Cloudera defends Intel deal as Hadoop battle rages on

By Sooraj Shah
16 May 2014 View Comments

Intel's $740m investment in Hadoop distributor Cloudera didn't simply give the chip giant an 18 per cent stake in the firm, it also left a lot of cages severely rattled.

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HortonWorks' president, Herb Cunitz, was among the first to go on the attack, stating that Cloudera is now not just competing with MapR and HortonWorks, but also Teradata, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle - the implication being that it is now a small fish in a much bigger pond.

Cloudera's co-founder, former CEO, and now chief strategy officer, Mike Olson (pictured), parried the blow.

"I understand why our competitors want to position us as attacking the established data management vendors, but it is simply not true. We were the very first company [in this space] to collaborate with Teradata on a product level, and to create relationships with IBM and Oracle," he told Computing.

Others criticised Intel for targeting its own partners with the deal.

But Intel's cloud and big data market development manager, Alan Priestley, said that the chipmaker has held on to relationships with other security vendors even after acquiring security firm McAfee (now Intel Security), arguing that this proves that the Cloudera deal will not affect its existing relationships.

However, Cunitz didn't stop there; he also took a swipe at Cloudera for claiming that enterprises that adopt Hadoop will no longer need a data warehouse.

Duncan Ross, director of data science at Teradata, a partner of Cloudera and HortonWorks, also took issue with this.

"I wouldn't quite agree with where they are coming from. I certainly see there still being a value in the data warehouse in 10 or 20 years," he said.

But Olson believes Cloudera's critics have got his company all wrong, for which he is willing to take some of the blame.

"[Killing off the data warehouse] isn't [our strategy] and it never has been, and frankly shame on us for not having explained this properly," he said.

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