back to article Hortonworks feathers nest with IBM deal

IBM has slipped a ring on Hortonworks' finger – offering the Hadoop distributor access to a potentially lucrative market. The corporate love-in between the founders of the Open Data Platform Initiative will see Big Blue adopt HDP for its Hadoop distribution, with existing users of its data analytics software platform …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM finally admitting BigInsights has been a flop and HDP abandoning their "fully open source" marketing in favour of reselling IBM's shovelware "data science" suite. Can't be a pleasant time to be on either of their teams.

    Not the first time HDP have tried this, either. They absorbed Pivotal's distribution and started reselling Hawq as "Hortonworks HDB". Didn't work then, don't expect it to work now. The real pain is going to be supporting customers spanning a heritage of three different distributions and what is now approaching half a dozen different SQL engines/analytical suites.

    1. returnofthemus

      The real pain is going to be supporting customers....

      You probably need to familiarise yourself with the ODPi Membership

      ODPi provides cross-compatibility between different distributions of Hadoop and big data technologies

      ODPi Core specifies how Apache components should be installed and configured and provides a set of tests for validation to make it easier to create big data solutions and data-driven applications.

      ODPi Core is not a distribution, it’s an industry standard deployment model over which the industry can build enterprise-class big data solutions.

      Your assertion appears somewhat neurotic

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The real pain is going to be supporting customers....

        Having been in the room during the early ODPi discussions I can assure you its sole purpose was to provide an avenue for Pivotal to transfer its technology under an open source banner and bow out of the market with its pride intact, while the other entities involved shovelled a load of marketing cash into a joint push.

        From a technical perspective, the specifications since written are laughably thin and functionally useless. It basically amounts to requiring Apache Hadoop 2.7.1 or 2.7.2. Doesn't even mention Spark or SQL-based access, the primary mechanisms in use on real environments, let alone critical elements like workflow management or security interfaces.

        Frankly, it's a dead spec anyway. It hasn't been updated in far too long and its only serious members were IBM, Pivotal and HDP. Only HDP are still in this market, and they don't even mention the spec on their website (because, strictly speaking, they're no longer compliant, having backported functional patches).

        1. returnofthemus

          Re: The real pain is going to be supporting customers....

          "Doesn't even mention Spark or SQL-based access, the primary mechanisms in use on real environments"

          That's because the ODPi serves to provide a common reference, it's NOT suppose to be a complete stack ;-)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC ... Re: The real pain is going to be supporting customers....

          I'm sure you and I may know one another in the real world. ;-)

          There's a reason why the spec's don't mention Spark.

          Hortonworks never wanted to support Spark in the first place. Their strategy was and is Tez.

          W.R.T. the members... some of the other companies are interesting. SAS, Splunk, and Cask just to name a couple. But you can see the politics at work. ;-)

      2. Ian Michael Gumby

        @returnofthemus Re: The real pain is going to be supporting customers....

        Actually the AC's seem to know more about it than you think.

        ODPi is a bit of a joke. There's a good reason why MapR and Cloudera passed. ;-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      This is posted anon for the obvious reason...

      Did you not note that this is a Partnership?

      Hortonworks built their marketing campaign and strategy by being the 'true keeper' of the Hadoop flame.

      So in order to sell anything beyond open source (read Apache projects) they must do so by partnering with said company.

      This is how they could 'sell' Wandisco products to do 'active'/'active' Hadoop clustering. (It flopped).

      So HDP isn't abandoning their marketing strategy. What they are hoping is that they can leverage this partnership to expand their market presence while IBM hopes to be able to leverage HDP to get back in to former IBM accounts and to expand their markets.

      1. returnofthemus

        Re: @AC

        "IBM hopes to be able to leverage HDP to get back in to former IBM accounts"


        While it's probably fair to say if it were a popularity contest HDP would probably win hands down over BigInsights, but given IBM's analytics business as a whole stands at around $23B+, I very much doubt that they are looking to leverage their partnership with HDP to win back former clients, especially when you consider the resources they have, the money they've been throwing at this space and their many other revenue streams.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @mus Re: @AC

          returnofthemus ...

          I have to call BS on your numbers.

          IBM doesn't break out the revenues by product line only by division. So you really don't know the numbers other than what someone 'estimated' and those 'estimates are bog wrong.

          IBM's revenues have been shrinking for 20 quarters straight. They are in a world of hurt and they've been shedding people and products as they try to turn things around.

          Think of this of having two sinking ships tossing a life line to one another in an effort to try and save themselves. IBM's analytics are selling into a fraction of their blue stack customers. They can't justify the premium over either building internal analytics or competitors selling analytics for less.

          IBM still doesn't have deep skills in Big Data. I should know, I'm friends with some of the folks who trained them on Scala and I know several in their Big Data team who haven't jumped ship.

          So IBM wants new customers and Horton needs new customers as well. IBM can bring them in... Horton can bring IBM in... only it's not going to go well because of differences in price and culture. IBM would have done better had they gone and partnered with MapR but that wasn't going to happen. Especially when Shrivas was there and now that Mills is heading MapR, I doubt he'd do it either.

          1. returnofthemus

            I have to call BS on your numbers.


            (Another one of Cringely's disciple's)

            I'm afraid the BS being called out is yours.

            While IBM is indeed experiencing shrinking revenues, it's a highly profitable company generating $80B in revenue employing 380,000 people.

            We all know who their Sugar Daddies are, but please don't insult your own intelligence by trying to tell me MapR or even Cloudera have the resources to match.

            In this instance the HDP management proved smarter, not only by getting out in front with their IPO, but also partnering and cementing that partnership with the undisputed leader in Business Analytics

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @mus Re: I have to call BS on your numbers.

              I see you have never worked in the borg so you can only barf up the big number.

              As I said before, IBM doesn't break out the numbers by product.

              I can also tell that you never listened to any of the earnings calls, nor sat thru internal calls at the BUE and higher levels.

              You clearly know nothing of IBM or of HDP. They are still burning cash and they are in trouble.

              1. returnofthemus

                IBM doesn't break out the numbers by product.


                That's because IBM isn't a single product company, it's a service-oriented Enterprise Solutions company ;-)

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