Cloudera Lands $5 Million in Series A Financing; Unveils Hadoop-centric Distribution

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 16, 2009

Last October, Sam introduced us to Cloudera, a company founded by highly-decorated industry veterans hoping to bring Hadoop's data processing power to a variety of businesses. Though Cloudera came into existence just last summer, it has already closed a $5 million round of Series A funding led by Accel Partners.

Cloudera has started offering commercial support for its Hadoop distribution along with a free, community-supported edition.

While certainly the names and resumes of Cloudera's founders -- Oracle and Sleepycat's Mike Olson, Google's Christophe Bisciglia, Yahoo!'s Amr Awadallah, and Facebook's Jeff Hammerbacher -- helped the fledging company secure attention and funding, don't discount that Cloudera also fills a market need.

Cloudera is using a very open source model for its revenue stream. The software, licensed under the Apache 2.0 terms, is free in every sense. Cloudera will offer paid support, training and consulting services with pricing (actual rates have not been officially announced) based on the number of Hadoop servers and the size of data sets.

The Cloudera Hadoop distribution is where we see Cloudera's real value. While it's certainly possible to configure and manage Hadoop deployments without Cloudera's packaged utilities, it often takes more time and skill than those wishing to use Hadoop have. Cloudera's distribution includes everything needed to deploy and manage Hadoop, including a configurator application able to, after posing a few questions, optimize the configuration files for your server clusters.

Cloudera's packages are available for a number of Red Hat-based distributions through the Cloudera YUM repository. Instructions are also available to help get Cloudera's Hadoop up and running on Amazon's EC2.

Cloudera has impressive backing and experienced leaders, but that's secondary to its packaging and distributing much-desired applications with a variety of paid support options. As the need for faster, increasingly accurate, and stable data processing applications grows, an all-star management team offering superlative software and services is a good bet. Couple that with being one of the first in this particular market? The odds are even better.

For more on Cloudera's news, see GigaOm's coverage.