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Hadoop Start-up Attracts Glitterati Investors

Hadoop, by the way, is named for a stuffed elephant that belonged to Cutting's son

Cloudera, the start-up that going to commercialize Hadoop, the Google-inspired, Apache-fostered open source software that powers the data processing engines behind some of the biggest and most popular web sites - sites like Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon and Google itself - even Microsoft - pulled in a $5 million first round led by Accel Partners.

Ah, but the private investors going in with Accel constitute a veritable cavalcade of industry glitterati that you practically have to put sunglasses on just to read the list.

It includes VMware co-founder and former CEO Diane Greene and her husband, VMware's other co-founder, Mendel Rosenblum, Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, Microsoft's online chief and former Yahoo EVP Qi Lu, former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, LinkedIn president Jeff Weiner, Loudcloud founder In Sik Rhee, Illustra CEO Dick Williams, Facebook CFO Gideon Yu, Palm SVP Mike Abbott and early Google employee David desJardins.

Goodness me, what validation!

The operation got started last October and just announced the general availability of its free Distribution for Hadoop, a pre-packaged RPM bundle for Red Hat Linux systems or an Amazon EC2 image licensed under an Apache 2 license.

The web site widgetry, written in Java, stores and processes big data, petabytes of information often distributed across thousands of servers, and Cloudera means to bring its data analysis skills to enterprise data center by making it easier to install, configure and manage, according to co-founder Christophe Bisciglia, the former manager of Google's Hadoop cluster.

Cloudera's other founders include CEO Mike Olsen, the guy who sold Sleepycat Software to Oracle, Amr Awadallah, Yahoo's former VP of engineering, and Jeff Hammerbacher, creator of the Hive project and conveniently enough entrepreneur-in-residence at Accel Partners.

Hadoop's creators Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella, who reverse engineered the open source project from a Google research paper, are advisors.

Cloudera's distribution, based on the stable Hadoop 0.18.3, includes the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), which runs on commodity hardware and supports tens of millions of files in a single instance; the Google-conceived MapReduce, which divides applications into small blocks of work for automatic parallelization and execution on large clusters; Hive, the data warehousing infrastructure built on top of Hadoop; and Pig, the platform for analyzing large data sets in Hadoop using the high-level language for expressing data analysis programs called logically enough PigLatin.

Cloudera has launched a portal at http://my.cloudera.com where people can use a free web-based configuration tool to create custom packages. Settings for the clusters can be saved on the portal to enable automatic updates.

It's also got a free pre-configured VMware image available for evaluation and use in equally free online training (http://www.clodera.com/hadopp-training). It'll run on Linux, Mac or Windows desktops.

The company expects to make money on support and consulting. It plans on chasing biotechs, the oil and gas cartel, insurance companies and retail establishments.

Hadoop, by the way, is named for a stuffed elephant that belonged to Cutting's son.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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