Red Hat tosses its hat into the Big Data ring

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"Big Data" has become the latest catch phrase suppliers have added to their marketing arsenal. It now is in the good company of phrases such as "Cloud Computing," "BYOD," and the ever popular "open source." Red Hat added its name to the list of suppliers who have endorsed a stack of software designed to help its customers deploy Big Data as a solution to their strategic product planning, sales and marketing plans. Red Hat, as in times past, as gathered together a selection of open source tools to create the solution it is blessing.

This announcement has been examined by my ZDnet colleague Andrew Brust (see Red Hat's Big Data strategy: A full stack approach) and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (see Red Hat embraces Hadoop and big data). So, I will consider the industry context rather than the launch itself.

What did Red Hat announce?

As a quick overview, Red Hat announced a software stack designed to support Big Data solutions and includes the following products:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Red Hat Storage — the GlusterFS file system
  • A Hadoop plug-in allowing Hadoop to process data stored using Red Hat Storage
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization — Red Hat's version of the KVM virtual machine software engine
  • Red Hat JBoss Middleware — an application development and deployment platform that works well with a whole host of development languages, application architectures (distributed, multi-tier, and cloud), database and both network and storage virtualization tools

My colleagues have done a great job of analyzing the components of this launch.

Competitive Review

Hadoop, an Apache Foundation project, has been sponsored by the who's who of technology, including suppliers such as AMD, Citrix, FaceBook, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and VMware's SpringSource all of whom have Hadoop-based offerings.

The Hadoop competitive market has been growing since Hadoop emerged as a top-level project in May 2010. Although Red Hat has been effectively part of the Hadoop market, it hasn't put a stake in the ground until now. While some would point out that Red Hat is a bit tardy, maybe its entry should be considered fashionably late.

It is a very reasonable move for Red Hat to join the party. It is a growing area of interest for the market and Red Hat's Linux has been the foundation for numerous Hadoop-based projects (see The Linux Foundation Enterprise Linux User Report ). Red Hat, according to IDC (see the IDC Worldwide Linux Client and Server Operating Environments 2012 - 2016 Forcast and 2011 Vendor Shares) is the leading provider of commercial Linux.


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