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Big Data

Pivotal’s big-data pivot: Ditching its Hadoop distro, sources say

Pivotal data scientists speak at VentureBeat's 2013 DataBeat/Data Science Summit event .Pivotal data scientists speak at VentureBeat's 2013 DataBeat/Data Science Summit event .

Above: Pivotal data scientists speak at VentureBeat's 2013 DataBeat/Data Science Summit event .

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat February 6, 2015 12:10 PM
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Updated at 2:40 p.m. Pacific: Gigaom also reports that Pivotal is open-sourcing its Hadoop technology.

Pivotal, a spinoff of EMC and VMware, could be preparing to pull out of the Hadoop market, sources are telling VentureBeat.

We haven’t been able to confirm the exact details of the changes. But we do have reason to believe big changes to its big-data strategy are in fact coming.

Pivotal’s distribution of Hadoop — a set of open-source tools for storing, processing, and analyzing lots of different types of data — has received far less buzz than distributions from Hadoop-centric companies like Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR.

On top of that, Pivotal laid off about 60 employees, most of them focused on big data, according to a still unconfirmed report from CRN.

Several independent sources tell VentureBeat that Pivotal could soon cease to push its own Pivotal HD distribution. And not only that: Pivotal could release certain proprietary Hadoop technologies, which include Hawq and Greenplum, under open-source licenses, sources told VentureBeat. Source differ on which Pivotal components will be released.

Releasing these components as open source could give Pivotal a way forward with a Hadoop strategy that, so far, has found less traction than the company had hoped for.

It’s unclear which distribution Pivotal — which still sells a distribution of Cloud Foundry open-source software, among other products — will encourage its customers to use if they want support for Pivotal’s proprietary technologies.

Pivotal declined to comment on “rumors and speculation.”

However, Pivotal is slated to make several announcements during a “strategy update” slated for February 17. That’s precisely when we expect the news to hit.

In 2013 Pivotal announced that it had received a $105 million investment from GE.

A move of this nature wouldn’t be unprecedented. Intel last year dropped its own commercial Hadoop distribution and threw its support behind market leader Cloudera.

More information:
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