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Red Hat Deepens Big Data Partnership with Hortonworks

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Posted February 10, 2014 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

Red Hat is deepening its relationship with Hortonworks. But why isn't the Linux vendor just acquiring the provider of Hadoop technologies?

Linux vendor Red Hat is expanding its partnership with Big Data Hadoop vendor Hortonworks today. The expanded partnership includes the delivery of the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) Plug-in for Red Hat storage.

"The HDP Plug-in for Red Hat Storage has been in the upstream community until today’s announcement of the beta software version of the HDP Plug-in for Red Hat Storage for enterprises," Ranga Rangachari, Red Hat's vice president and general manager, Storage and Big Data, told Enterprise Apps Today. "Beta customers will receive support from Red Hat and Hortonworks, rather than the open source community."

Red Hat Storage isn't the only place where the Linux vendor is partnering with Hortonworks. There are also solutions leveraging Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as well as the JBoss Data Virtualization solution. Rangachari noted that neither HDP with Red Hat Enterprise Linux with OpenJDK nor the JBoss Data Virtualization connector for HDP are bundled offerings.

"In all cases, customers acquire Red Hat products from Red Hat and HDP from Hortonworks. However, support calls are transferred between the two companies without the customers having to open a new support ticket," Rangachari said. "In the case of HDP with Red Hat Storage, both products leverage Ambari to coordinate the installation of the products together."

The open-source Apache Ambari project is a technology that is intended to make it easier to deploy, manage and provision Hadoop clusters.

Another area of collaboration between Red Hat and Hortonworks is on the Savanna project for the OpenStack cloud platform. Rangachari noted that Savanna is an open source project on OpenStack to run Hadoop directly on OpenStack.

"Hortonworks and Red Hat are founding members of the Savanna project since April 2013, and we will be using this framework to implement a fully supported product in the future," Rangachari said.

Why Not Acquire Hortonworks?

Red Hat's storage business came to the company by way of the acquisition of Gluster in October of 2011 for $136 million. Red Hat had been a partner of Gluster prior to the acquisition.

As it stands, Red Hat would rather partner with Hortonworks than acquire it, for a number of reasons.

"Many enterprises want to run Hadoop on Red Hat’s infrastructure and application platform, but not all customers want to use the same Hadoop distribution," Rangachari said. "Therefore, Red Hat would like to provide enterprise customers with the flexibility to choose their distribution in order to serve a greater number of customers."

There are multiple vendors in the Hadoop commercial marketplace other than Hortonworks, including Cloudera and MapR. Rangachari said that both Red Hat and Hortonworks have a strong commitment to open source and enterprise customer support.

"This alliance will help customers looking to deploy Hadoop applications, as well as the broader Hadoop community as the results will be contributed back to the community," Rangachari said. "Red Hat partners with other Hadoop vendors at differing levels depending on our mutual objectives, and we continue to explore additional opportunities to deepen and expand our collaboration with Big Data ecosystem partners."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Application Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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