HP Invests $50 Million in Hadoop Distributor Hortonworks

The move is the latest by a top-tier tech firm to partner with a Hadoop distribution company to expand their big data efforts.


Hewlett-Packard is putting more of its muscle and money behind Hortonworks by expanding its partnership with the Hadoop distribution vendor and investing $50 million in the company.

HP and Hortonworks, which was spun out of Yahoo three years ago, announced July 24 that HP will integrate Hortonworks' Data Platform with its HAVEn big data platform, which will give HP customers more tools for collecting, analyzing and leveraging the vast amounts of data they're generating, according to officials with the vendors.

It also is the latest significant investment by a major tech company in the Apache Hadoop open-source technology, following similar moves by Intel and Google. Big data is an important trend among businesses, and Hadoop has become a key tool in helping these enterprises make sense of—and act on—their data, according to Colin Mahony, general manager of HP Vertica.

"The ability to understand data and put it to effective use is now more crucial than ever," Colin Mahony, general manager at HP Vertica, said in a statement. "Hortonworks has demonstrated outstanding dedication and expertise in addressing the business and technology needs of its customers within this new era of information and data."

Along with integrating Hortonworks' Data Platform with HAVEn, HP also will push to certify HP's Vertica big data solutions with Apache Hadoop Yarn, which forms the basis of the Apache Software Foundation's Hadoop 2.0. The expanded partnership builds on an agreement HP and Hortonworks already had around go-to-market strategies as well as expands into integrating engineering efforts, the companies said. HP will resell support for Hortonworks' Data Platform, with joint customers being able to access support resources from either vendor.

In addition, the $50 million investment also comes with Martin Fink, executive vice president and CTO of HP, joining Hortonworks' board of directors.

"Given the rapid adoption of Enterprise Hadoop as a core component of a modern data architecture combined with the fact that HP is the world's leading server vendor in terms of shipments AND revenues, according to IDC—meaning a significant number of those Hadoop nodes are being deployed with HP technologies—it's hardly surprising that we've been collaborating closely," Shaun Connolly, vice president of corporate strategy at Hortonworks, wrote in a post on the company blog.

There is a lot of potential in the big data market, according to analysts. IDC has said the market for big data technology and services could his $32.4 billion by 2017, while Gartner analysts have said big data will drive $232 billion in IT spending through 2016. Established IT vendors continue to partner with and invest in such top Hadoop distribution vendors as Hortonworks, MapR Technologies and Cloudera to expand their big data capabilities.

For example, Hortonworks, which in March announced a $100 million round of financing led by venture capitalist firms, also has a joint engineering alliance with Red Hat, and reseller partnerships with such vendors as HP, Microsoft, SAP and Teradata.

In March, Intel officials announced the giant chip maker was taking an 18 percent stake in Cloudera with a $740 million investment and is partnering with the company to offer Cloudera software solutions running on Intel hardware. The officials also said Intel was discontinuing development of its own Hadoop distribution, which the vendor had launched a year earlier. In June, Cloudera, Intel and Dell announced that they plan to launch an in-memory appliance from Dell optimized for Cloudera Enterprise. The system will be the first in a lineup of Dell Cloudera-based appliances that will be known as Dell Engineered Systems for Cloudera Enterprise.

Also in June, the investment arms for Google and chip-maker Qualcomm led an investment round of $110 million in MapR, with Albert Wang, director of Qualcomm Ventures, saying in a statement that "Hadoop is a cornerstone for the big data ecosystem, and MapR has demonstrated its leadership in the space."

Tech consultancy firms also are looking to partner with the Hadoop players. Two days before HP announced its expanded partnership with Hortonworks, MapR announced it was working with Tata Consultancy Services to help drive Hadoop adoption. Cloudera on July 8 said it was expanding its partnership with Capgemini, while Hortonworks on the same day announced it was partnering with Accenture.