Is Another Hadoop-focused Startup On the Way?

by Sam Dean - May. 02, 2011Comments (0)

Recently, the open source data crunching juggernaut Hadoop has been much in the news, as many enterprises and organizations use it for Big Data tasks. Organizations that have found mission-critical tasks for Hadoop range from The New York Times to Yahoo to Groupon and Facebook. Hadoop has also given rise to the startup Cloudera, which offers support and services surrounding it, and has its own Hadoop distribution. For many years, Yahoo provided significant development resources for Hadoop, and now there are reports that Yahoo may be considering a Hadoop-focused startup. In all likelihood, there is room for more startups basing their businesses on Hadoop.

Hadoop is based on  MapReduce, which has allowed Google to define many computational problems in such ways that they can be divided into parts, distributed across large numbers of computers, reassambled and then solved in large-scale data-sifting tasks. Yahoo has used and helped develop Hadoop for years.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Yahoo is considering a Hadoop-focused spin-off, and it would likely cater to the many businesses and organizations that have Big Data tasks that are ideal for Hadoop.  Yahoo responded to questions from The Register about the report:

"Hadoop has been and will continue to be an important area of investment for Yahoo!. We are currently exploring options to increase investment to further benefit the Hadoop community. We will share more details as appropriate."

 Hadoop was founded by Doug Cutting, who was at Yahoo, but left for Cloudera, a startup focused on support and services for Hadoop. Part of the really interesting news surrounding the possible Yahoo spin-off focused on Hadoop is that The Wall Street Journal reports that Benchmark Capital might lend financing to the startup effort. Benchmark Capital is a heavyweight among Silicon Valley venture capital firms, having provided early financing to eBay and many other tech giants.

It won't be a surprise to see Yahoo pursue such a spin-off. The company has invested in and helped develop Hadoop for so long that as an entire ecosystem of businesses interested in Hadoop rise up, such a spin-off could do well, despite the existence of Cloudera. More than anything, the Yahoo news provides further evidence that Hadoop is emerging as a huge open source success story.

Mark Hinkle uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


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