You might recall that Hadoop is the open source application built from the few papers Google engineers published on their MapReduce infrastructure for dealing with very large datasets on a very inexpensive, distributed infrastructure. Facebook and many other companies use it, and Google and IBM are funding efforts to teach it to students.
Now a new startup thinks they can make money from it, as reported by Ashlee Vance in the International Herald Tribune.
“What if Google decided to sell the ability to do amazing things with data instead of selling advertising?” [Jeff Hammerbacher, a former Facebook engineer] asked.
Hammerbacher and several others have started Cloudera to find out.
The company has just released its own version of Hadoop. The software remains free, but Cloudera hopes to make money selling support and consulting services for the software. It has only a few customers, but it wants to attract biotech, oil and gas, retail and insurance customers to the idea of making more out of their information for less.
The executives point out that things like data copies of the human genome, oil reservoirs and sales data require immense storage systems.