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Mark Madsen

Open source is becoming a required option for consideration in many enterprise software evaluations, and business intelligence (BI) isn't exempt. This blog is the interactive part of my Open Source expert channel for the Business Intelligence Network where you can suggest and discuss news and events. The focus is on open source as it relates to analytics, business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing. If you would like to suggest an article or link, send an e-mail to me at open_source_links@ThirdNature.net.

About the author >

Mark, President of Third Nature, is a former CTO and CIO with experience working in both IT and vendors, including a stint at a company used as a Harvard Business School case study. Over the past decade, Mark has received awards for his work in data warehousing, business intelligence and data integration from the American Productivity & Quality Center, the Smithsonian Institute and TDWI. He is co-author of Clickstream Data Warehousing and lectures and writes about data integration, business intelligence and emerging technology.


I spoke yesterday with Mike Olson and Amr Awadallah about their new startup, and the appliance and BI markets. Mike is the former CEO of Sleepycat, and Amr was until recently a VP of engineering at Yahoo focused on BI for search. They’re joined by Christophe Bisciglia from Google and Jeff Hammerbacher, previously manager of Facebook's data team where Hive was developed.

They and several other founders created Cloudera to provide commercial support for Hadoop, an open source implementation of map-reduce (used for programatically processing large volumes of data on a compute cluster).

They said there are enough instances of companies using Hadoop in a commercial context that they believe there’s a market for commercial support on both internal installations and on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Hadoop is still complex enough and the skills for deployment are uncommon enough that many companies need help. Cloudera is setting it’s sights on larger problems than just Hadoop support, though Amr and Mike were not yet ready to talk details.

There are plenty of analytical problems that are difficult to do in SQL. MPP database vendors are trying different approaches like marrying map-reduce to the database (Greenplum), building analytical functions into the database (Teradata and SAS). Their approaches may not work as well as Hadoop though, because the processing is still constrained by SQL and the data still has to be managed from within the database.

Cloudera has an impressive starting lineup. It will be interesting to see where they take the business.

Posted October 22, 2008 7:28 PM
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