Whatever the future may hold for Microsoft as a company, it’s a safe assumption that Windows will continue to power a large percentage of office PCs for the time being. And as more and more enterprises turn to ways to manage their structured and unstructured data, it stands to reason that they’ll need software compatible with Microsoft platforms.
Hortonworks is targeting this very need with its new Hortonworks Data Platform for Windows, claiming it’s the first Hadoop-based platform capable of interoperability across Windows, Linux, and Windows Azure.
Apache Hadoop, an open-source framework for reliably running applications on large hardware clusters, has been adopted by large and small companies alike as part of their respective data-crunching infrastructures. That’s kicked off a mini-boom of sorts in Hadoop-related tools, from IT vendors large (IBM) and small (Datameer, Hortonworks, Karmasphere).
Last summer, a report from Market Research Media suggested that the spike of interest in Hadoop could continue over the next several years, transforming into a $2.2 billion market by 2018 (other research firms have pegged the market at a somewhat lower valuation—IDC, for example, believes it’ll hit $812.8 million by 2016).
Presumably—and what Hortonworks is betting on—is that the ability to build and run Hadoop applications natively on Windows will help with that rising adoption. Microsoft participated in the project as a partner; as a result (so Hortonworks claims) installation on various Windows platforms is streamlined, to the point where a 15-node Hadoop cluster can go live via a Windows Azure HDInsight Service deployment in roughly 10 minutes. Hadoop on Windows remains open-source, with the code available to the community.
Hortonworks has also integrated the open-source Apache Ambari with Microsoft System Center, allowing administrators and IT pros to manage Hadoop clusters, databases and applications via a “single glass pane.” On the insight front, the platform can pull data from various sources—including Linux-based ones—into Microsoft Excel, PowerPivot for Excel, and Power View for analysis and insight.
Hortonworks has been mining the Hadoop vien for quite some time, most notably with the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP), an open-source platform that includes data management, monitoring, metadata and data integration.