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Summary:

Hadoop gets plenty of attention from investors and the IT press, but it’s very possible we haven’t seen anything yet. All the action of the last year has just been setting the stage for what should be a big year.

hadoop

Hadoop gets plenty of attention from investors and the IT press, but it’s very possible we haven’t seen anything yet. All the action of the last year has just set the stage for what should be a big year full of new companies, new users and new techniques for analyzing big data. That’s not to say there isn’t room for alternative platforms, but with even Microsoft abandoning its competitive effort and pinning its big data hopes on Hadoop, it’s difficult to see the project’s growth slowing down.

Here are six big things Hadoop has going for it as 2012 approaches.

1. Investors love it

Cloudera has raised $76 million since 2009. Newcomers MapR and Hortonworks have raised $29 million and $50 million (according to multiple sources), respectively. And that’s just at the distribution layer, which is the foundation of any Hadoop deployment. Up the stack, Datameer, Karmasphere and Hadapt have each raised around $10 million, and then are newer funded companies such as Zettaset, Odiago and Platfora. Accel Partners has started a $100 million big data fund to feed applications utilizing Hadoop and other core big data technologies. If anything, funding around Hadoop should increase in 2012, or at least cover a lot more startups.

2. Competition breeds success

Whatever reasons companies had to not use Hadoop should be fading fast, especially when it comes to operational concerns such as performance and cluster management. This is because MapR, Cloudera and Hortonworks are in a heated competition to win customers’ business. Whereas the former two utilize open-source Apache Hadoop code for their distributions, MapR is pushing them on the performance front with its semi-proprietary version of Hadoop. This means an increased pace of innovation within Apache, and a major focus on management tools and support to make Hadoop easier to deploy and monitor. These three companies have lots of money, and it’s all going toward honing their offerings, which makes customers the real winners.

3. What learning curve?

Aside from the improved management and support capabilities at the distribution layer, those aforementioned up-the-stack companies are already starting to make Hadoop easier to use. Already, Karmasphere and Concurrent are helping customers write Hadoop workflows and applications, while Datameer and IBM are among the companies trying to make Hadoop usable by business users rather than just data scientists. As more Hadoop startups begin emerging from stealth mode, or at least releasing products, we should see even more innovative approaches to making analytics child’s play, so to speak.

4. Users are talking

It might not sound like a big deal, but the shared experiences of early Hadoop adopters could go a long way toward spreading Hadoop’s utility across the corporate landscape. It’s often said that knowing how to manage Hadoop clusters and write Hadoop applications is one thing, but knowing what questions to ask is something else altogether. At conferences such as Hadoop World, and on blogs across the web, companies including Walt Disney, Orbitz, LinkedIn, Etsy and others are telling their stories about what they have been able to discover since they began analyzing their data with Hadoop. With all these use cases abound, future adopters should have an easier time knowing where to get started and what types of insights they might want to go after.

5. It’s becoming less noteworthy

This point is critical, actually, to the long-term success of any core technology: at some point, it has to become so ubiquitous that using it’s no longer noteworthy. Think about relational databases in legacy applications — everyone knows Oracle, MySQL or SQL Server are lurking beneath the covers, but no one really cares anymore. We’re hardly there yet with Hadoop, but we’re getting there. Now, when you come across applications that involve capturing and processing lots of unstructured data, there’s a good chance they’re using Hadoop to do it. I’ve come across a couple of companies, however, that don’t bring up Hadoop unless they’re prodded because they’re not interested in talking about how their applications work, just the end result of better security, targeted ads or whatever it is they’re doing.

6. It’s not just Hadoop

If Hadoop were just Hadoop — that is, Apache MapReduce and the Hadoop Distributed File System — it still would be popular. But the reality is that it’s a collection of Apache projects that include everything from the SQL-like Hive query language to the NoSQL HBase database to machine-learning library Mahout. HBase, in particular, has proven particularly popular on its own, including at Facebook. Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR all incorporate the gamut of Hadoop projects within their distributions, and Cloudera recently formed the Bigtop project within Apache, which is a central location for integrating all Hadoop-related projects within the foundation. The more use cases Hadoop as a whole addresses, the better it looks.

Disclosure: Concurrent is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, the founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

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  59. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/Jl3h994r #hadoop

  60. Still early for Hadoop. Go to any job-board and contrast keyword search “Hadoop” with anything or pick Apache, Ruby, whatever. Hadoop is coming but ’12 feels early.

    1. It’s definitely early, but I really do think the stage is set for a groundbreaking year. Apart from the reasons I listed, there’s also the large-vendor support: IBM, Microsoft, EMC, Oracle, NetApp, Dell … . Hadoop won’t hit 100 percent penetration or anything next year, but I think we’ll really see the market and the core technologies shape up into something enduring.

      1. I guess it also depends on the new technology apatite of the company. My company still struggling with small data performance on oracle like systems. they are scared of trying new systems. Until they do not have much risk. I would love to see Hadoop rocking in coming few years.

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  67. Katie @ Women’s Magazine Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Despite all the investor’s love i haven’t seen it loved so much by the developer communities. But you are right lately i have heard some good things about deploying applications that requires large clusters on Hadoop. It’s kind of mixed reaction from my end.

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  79. While Hadoop solves a real analytics problem…there is a danger that Hadoop is getting over-hyped and the VC investor mania gets too ahead of the technology capabilities. We have seen this way too many times in the past. In 2012, the Hadoop ecosystem needs to mature, stabilize and deliver for it to be more than a great science project. The good news is that big vendors are killing their competitive offerings and basically embracing Hadoop.

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  92. early #hadoop adopters could go a long way via @derrickharris
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  121. Annalina Caputo Thursday, November 24, 2011

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  123. Gabriele Santomaggio Thursday, November 24, 2011

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  124. RT @derrickharris: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/Url250Lu… < a Thanksgiving treat for big data…

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  127. Leon Katsnelson Thursday, November 24, 2011

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  136. MADHUSUDHAN RAO Thursday, November 24, 2011

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  137. RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  138. Will 2012 be the year of Hadoop? Maybe this is what the Mayans meant. (GigaOm) http://t.co/KaFFGPXM

  139. RT @mosisys: Will 2012 be the year of Hadoop? Maybe this is what the Mayans meant. (GigaOm) http://t.co/KaFFGPXM

  140. @concurrent an important part of the new data mgmt stack cc @cwensel http://t.co/YrMutXEX

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  142. Gabriel Gasparolo Thursday, November 24, 2011

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  144. LinkedIn Software Thursday, November 24, 2011

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  145. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop – http://t.co/4B87GdQD – another nice state of the #Hadoop Union by @derrickharris

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  151. 2012 being the “Year of Hadoop” doesn’t necessarily mean that it becomes ubiquitous. But is a reasonable expectation that during 2012 it’ll ramp so far up the J curve that it’s trajectory towards achieving ubiquity becomes realiably plottable.

  152. Flavio Villanustre Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Derek, while your point about the current hype of Hadoop is valid, some of the other metrics that you seem to be using to define success are just consequences of that hype, which creates the dangerous potential for circular logic.

    Hadoop is still vastly immature, requires too many moving parts from other projects and third parties to create something remotely usable in a critical production environment, and it’s expensive to operate and maintain, requiring an army of Java MapReduce developers (not the typical Java developer, by the way) and significant external instrumentation, to make it reliable enough. Its real time data delivery capabilities are non-existent (although HBase could be a beginning, it is by no means comparable to a full fledged RDBMS system when it comes to capabilities).

    You should really take a look at LexisNexis HPCC system: a very mature and critical production ready data intensive ETL system (Thor) pivoting on the beautiful ECL high level data oriented language. It comes with all the required instrumentation out of the box to run in 24/7 critical operations and it has an extremely efficient horizontally scalable shared nothing real-time delivery system (Roxie) which allows for highly sophisticated queries (comparable to the best RDBMS systems in the market). What is it not to like about it?

    Flavio

    1. Flavio,

      I’m well aware of HPCC Systems. In fact, I’m doing a webinar with Armando on Wednesday. But as good as HPCC might be — and I’ve heard good things — Hadoop has all the momentum right now, and a large ecosystem in place.

  153. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop: http://t.co/NBoaSDIM

  154. Momentum behind Hadoop accelerating http://t.co/sCqSbwmd

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  156. Matias Cascallares Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/i8wUTl7I #in

  157. RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  158. Yes , we saw this coming: 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/CAni32Mp

  159. #Hadoop is trending for 2012. We are ready to connect #Hadoop to any other #data source or #app directly. Today. http://t.co/ZVlQyOyu

  160. Jennifer Murphy Thursday, November 24, 2011

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  161. Brandy Luscalzo Thursday, November 24, 2011

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  164. Jérôme Gloaguen Thursday, November 24, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  165. Erika Podlovics Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons this could be the year of Hadoop – http://t.co/4hUGSLsB ps – Kik’s hiring a Systems Eng. Interested? Email erika @ kik . com

  166. Early but we’re in an age of big data which will accelerate it’s support and success. 100% penetration isn’t necessary – but getting more and more big players using it will push things along nicely for Hadoop and it’s users.

    The server team here at Kik is loving it – loving it so much we’re looking for a sys engineer. Check it out – http://www.kik.com/careers or email erika @ kik . com

  167. RT @erikapodlovics: 6 reasons this could be the year of Hadoop – http://t.co/4hUGSLsB ps – Kik’s hiring a Systems Eng. Interested? Email erika @ kik . com

  168. 2012 the elephant enters the room!
    http://t.co/Lih5Nl1s

  169. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop — Cloud Computing News http://t.co/9ku2Rb88

  170. RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  171. I have been really struck by how strong the third broader ecosystem support is: from the emergence of specialized Hadoop solutions companies like ours – Think Big Analytics, through to NoSQL, MPP database, ETL and BI vendors the enterprise integration needed to make Hadoop work is coming together very quickly. We are seeing a lot of companies kicking off production projects as the start of a data platform strategy.

  172. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/HudqXhYu #cloud #saas

  173. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/0ANSPnRO via @zite Hadoop and big data are intrinsically entwined

  174. Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/7qRDGnTr #vc

  175. Jose Jimenez Mateos Thursday, November 24, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2lIuMfTK http://t.co/KU6xBfGy

  176. Praful Anchaliya Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/Nf84CuWj

  177. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of #Hadoop http://t.co/gEkuhmO3 – CustVox run on Hadoop

  178. Daniel S. Haischt Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/LJEV68o8

  179. RT @danielchow77 Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of #Hadoop http://t.co/hqSZE7zS #vc

  180. recommends reading “6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop” http://t.co/xeyeyBnv

  181. Davinder Bhatia Thursday, November 24, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  182. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/Ph9UpW7v

  183. Federico Cargnelutti Thursday, November 24, 2011

    2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2UZw4JHM Interested in running Hadoop clusters on Amazon EC2? Get in touch http://t.co/RdzmCKRy

  184. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/0NQJCayD

  185. michael d holland Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/Fh0vJkzn

  186. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/YHanCiTN

  187. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/9AjDnYVR

  188. i can def see that @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/Fxlsol8A

  189. Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/wS8BborV

  190. RT @gigaom: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of #Hadoop http://t.co/zNRpbqBi

  191. Oscar A Jofre Jr. Thursday, November 24, 2011

    RT @davidunsworth: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/9AjDnYVR

  192. RT @dstott: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/YHanCiTN

  193. RT @megamda: RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/z2u0Ps68 < hell yes

  194. RT @katsnelson: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/gbmj7y6t #bigdata #hadoop #biginsights

  195. Fredrik Erasmus Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/JNErXwGA

  196. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/Cr1HmrQc

  197. Technology: following hadoop evolution. http://t.co/s44eigUT

  198. Pierre-Luc Bisaillon Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/sWoxFxmc

  199. Saïd Radhouani Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/kYbdXZtt

  200. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/WJmxKmhe via @zite

  201. RT @puneet324: @concurrent an important part of the new data mgmt stack cc @cwensel http://t.co/YrMutXEX

  202. Andres L. Martinez Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Claramente 2012 parece ser el año de Hadoop. http://t.co/rCIyoTxE

  203. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/F1IN8jZN via @zite

  204. Emarson Victoria Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/fYZYamkO

  205. Dragan Milovanovic Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Big data, Hadoop is here to stay :) http://t.co/U4iJv5Ql

  206. Laurent LATHIEYRE Thursday, November 24, 2011

    We’ve been using Hadoop since 2009… “6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop” | GigaOm http://t.co/BYWweWHI

  207. Stéphane Castrec Thursday, November 24, 2011

    RT @taozen: We’ve been using Hadoop since 2009… “6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop” | GigaOm http://t.co/BYWweWHI

  208. Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/W2Z4vWbV

  209. RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  210. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/3hRFMp76

  211. Courtney Robinson Thursday, November 24, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  212. Krish Khambadkone Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/fRKcPvk4

  213. Nikos Stasinopoulos Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/ibNYT50O

  214. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/FJzhgNcx

  215. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/ErEtQaeM

  216. RT @andreisavu: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/XETb1SwU

  217. Bala Narasimhan Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Is 2012 the year of Hadoop? Not doubt Hadoop is important technology – not sure about 2012 being the year http://t.co/6HbJjvq3

  218. Stewart Townsend Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop — Cloud Computing News http://t.co/1CKCEaai #bigdata

  219. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/QTlx3mLH

  220. RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  221. Seb Chakraborty Thursday, November 24, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  222. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/SaUG0Enu

  223. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop — Cloud Computing News http://t.co/qSbibSkp

  224. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop — Cloud Computing News http://t.co/FLIVwQ1C

  225. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/QVNt3fBv

  226. As if there wasn’t already enough hype around Hadoop. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop — http://t.co/OznuTO9b

  227. FREDERIC GEORJON Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/ERDsl7x7

  228. Jerome Gentolia Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop — Cloud Computing News http://t.co/AuF4VoHd

  229. G+: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/lUI134qK http://t.co/3GQnIl0t

  230. Prashant Khatiwada Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/jByt5j8a

  231. Carlos Eduardo Seo Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/u4hETqDY

  232. Henry Goodfriend Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/xTOBN8V0

  233. Aditi Technologies Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of #Hadoop http://t.co/lPzwypLu >Interesting Read ! #Cloud

  234. RT @grdesai79: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/SaUG0Enu

  235. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/QsdQM1OH

  236. Zachary Ho Wang Thursday, November 24, 2011

    6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/tEUnLHqo (via @ReadItLater)

  237. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of #Hadoop – http://t.co/NUy9aQlQ #nosql

  238. RT @gigaom: Six reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2OFin3ox

  239. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/ciWMLaKG

  240. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/GIro1cGd #in

  241. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of #Hadoop http://t.co/LvxRwhWz #bigdata

  242. RT @WeAreAditi: 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of #Hadoop http://t.co/lPzwypLu >Interesting Read ! #Cloud

  243. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/kQ3mavNu

  244. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/2hjwS7ap

  245. 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop http://t.co/NmafY1lt