Teradata taps Hortonworks to improve Hadoop story

Data warehouse veteran Teradata (s tdc) has tightened its embrace of the Hadoop big data platform via a partnership with Hortonworks. The goal of the alliance is to give customers more-integrated big data environments that include everything from the Teradata Database for advanced SQL analytics and the Hortonworks Data Platform Hadoop distribution to store and process unstructured data. Hortonworks is the team of Hadoop specialists that spun out of Yahoo in June 2011(s yhoo).

This type of partnership exists because, despite all the hype surrounding Hadoop as the linchpin of any big data strategy, it can still be very difficult to get started with the technology. Setting up, deploying and managing a cluster of Hadoop servers is one part of the problem, and the other is just knowing how and when to run MapReduce jobs. The situation becomes even trickier for companies already operating a Teradata system that want to integrate it with Hadoop so that the former can analyze data stored in the latter, as the two technologies were not designed with each other in mind.

Many companies, such as eBay (e ebay), already operate joint Teradata-Hadoop environments. Teradata Labs President Scott Gnau has acknowledged to me that Hadoop is here to stay, so Teradata has to figure out a way, not just to play nice with Hadoop, but to embrace it. The company has already worked with Hortonworks’ competitor Cloudera on a connector between the Teradata Database and Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution, but the Hortonworks deal appears a little deeper and more strategic. Teradata has a family of analytics products, including its recently acquired Aster MapReduce technology, that customers might want to integrate with Hadoop.

For Hortonworks, bringing on Teradata as a partner helps to reinforce its position as a Hadoop market leader despite its having been in existence for less than a year. Some have suggested a recent CEO change at the company was the result of investor annoyance with the company’s business model and lack of a publicly available product (an assertion Hortonworks challenges), but this type of partnership shows that strategic partners have faith in Hortonworks’ ability to develop products and support customers. The company announced a similar deal with Microsoft (s msft) in October.

Members from across the Hadoop ecosystem will be presenting at our Structure: Data conference, which takes place March 21-22 in New York.