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Cloudera and Hortonworks sink differences to merge

Hadoop distributors Hortonworks and Cloudera have sunk their differences and announced their marriage

Long-standing Hadoop distributor rivals Hortonworks and Cloudera have announced a merger.

The long-time foes of the big data scene have both moved on from their origins distributing the Hadoop Distributed File System [HDFS] software framework and related stack.

They have announced an agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger.

The transaction has, the companies said in a joint statement, been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both entities.

Tom Reilly, CEO at Cloudera, stated: “Our businesses are highly complementary and strategic. By bringing together Hortonworks’ investments in end-to-end data management with Cloudera’s investments in data warehousing and machine learning, we will deliver the industry’s first enterprise data cloud from the Edge to AI[ artificial intelligence]. This vision will enable our companies to advance our shared commitment to customer success in their pursuit of digital transformation.”

Rob Bearden, CEO of Hortonworks, said: “This compelling merger will create value for our respective stockholders and allow customers, partners, employees and the open source community to benefit from the enhanced offerings, larger scale and improved cost competitiveness inherent in this combination.

“Together, we are well positioned to continue growing and competing in the streaming and IoT [internet of things], data management, data warehousing, machine learning/AI and hybrid cloud markets. Importantly, we will be able to offer a broader set of offerings that will enable our customers to capitalize on the value of their data.”

The open-source software-based companies were, as Computer Weekly reported at the time, clashing in 2014 over the approach Hadoop distributors should take to the traditional data warehouse: complement, in the case of Hortonworks, or replace, in the case of Cloudera.

In 2015, they were in bitter conflict over the so-called Open Data Platform, in which Hortonworks was involved, and which Cloudera dismissed as a marketing stunt, designed to exclude themselves and MapR, another Hadoop distributor.

Hortonworks has positioned itself as pure open source, while Cloudera has woven their own proprietary software into their Hadoop distribution. But their offers have been similar.

In the statement, the two companies stated the merger will “deliver the industry’s first enterprise data cloud, providing the ease of use and elasticity of the public cloud from the datacentre, to the Edge and everywhere in between”, and “fuel innovation in IoT, streaming, data warehouse, hybrid cloud, machine learning/AI”.

They stated that the merged company’s annual revenues stand at $720m, drawn from more than 2,5000 customers. They also project $125m in annual cost synergies.

Following completion of the transaction, Cloudera’s CEO, Tom Reilly, will become CEO; Hortonworks’ chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operating officer, Scott Davidson, will be the chief operating officer; Hortonworks’ chief product officer, Arun C. Murthy, will serve as chief product officer; and Cloudera’s CFO, Jim Frankola, will be the CFO of the combined company. Hortonworks’ CEO, Rob Bearden, will join the board of directors of the new company.

The companies expect to complete the transaction during the first quarter of 2019.

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