Informatica 9.5 Joins the Hadoop Fray

Fun fact: a solid B.I. platform can result in employees ripping out 50 percent less hair.

Informatica recently released version 9.5 of its eponymous data-integration platform, designed to better digest reams of data from a variety of environments: social media content, Web clickstreams, information from Hadoop-MapReduce frameworks, and even data from sensors and other devices.

The company claims Informatica 9.5 can better manage all that corporate data via a common-data integration platform; it also allows users to move data into Hadoop either in batches or real time.

Apache Hadoop is a framework for reliably running applications on large hardware clusters. Its ability to scale from relatively few servers to thousands of machines makes it potentially useful to any company wrestling with rapidly growing amounts of data. As such, Hadoop has become increasingly popular in recent quarters, with any number of B.I. vendors releasing products designed to leverage it in some way.

“Hadoop cannot exist as an island in IT,” James Markarian, Informatica’s chief technology officer, wrote in a May 16 statement. “For Hadoop to cross the chasm and become a mainstream technology, customers need the ability to manage Hadoop as part of their larger IT environment.”

Of course, others might argue that Hadoop is already a mainstream technology for the enterprise, given its use by organizations ranging from Facebook and eBay to Hulu, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter, and a selection of major universities.

That aside, Informatica seems most interested in a tight integration between its offerings and Hadoop, perhaps trusting that CIOs and other company IT pros will end up attracted to the combination of a popular framework with features such as real-time monitoring of data streaming and a “data timeline.” Informatica 9.5 will be followed by Informatica 9.5.1 later this year, according to the company.

Research firm IDC recently estimated that worldwide revenues for Hadoop-MapReduce ecosystem software (MapReduce, another framework, allows organizations to process problems across huge datasets and clusters of machines) will rise from $77 million in 2011 to $812.8 million in 2016.

“The Hadoop and MapReduce market will likely develop along the lines established by the development of the Linux ecosystem,” Dan Vesset, vice president of Business Analytics Solutions for IDC, wrote in a May 7 statement accompanying the data. “Over the next decade, much of the revenue will be accrued by hardware, applications, and application development and deployment software vendors.”