Rackspace offers up its take on Hadoop as a service

Cloud computing provider Rackspace is now offering early access to its own Hadoop service, which the company first announced a year ago. The Rackspace service is a version of the Hortonworks Data Platform and was built with help from the big data startup.

Sticking with the plan it laid out back then, the new offering is less about form than it is about function. It gives users command line or API access to create jobs in Hadoop, rather than a graphical interface or some new type of abstraction, meaning the real benefit for users is in not having to deal with the complexities of managing a Hadoop cluster or worrying at all about infrastructure. Oh, and Rackspace will of course be complementing its Hadoop service with its trademarked “fanatical support,” Rackspace Product Marketing Manager for Data Solutions Sean Anderson said.

One of the things the company learned during its approximately six-month preview period with existing customers was that they wanted a low-friction experience moving from their on-premises Hortonworks clusters to a cloud version, he added. Rackspace also didn’t want to risk alienating partners or applications by providing a Hadoop experience that was too different from what their technologies already worked with.

Rackspace Hadoop price

Timing-wise, Rackspace chose to wait to get into the Hadoop market until its cloud platform was finally running OpenStack. The open source cloud software, on which which Rackspace has helped drive development over the past three years,┬álets Rackspace segregate resources in a way that makes it easier do Hadoop in a multitenant environment, Anderson said. “We like to ┬áthink think that provides some distinct advantages around performance, flexibility and design that we were able to provide with Hortonworks,” he added.

Rackspace is hardly the first of Hortonworks’ big-name partners. Other large technology companies pinning their Hadoop strategies on Hortonworks’ technology and support include Microsoft and Teradata. Managed Hadoop services are apparently the new black this year, as the annual Hadoop World conference has already brought news of other offerings from Savvis and Virtustream, and will bring even more later this week.

Correction: Rackspace inadvertently posted the incorrect prices on its website at the time this post was originally published. The image now reflects the correct prices.