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January 23, 2013

MapR Charts Hadoop’s Path to Europe

Ian Armas Foster

Cloudera moving offices into Europe and Hortonworks co-hosting the first European Hadoop Summit in March marks a recent uptick in interest for Hadoop in Europe. Not to be outdone, fellow distro vendor MapR bolstered their efforts to move into the European market.

Steve Jenkins, the new VP tasked with leading this MapR European expansion, spoke with Datanami on the state of Hadoop in Europe and MapR’s plans to influence that state. They have, according to Jenkins, already secured offices in Germany and the United Kingdom with a planned office in Paris. Jenkins previously led IBM-acquired Q1 Labs and EMC-acquired Isilon Systems before coming to MapR.

With the experienced and well-connected Jenkins on board, MapR hopes their relationships with the likes of Cisco and Google will help increase their profile in the European marketplace. “We have good relationships with people like EMC and Cisco. Google selected MapR to run their cloud offerings. So we’ve got some good platforms to work with to get our value proposition out into the end user community.”

According to Jenkins, Europe is on average about six months behind the United States when it comes to technology. As such, computing intensive countries like Britain and Germany may be behind regarding latest Hadoop advancements. “We’re starting to see a lot more awareness in Hadoop and big data analytics…Last year in Europe people knew it was there, some were playing with it, but now they’re beginning to take it more seriously.”

Hadoop is gaining traction and providing big data opportunities in Europe and MapR is looking to jump on some of those. Jenkins hopes an optimized, re-shuffled version of MapR’s enterprise offering will be enough to set them apart from competitors Cloudera and Hortonworks.

The new version involved a re-working of the file system and how it connects to Hadoop while leaving the top layer consistent. “We kept the end user end of the stack absolutely identical so all the applications that are working today will continue to work. They’ve re-coded [the bottom half of the stack] and re-aligned the file system.”

The ultimate goal is to help countries like Britain fill the big data hole that they have recently discovered. A report from the British Policy Exchange noted that “If the government were more aligned with big data, they could save £16 to 33 billion a year.”

This system is already something MapR had been selling in North America. The plan, according to Jenkins, is to sell the exact same thing overseas.

Either way, Hadoop is working itself into Europe and the distro vendors will soon have themselves another battle out there. “My role in the next four weeks is to make people understand that we’re here,” Jenkins said.

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