Rackspace and Hortonworks Team Up on Easy Hadoop via OpenStack

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 24, 2012

As the transition to the cloud and Big Data continue, open source software is playing an absolutely critical role. And now, Rackspace Hosting, which has been focused on OpenStack-based cloud computing, has announced a strategic agreement with Hortonworks, which provides Apache Hadoop development, support and training, to empower customers with an enterprise-ready Hadoop platform targeted to be easy to use in the cloud. Hadoop, which is used to yield insights culled from crunching very large data sets, can be complex to use. The new partnership will aim at simplifying Hadoop and making it cloud ready.

“Running Hadoop on your own is complex, which is why we’re excited about our development efforts with Hortonworks. We believe Hortonworks as a collaborator brings a substantial advantage in technology, services and experience that will clearly benefit customers,” said John Engates, CTO of Rackspace, in a statement. “We have customers today that deploy Hadoop clusters on dedicated hardware at Rackspace with support from Hortonworks. By joining forces, we intend to turn Hadoop into an on-demand service running on the Rackspace open cloud and in clusters on private cloud infrastructure in our data centers or the customer’s data center. The Hortonworks Data Platform packages the open source Apache version of Hadoop. That aligns with our vision of an open cloud future that eliminates fear of vendor lock-in, and allows customers to confidently invest in a technology for the long term.”

Open source platforms such as OpenStack, CloudStack and Eucalyptus are presenting important alternatives for companies that want more flexibility than proprietary clioud platforms provide. There is a whole ecosystem of open source tools taking shape around these.

Meanwhile, according to a recent Gartner report, Big Data will drive $232 billion in IT spending through 2016. The term Big Data is used to describe several new ways that organizations store, process and analyze very large sets of both structured and unstructured data. Increasingly, Big Data tools like Hadoop help organizations yield insights about customers that were obscure before.

In conjunction with Hortonworks, according to the announcement:

  • Rackspace will release an OpenStack public cloud-based Hadoop service, which will be validated and supported by Hortonworks and will enable customers to create a Big Data environment in a matter of minutes;

  • Customers will be able to engage Hortonworks to support running Hadoop on Rackspace infrastructure, including its public cloud, private cloud inside Rackspace, and its dedicated servers;

  • Hortonworks will provide customer guidance and support to customers who want to deploy Hortonworks on Rackspace Private Cloud Software in their own datacenter; and

  • Hortonworks and Rackspace will join the technical certification programs for Rackspace Private Cloud Software and the Hortonworks Data Platform, respectively.

The Rackspace Hosting OpenStack effort is clearly to be taken seriously. The company is offering comprehensive support, and this new partnership with Hortonworks should make OpenStack clouds running Hadoop attractive. We'll follow up as more details on the partnership emerge.