Hortonworks, Pivotal Partnership Focuses on Hadoop Management

The two companies will partner on Ambari, an open-source big data project aimed at growing Hadoop in the enterprise.


Big data rivals Hortonworks and Pivotal are partnering to help drive Apache Hadoop deeper into the enterprise.

The two companies will work together to push the development of Apache Ambari, open-source software that Hortonworks has been working on that is designed to help businesses provision, monitor and manage Hadoop clusters.

Engineers from Hortonworks and Pivotal—a subsidiary of storage giant EMC that was spun out of EMC and VMware—will collaborate to help grow the management and configuration capabilities of Ambari, according to Jamie Buckley, vice president of product management for data fabric at Pivotal.

"We will collaborate closely with Hortonworks, [the Apache Software Foundation] and the broader Apache Hadoop community in this effort," Buckley wrote in a post on the company blog. "At the same time, we will continue to deliver on our commitments to existing customers and work closely with them to benefit from this collaboration."

The partnership with Pivotal also illustrates the need for collaboration in the development of Hadoop for the booming big data space, according to Shaun Connolly, vice president of corporate strategy at Hortonworks.

"I've stated many times that you don't make a platform like Enterprise Hadoop easy to use and enterprise-grade by going it alone," Connolly wrote in a post on the company blog. "You do it by working with the broader ecosystem. … Our approach to partnering is about enabling our customers to embrace Hadoop in a way that makes sense for their business, and it's about enabling our partners to get value out of an alliance with us while being respectful to them in the process."

Analysts expect the big data space to continue to grow. IDC has said the market for big data technology and services could hit $32.4 billion by 2017. In addition, Gartner analysts have said big data will drive $232 billion in IT spending through 2016.

Such potential has fueled recent partnerships and investments in such top Hadoop distribution vendors as Hortonworks, MapR Technologies and Cloudera. The Pivotal announcement came right after Hewlett-Packard officials announced July 24 that not only was the tech vendor expanding its partnership with Hortonworks—including integrating Hortonworks' Data Platform with its HAVEn big data platform—but also was investing $50 million in the company.

Hortonworks, which spun out of Yahoo three years ago, also has a joint engineering deal with Red Hat and reseller partnerships with such vendors as HP, Microsoft, SAP and Teradata.

Pivotal offers its own Hadoop distribution—Pivotal HD—along with its own modules for the open-source software, including HAWQ (for SQL on Hadoop) and GemFire XD (an in-memory SQL analysis for Hadoop), both of which are managed by the company's Pivotal Command Center.

Pivotal's Buckley also noted that the company invests in other open-source software, including Cloud Foundry, Redis, Spring XD and RabbitMQ.

"Apache Hadoop projects are central to our efforts to drive the most value for the enterprise," he wrote. "An open-source, extensible and vendor-neutral application to manage services in a standardized way benefits the entire ecosystem. It increases customer agility and reduces operational costs and can ultimately help drive Hadoop adoption."

It also will benefit those Pivotal HD and Big Data Suite customers who are looking to leverage Ambari, Buckley wrote.