10 Takeaways from the Cloudera Hortonworks Merger

I recently sat in on the new Cloudera merger call to see what their strategy was going forward. In the past I’ve liked both Hortonworks and Cloudera for different products, so I was particularly keen to hear on what products would be road-mapped and what would be falling off the vine. Here’s my key notes from the call, as well as chatting with Cloudera employees over the past few weeks.

  1. There is a new platform, Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) announced. I have yet to see it in action, but it seems like they are trying to push a data platform overall, rather than just a grouping of apps stuck together.
  2. CDH and HDP are staying… for 3 years. Cloudera has committed to supporting HDP3, CDH 5/6 through to Jan 2022, which is 36 months after the merger closing. They have also guaranteed a predictable and flexible migration path to the new CDP.
  3. The current platforms are now cross compatible! You can now use Cloudera Data Science Workbench on HDP and Hortonworks DataFlow on CDH. This is a huge value add to existing customers of heritage Cloudera and Hortonworks. If you weren’t previously looking at either CDSW or HDF, I would highly suggest testing them as you look at upgrading and re-platforming to CDP.
  4. The two companies didn’t actually have much overlap. Over the past few years Hortonworks really took a look at edge analytics and data flow at the edge. However Cloudera doubled down on machine learning and the Data Science Workbench. In a sense, combining the two companies is a brilliant idea; as what good is streaming edge data if you can’t analyze it. Also what good is a data science workbench if you have no data to work with? I believe merging helps round out a wonderful story with the new Cloudera.
  5. Scale and resources were a driver for the merger. What good is having two competitors fight for a market share when they essentially complement each other? Now they will be able to grow their market share as a much larger, more cohesive company.
  6. Cloudera wants to stay dedicated to the open source community going forward. This is great! Cloudera has made a stance that it will contribute and participate in the open source community; keeping their relevance to the end user even more so.
  7. Focusing on Edge and AI. Cloudera seems to be re-aiming their focus into two major areas: the edge and AI. I imagine you’ll see a lot of edge products being re-branded from Hortonworks and a lot of AI projects will be from heritage Cloudera. 
  8. Cloud focused and Cloud agnostic – Cloudera has said that they are becoming a cloud focused company. They mentioned that they are the only next generation data platform to run across all major cloud providers: Azure, AWS, GCP, IBM, and Oracle. That also said that they will run on your on premises cloud as well. So this offering wont be just a Saas, but a truly portable and repeatable installation and operational process. They also are focusing on decoupling compute from storage. Something that has been a major point of contention for passionate Hadoop users. 
  9. Get to know Kubernetes – The underlying technology for the new CDP? Kubernetes. Cloudera is jumping both feet into cloud native workloads, from the edge to the core. This will help ensure its portability and break down many challenges of deploying the new platform.

To finalize, I’m extrmely excited for the Cloudera merger. I think they are focusing in the right areas with data gathering at the edge and keeping AI at the core with a cloud native deployment style! What have you gathered so far? I’d love to hear your thoughts.