Rackspace and Hortonworks Collaborate to Deliver OpenStack and Hadoop-based Big Data Solutions for Public and Private Cloud

October 26th, 2012 - Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company, today announced a strategic agreement with Hortonworks, a leader in Apache Hadoop development, implementation, support, operations and training, to empower customers with an enterprise-ready Hadoop platform that is easy to use in the Cloud.  Together, Rackspace and Hortonworks will focus on eliminating the complexities and time-consuming, manual processes that are required today for implementing a Big Data solution. The joint effort will pursue an OpenStack-based Hadoop solution for the public and private cloud, which can easily be deployed in minutes.

According to a recent Gartner report, Big Data will drive $232 billion in IT spending through 2016.  Big Data is enabling organizations to store, process and analyze very large sets of both structured and unstructured data in ways that were not possible or practical until now. However, implementing a Big Data solution can be complicated and typically requires a large investment in infrastructure, as well as specialized skills and tools that most organizations do not possess.

“Running Hadoop on your own is complex, which is why we’re excited about our development efforts with Hortonworks.  We believe Hortonworks as a collaborator brings a substantial advantage in technology, services and experience that will clearly benefit customers,” said John Engates, CTO of Rackspace.  “We have customers today that deploy Hadoop clusters on dedicated hardware at Rackspace with support from Hortonworks. By joining forces, we intend to turn Hadoop into an on-demand service running on the Rackspace open cloud and in clusters on private cloud infrastructure in our data centers or the customer’s data center. The Hortonworks Data Platform packages the open source Apache version of Hadoop. That aligns with our vision of an open cloud future that eliminates fear of vendor lock-in, and allows customers to confidently invest in a technology for the long term.”

Rackspace and Hortonworks will now align efforts to deliver the “gold standard” for Hadoop on OpenStack public and private clouds.  The parties believe that, through these collaborative efforts:

•    Rackspace will release an OpenStack public cloud-based Hadoop service, which will be validated and supported by Hortonworks and will enable customers to create a Big Data environment in a matter of minutes;
•    Customers will be able to engage Hortonworks to support running Hadoop on Rackspace infrastructure, including its public cloud, private cloud inside Rackspace, and its dedicated servers;
•    Hortonworks will provide customer guidance and support to customers who want to deploy Hortonworks on Rackspace Private Cloud Software in their own datacenter; and
•    Hortonworks and Rackspace will join the technical certification programs for Rackspace Private Cloud Software and the Hortonworks Data Platform, respectively.
Rackspace itself is an early adopter of Big Data and has been using Hadoop since 2008 for mission critical uses: the Emails & Apps division processes billions of emails a year to troubleshoot and diagnose customer issues; the billing department analyses Cloud usage data daily to generate customer invoices.
“Working with Rackspace is ideal because they are leading the industry towards a vision where open technologies give customers the flexibility to choose the right solutions for them, while also helping them to simplify and implement advanced technologies like Hadoop in a way that produce business value,” said Shaun Connolly, VP of Strategy at Hortonworks. “OpenStack is clearly becoming the standard for open cloud platforms and combining that with the 100 percent open Hortonworks Data Platform provides organizations with an incredible technology solution.”

Hortonworks is the leading contributor to Apache Hadoop and has been partnering with a number of companies, including Intel, to deliver solutions aimed at making an enterprise-grade, Hadoop environment that can be deployed seamlessly.

“An OpenStack-based Hadoop solution can help enable businesses to more quickly implement Big Data solutions," said Jason Waxman, general manager of Intel's Cloud Infrastructure Group. "Intel is working closely with Rackspace and Hortonworks to deliver open source solutions optimized for the Intel Xeon platform that make it easier for the enterprises to extract valuable business insights.”

Customers interested in learning more about the current deployment options for Hadoop or forthcoming integrated Hadoop solutions from Rackspace and Hortonworks should contact Rackspace at hadoop-solutions@rackspace.com.