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Pablo Sáez | Head of Americas Data & Analytics | everis

Apple and Samsung have merged. Cloudera + Horton?

It seems like an incredible headline, right? Well, something similar just happened in the world of BigData platforms.

On the night of October 3rd, we found out at 4:00 in the morning on the Asian exchanges, big news would break: Cloudera and HortonWorks came together to become a single company, in a ratio of 60/40, respectively. It’s okay. I’m not going to overwhelm you with data, statistics or market projections for data in a digital context. But, it is noteworthy that the joining of these two forces could easily take 90% of the market. Why? Against what or whom? Let’s see if we can understand it a little better.


Horton was born two years later, in 2011. Those who know about finance say that a mature market has two dominant players, and Horton understood which role it would play. Its strategy was very different, little proprietary SW, 100% aligned with the community, lower prices, and perhaps its best feature, greater flexibility for including and adapting to the community’s evolution. Cloudera always took more time to include changes, precisely because it had to integrate the changes with its extra management layer. Its great benefit was also its Achilles heel.


At this point, it seemed to be a fair fight between two great vendors, with different bets and strategies, which consumed the market with almost no competition. Until the large Cloud vendors with their SaaS platforms appeared. Amazon, Google and Microsoft bet on Big Data SaaS components, equivalent, complementary and additional to those of Cloudera and Horton, and with a very powerful speech that didn’t need to be explained. Contract what you want to use, experience it, cancel it; that is, the cloud will transmit a very powerful message “with us, you can make mistakes without compromising your budget”. Curiously, IBM has not managed to be a Cloud Big Data player. They were wrong from the beginning with BigInsights and its proprietary Hadoop, that in the end it allied with Horton and bet on investing in the Spark community.

The Merger

And we have reached the point of the merger. Although we do not know the details, and what it really means Cloudera having 60% and Horton 40%. What we can analyze are the data in the press release:

  • Expands market opportunity with complementary offerings, including Hortonworks DataFlow and Cloudera Data Science Workbench
  • The message here is that the solution is complete, solid, and functions for all data case uses required by companies, in a hybrid model that currently does not exist.
  • Enhances partnerships with public cloud vendors and systems integrators


In the absence of validation by all the entities of the merger, we are facing a great earthquake in the world of Big Data. It seems that years ago there were certain approaches when Horton was not going through a good period, but clearly the balance of forces is now totally different. This is a movement that in hindsight and seeing the facts, seems logical, but perhaps one week ago, nobody had it in their options.

  • It will be necessary to see how clients react, because they always want to have several options for comparison, and perhaps this is the opportunity for others, like MapR or Stratio, to appear strongly in the panorama. We must also see the issue of price, as they are clearly different.
  • We must also see how the Cloud vendors react, who were somehow ally-rivals until now, and they will possibly have to see how they will continue in the future.

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