MapR Technologies is perhaps the best Hadoop distribution company that many people haven't heard of. In Forrester's survey of Hadoop users that is used to compile its Wave report, MapR rated the highest for its current offering, with the highest scores for its distribution's architecture and data processing capabilities. The company's secret sauce is a set of unique capabilities MapR has managed to work into its version of Hadoop. For example, MapR's distribution supports Network File Systems (NFS) and MapR has built up disaster recovery and high availability features into its distribution. Forrester says MapR just doesn't have the brand name recognition compared to Cloudera and Hortonworks in the Hadoop market. Increased partnerships and marketing could turn MapR into a major Hadoop company, though suggests.
Microsoft isn't historically known as being a company that embraces open source software, but in this case it is taking strides to not only enable Hadoop to run on Windows, but put forth code toward the open source project to advance the Hadoop ecosystem more broadly. The fruits of that labor are seen in Microsoft's public cloud Windows Azure's HDInsight product. It's a Hadoop as a service offering based on Hortonworks' distribution of the platform but specifically designed to run on Azure.
Microsoft has some other nifty projects too, including a production-ready feature named Polybase that allows information on SQLServer to also be searched during Hadoop queries. "Microsoft's significant presence in the database, data warehouse, cloud, OLAP, BI, spreadsheet (PowerPivot), collaboration, and development tools markets offers an advantage when it comes to delivering a growing Hadoop stack to Microsoft customers," Forrester says. Like Intel, Microsoft was listed as a "strong performer," but not a leader in this industry yet.
Last year EMC and VMware combined a handful of assets from each company to form Pivotal, which is basically a spin-out from the companies. One of the big aspects Pivotal is working on is a Hadoop distribution, along with the Cloud Foundry PaaS. In doing so, Pivotal has added some tooling on top of the open source code, specifically a SQL engine named HAWQ and a Hadoop appliance made specifically for running the big data platform. Forrester says the leading advantage of Pivotal's Hadoop platform is the integration between its distro and other Pivotal, EMC and VMware products. Pivotal will benefit from its EMC and VMware backing as well. Thus far, however, the company only has fewer than 100 installations, mostly at small to midsized customers, according to Forrester.
A company like Teradata could see Hadoop as a threat or an opportunity. The company specializes in data management, particularly on the SQL and relational database side. So the rise of a NoSQL platform like Hadoop could threaten the company. Instead, Teradata has embraced Hadoop. By partnering with Hortonworks, Teradata now offers customers the ability to use a Hadoop platform that's integrated with its SQL offerings, giving existing Teradata customers a plug and play-ready Hadoop platform that will work seamlessly with data already stored in Teradata warehouses.
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