Lexis Nexis Releases Hadoop Competitor As Open Source

by Sam Dean - Jun. 17, 2011Comments (0)

In case you missed it, one of the biggest revolutions going on in enterprises and organizations that work with large data sets is the Big Data trend. Increasingly, organizations need ways to gain new insights and access different views of the large data sets that they have--for everything from business intelligence metrics to uncovering new trends among customer buying habits. GigaOM has an excellent series of videos that explore the Big Data trend from various perspectives. We've covered one of the most influential Big Data sifting technologies--the open source project Hadoop--many times. Now, Lexis Nexis is open sourcing an alternative to Hadoop called HPCC Systems.

According to CIO:

"LexisNexis has been developing the technology, dubbed HPCC Systems, for the past 10 years, according to the company, which provides a variety of information services to legal firms, libraries, corporations and government entities...HPCC Systems runs on clusters of commodity hardware and is made up of a number of components, centered around the company's Enterprise Control Language..."

Lexis Nexis claims that HPCC Systems can extract useful views and results from petabyte-sized data sets. According to its release:

“We feel the time is right to offer our HPCC technology platform as a dual license, open source solution. We believe that HPCC Systems will take big data computing to the next level,” said James M. Peck, chief executive officer, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “We’ve been doing this quietly for years for our customers with great success. We are now excited to present it to the community to spur greater adoption. We look forward to leveraging the innovation of the open source community to further the development of the platform for the benefit of our customers and the community,” said Mr. Peck.

Gartner Research also weighed in on HPCC Systems:

“In the next few years, open source solutions will be leveraged in increasingly mission-critical deployments. In addition, we will start to see a trend where more and more companies open source some of their proprietary intellectual property (IP) in efforts to accelerate development of their technology platforms and applications, said Mark Driver, vice president and research director at Gartner. “For companies that own their IP and move to an open source model, properly managed open-source assets drive positive return on investment through flexibility, innovation and cost optimization. These three work in confluence to increase value, strengthen competitive opportunities and reduce costs,” said Mr. Driver.

HPCC Systems (http://hpccsystems.com) will be managed by Armando Escalante, who is the senior vice president and chief technology officer of LexisNexis Risk Solutions. It will also be subject to extensive community testing, but it may face an uphill climb in competing with Hadoop, which now has a large ecosystem of support solutions surrounding it, as well as availability in several different versions.

In any case, as the Big Data trend spreads out, it's good to see competition, and everyone should benefit from that.


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