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July 24, 2014

HP Taps Hortonworks to Supply Hadoop for HAVEn

Hewlett-Packard and Hortonworks today announced a strategic partnership that will see the vendors work together around Hadoop. In exchange for HP’s $50 million investment in Hortonworks, HP gets the right to distribute the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) as the Hadoop component of its HAVEn big data suite.

While HP offers a range of IT solutions for big data problems, the IT giant has not had a very aggressive Hadoop strategy. It strengthened its Hadoop story in June 2013, when it launched a collection of big data tools known as HAVEn, an acronym that stands for Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, and Enterprise security (namely the ArcSight security tool); the lowercase “n” standing for “any number of applications.”

For the past 13 months, HP worked with the three major independent Hadoop distributors–Cloudera, MapR Technologies, and Hortonworks–to supply the Hadoop component of HAVEn. Now that it’s invested $50 million into Hortonworks, HDP becomes the preferred Hadoop solution. While HP didn’t say it will exclusively use HDP, one could imagine that Cloudera and MapR will be getting fewer calls from HP for HAVEn deals.

The partnersihp also sees HP’s chief technology officer, Martin Fink, getting a seat on Hortonworks board of directors. Fink, who has been with HP for 30 years and headed up its Linux open source strategy, will be counted on to guide the integration of HDP into HAVEn.

HP will get better access to the Hortonworks developers and engineers who are active in the open source Apache Hadoop community. The IT giant is looking forward to getting the massively parallel Vertica database integrated with YARN, which is a core component of Hadoop version 2 and the quest to enable Hadoop to simultaneously run multiple engines, not just MapReduce.

It’s unclear what will become of HP’s partnership with MapR. In February, the companies announced a deal whereby they agreed to collaborate on integrating Vertica into MapR’s Hadoop distribution. Getting the column-oriented SQL database running directly on Hadoop was seen as providing customers with powerful pre-built analytical functions to run against data stored in HDFS.

The $50 million in equity financing will add to an already considerable war chest assembled by Hortonworks, which is headquartered about 10 minutes away from HP in Palo Alto, California. Hortonworks completed a $100 million round of funding in March, at which point the company had raised a total of $225 million since being spun out of Yahoo in 2011.

Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden said the company was not yet profitable but was on track to have a yearly run-rate of $100-million by the end of the year. Company officials have talked about a possible IPO in 2015.

HP joins a roster of other tech titans that have aligned themselves with Hortonworks and its Hadoop stack, including Microsoft, Red Hat, and SAP. Meanwhile, its Hadoop rival Cloudera has hauled in more than $1 billion in venture funding, and has close partnerships with other members of Silicon Valley’s old guard, Oracle and Intel.

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