As the need to analyze vast amounts of data stored in diverse locations increases, Hadoop grows ever more popular.
If industry insiders are correct, 2012 should see an increasing number of vendors and enterprises launching big data initiatives. Many of those projects will involve Apache Hadoop, an open source technology that makes it possible -- and economical -- for enterprises to store large amounts of diverse data on clusters of standard servers and to analyze that data very quickly.
Hadoop has been around since 2006, but it's really been gaining attention in the past year or so. "2011 was kind of the year where a critical mass of enterprise customers and vendors kind of began to realize the opportunity and value behind the Hadoop phenomenon," noted Shaun Connolly, VP of corporate strategy for Hortonworks, one of the key contributors to Hadoop. "I totally expect the trend to continue in 2012." Connolly added that Hortonworks believes "that by 2015, more than half the world's data will be processed by Apache Hadoop."
That prediction has big implications for enterprises, for vendors and for developers working on big data projects.
Many enterprises have already begun experimenting with Hadoop in small ways, but analysts say this could be the year they begin to get serious about the technology. Benjamin Woo, program vice president for worldwide storage systems at IDC, noted that until now most companies have been approaching Hadoop as a "science project." However, Woo said, "We believe will happen this year is that there will be enterprise acceptance of Hadoop."
What's driving this enterprise rush to Hadoop? The opportunity to make money.
"Google showed us that you can build a large, profitable, fast-growing business entirely out of data. Apache Hadoop represents the opportunity for businesses of all stripes to apply those same technologies and techniques to unlock new value from the under-utilized asset that is their data," explained Charles Zedlewski, VP of product at Cloudera. "It turns out everyone has big data."
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