We had the opportunity to attend the 1st Hortonworks analyst summit held in San Francisco February 29th and March 1st at the beautiful Nikko hotel.



This was the first analyst event held by Hortonworks and despite some substantial competition there was a good turnout of 20+ analysts in attendance, I was joined by fellow Constellationite Doug Henschen.

So take a look at the video:


No time to watch – here are the key takeaways:

Momentum – Hortonworks is growing, doing well, a testament to the transformational power of Hadoop in the enterprise. No surprise as enterprises for the first time have the opportunity to bring together all their enterprise data in a single platform, at a fraction of the cost of maintenance of a single silo of data. And no need to know what insights and questions maybe asked later. Hortonworks execs were bullish to have passed fellow competitor Cloudera, we will see at that vendor’s analyst summit. Anyway – great proof point of the momentum.

Next generation DB for the enterprise – It was very clear that the Hortonworks ambition is to become the next generation database for enterprises. And while for ‘data at rest’ the vendor has achieved that status (with all Hadoop based vendors, Hadoop has become the de-facto next gen database for the enterprise) – the verdict is all open on the ‘data in motion’ use cases (think most prominently of nothing else than IoT). And Hortonworks has now integrated last year’s acquisition of Onyara, providing an integrated product with HDF 1.2. It’s sibling for data at rest is HDP 2.4, which has Apache Spark 1.6 support. HP Enterprise ‘donated’ a re-write of the MapReduce Shuffle code in C (originally in Java), showing up to 15x performance gains - -so more performance to come for ODP at some point.

Two release trains – A sign of maturation of the Hadoop market and its adoption is shown by Hortonworks now moving to two release trains…. One for the cutting edge users (called Extended Services) and one for the more conservative (often live) enterprises with Hadoop Core. A good move that should make both growing constituent groups happy.



Always good to be at the first analyst summit, especially when it the vendor sees the traction like Hortonworks does. The vendor has a clear ambition to become the next generation database for the enterprise – addressing both data at rest and in motion. These are traditional different architectures and players and bringing both together will be a challenge for anyone – so a tall ask (hence the blog post title). But it’s good for vendors to have an ambition and given the early phases it is good to see Hortonworks is off to an early start to bring these two database domains together.

On the concern side – more is needed than a database, but a complete platform. Given the Springsource DNA in the executive team I am sure Hortonworks leadership is aware of that, but I guess it is one step at a time. And becoming more of the de-facto standard as the Hadoop distribution for an IaaS player (as Hortonworks has achieved with Microsoft Azure) is a short term priority.

For enterprises it is clear Hortonworks is one of the two (or three if you add MapR) Hadoop distributions to work with, and the ambition of becoming the next generation enterprise database will be attractive to more enterprises than less. We will be watching, stay tuned.

More on BigData

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  • Market Move - Oracle buys Datalogix - moves into DaaS - read here
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Finally find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here.