A group of Silicon Valley executives, Amr Awadallah (formerly with
Yahoo), Christophe Bisciglia (ex-Googler), Jeff Hammerbacher (formerly from
Facebook) and Mike Olson (an entrepreneur), have teamed up to launch CloudEra. There is not much
info available at this point except the fact that the company will offer support
for Apache Hadoop, a
scalable, efficient and reliable platform that implements Mapreduce and helps
develop applications that can process petabytes of data. Their website also
claims to support projects related to Hadoop and I suspect they will offer
support to the high level language Pig, Zookeeper and other Hadoop related projects. In the absence of
any information from them, it is just speculation at this time. I tried to
contact the founding team at Cloudera and Christophe Bisciglia has promised to
talk to me and other bloggers pretty soon.
Cloudera is planning to do for Cloud Computing what Redhat did for Linux more
than a decade back. Redhat took the Open Source Linux operating system,
repackaged it and offered it along with paid technical support. They were
essentially making money out of a free software (as in beer) by using what was a
new and innovative business model at that time. Enterprises were skeptical about
Linux till then and Redhat’s model helped in a faster adoption of Linux by the
enterprises. Enterprise adoption of Cloud Computing is in the same situation
where Linux was more than a decade ago.
In today’s economy, with a possibility of recession in sight, enterprises
can benefit a lot by using cloud computing. But concerns like security, privacy
and regulatory issues are still keeping the enterprises from making the jump.
However, enterprises can scale and operate efficiently using cloud like
architecture within their own datacenters. Such a move will also cut down the
costs and help enterprises save money in this downward spiraling economy. Using
an open source platform like Hadoop, enterprises can tap commodity hardware to
achieve a scale like Google or Yahoo for their data processing needs.
The biggest reason for the reluctance of enterprises to use Open Source software
like Hadoop is the lack of technical support. I think Cloudera is planning to
fill this gap. From a cloud computing evangelist perspective, this is a good
thing to happen. Even if the enterprises don’t move their data into the clouds
immediately, they can still achieve cloud like scale, reliability, cost savings,
etc. by using Hadoop kind of platforms. The will help shrink the trust
gap existing between the enterprise customers and cloud computing philosophy
making the enterprise cloud adoption a realistic possibility in the future.
Without any specific information from the Cloudera team, we can only
speculate on the impact of their business on enterprise cloud computing. In this
era of fear mongering unleashed by companies whose business interests are
threatened by the cloud computing, companies like Cloudera becomes important to
convince the enterprise customers about the advantages of moving to the