Why Cloudera Hadoop on AWS May Make Big Data Easier for CIOs

Loraine Lawson

If you’re planning a Hadoop project in 2014, here’s news you should take into account: Cloudera will offer its Hadoop enterprise solution on Amazon Web Services.

Cloudera offers its own distribution of Hadoop. The company has long been aggressive about establishing partnerships with other vendors, such as Dell, Oracle, Syncsort, and enterprise-search company Apache Solr.

It’s also entered partnerships with other public cloud services, such as IBM and Verizon, according to VentureBeat. So that should be interesting.

What’s different this time is that Cloudera has partnered with a potential competitor, as Cloudera’s Chief Strategy Officer Mike Olson acknowledged. In the short term, he hopes it will help the company make money.


As he pointed out in a much-quoted statement from the press release: “A data management solution shouldn't dictate where and how they store their data—the solution should go to the data.”

“We could go to others, like Microsoft or Google, but if you want market share, you’re going to Amazon,” he told the NY Times blog, BITS.

For CIOs, this could mean an easier, cheaper and less risky way to experiment with Hadoop. You won’t have to build the infrastructure, plus if you like the results, the cloud-based service offers scalability.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that Cloudera’s direct competitor, MapR, is an option with Amazon EMR, although the pay structure is different, warns VentureBeat. Cloudera will charge subscription fees with premium support options; MapR charges based on how much you use Amazon’s cloud.

That could make a huge difference in pricing, depending on whether you plan to test the waters or eventually use Amazon to scale out the project.

Matt Aslett, research director for data management and analytics at 451 Research, offered a vote of confidence for the deal in Cloudera’s press release:

"We anticipate increasing interest in running Hadoop in cloud environments, especially as enterprises continue to modernize their information management architectures and define their next-generation data management platforms. Cloudera’s use of Amazon Web Services should give potential users the confidence that they have the support of market leaders when it comes to both their Hadoop platform and their cloud infrastructure.”

There’s certainly reason to believe that: Tim Stevens, Cloudera’s vice president of business and corporate development, told VentureBeat there are already “hundreds and hundreds” of Cloudera’s open source core running on AWS.



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