Red Hat and Hortonworks fuse Hadoop and cloud in new partnership

Hortonworks’ strategy of riding its channel partners to commercial success took a seemingly big step forward on Monday with the announcement of a new strategic partnership with Red Hat(s rhat). Under the new alliance, the two companies are integrating the Hortonworks Data Platform, its suite of Hadoop tools, with various Red Hat products, including its scale-out Red Hat Storage and OpenStack cloud computing platforms.

For Hortonworks, which wants to be the Red Hat of Hadoop, the new arrangement can only be a good thing. Red Hat is the only billion-dollar open source company, and it’s expanding its footprint within enterprise data centers. The more that Hortonworks can bank on Red Hat’s goodwill and salesforce, the better. Of course, in an age of big data Red Hat needs to have a Hadoop story, as well, and Hortonworks with its partner-friendly and wholly open source approach fits the bill nicely.

The entire list of products included in the expanded partnership include:

  • Red Hat Storage
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenJDK
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
  • Red Hat JBoss Data Virtualization
Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden
Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden

It’s pretty surprising to see how fast the Hadoop market has emerged from a handful of companies — primarily Cloudera, MapR and Hortonworks — all pushing similar visions to a market where each now has a very distinct message, if not technology set. Well, maybe it’s not that surprising: Hadoop is driving a big data market estimated to be worth $32 billion by 2017, and everyone wants the biggest piece of that pie.

Hortonworks is still pushing its open source mantra and willingness to form deep bonds with larger platform vendors such as Red Hat and Microsoft(s msft), and MapR is still very much trying to distinguish itself with the best product. Cloudera is actively trying to lose its label as a Hadoop vendor and instead trying to take on everyone from Teradata to IBM as all-around data-management option.

We’ll get a clearer picture of where the companies lie and how they see the Hadoop space playing out next month at our Structure Data conference in New York. Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden and Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly will both take the stage to discuss their companies’ futures and the future of the business of big data.