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Fresh Thinking on IT Operations for 100,000 Industry Executives

Cloudera struck lucky in getting a $5M A-round away just before the markets shut down in response to the collapse of the global financial system. Backed by Accel Partners and more recently Greylock Partners they are making a bet that Hadoop with a smart scale out approach to managing large amounts of data is a winning strategy.

Mike is an industry veteran, having been through the normal form, build and sell cycle a number of times, most notably with Illustra into Informix and SleepyCat Software into Oracle Corp. During the 3 quarters between the A round and a subsequent B round, Mike has been able to build a credible and valuable company that adds significantly to the Apache Hadoop distribution, without funded competition.

In that time Cloudera have built a 30 person firm, the Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop, built a support and professional services capability and created a training and certification business. He also made the very smart move of recruiting Doug Cutting out of Yahoo, the original author of the Hadoop system.

Hadoop’s initial use case has been in managing and processing Internet scale web at Yahoo and Facebook but is now seeing significant levels of interest in other markets where processing large scale data in real time is a competitive advantage. These include, financial services, government security, credit card fraud, genomics, digital media (3D) and national scale telecommunications firms.

Mike sees the development of Hadoop as a platform as the key area for now, with enhancements to add enterprise level management capabilities, “to avoid the need to have a team of Stanford graduates to hand crank the system” he told me. To address just this issue, they have developed the Cloudera Desktop that enables the centralised management of internal and public Hadoop clusters.

Later, Mike expects to see ISV’s delivering enterprise solutions based on a Hadoop platform that enable hitherto impossible feats of analytic prowess. Early enterprise adopters in this space are likely to be able to leapfrog the competition with smarter decisions and more insightful products and services that serve customers better.

Nice guy, smart company, killer product.