; if there is, successful vendors will have to strike a balance between what’s free and what costs money, and they’ll have to find a way to transition free-version users into paying customers. This is a task made only more difficult by the fact that Hadoop creator Yahoo keeps releasing new open source tools and distributions (like it did this week with Hadoop with Security and Oozie) already proven to work at web scale.

Perhaps a survey is on the horizon to see how, exactly, organizations are using Hadoop and what distributions and tools they’re employing. For now, it’s safe to assume the vast majority of usage is free, because proprietary management tools and Hadoop-powered analytics solutions are relatively new. Will it remain that way forever, or even over the next year? I think not.

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Elephant image courtesy of Flickr user RachScottHalls