Can Facebook or Twitter Spin Off the Next Hadoop?

Like most people, I suspect, I wasn’t too surprised to find out that Hadoop-focused startup Karmasphere has secured a $5 million initial funding round. After all, if Hadoop catches on like the evidence suggests it will, Karmasphere’s desktop-based Hadoop-management tools could pay off investors many times over. In some ways, though, the fact that Hadoop is mature enough to inspire commercial products means it’s yesterday’s news. Now, I’m wondering, which open-source, big-data-inspired product will be the next to launch a wave of startups and drive tens of millions in VC spending?

Big data has narrowed the gap between the needs of bleeding-edge web companies, their offspring and even traditional businesses. Hadoop has caught on across industry boundaries as an analytics tool for unstructured data sets, and it seems logical that other web-based tools will catch on in other parts of the data layer. In my weekly column over at GigaOM Pro (sub req’d) today, I took a look at the potential for Cassandra, which grew out of Facebook, and Gizzard, Twitter’s ill-named big-data baby.

Given its growing popularity and expanding functionality, Cassandra right now seems like a prime candidate. Rackspace has taken over its development reins, and its found varied applications within Digg, Twitter, Reddit, Cloudkick and Cisco to name a few. This diversity illustrates Cassandra’s versatility; it’s not just for the social media crowd. Furthermore, Cassandra graduated to a top-level Apache project in February, signifying the quality of the work done on it thus far and, most likely, a groundswell of new developers.

Twitter’s newly open-sourced Gizzard tool seems to have promise, as well. By eliminating some pain from the often difficult sharding process, Gizzard makes it easier to build and manage distributed data stores that can handle ultra-high query volumes without getting bogged down. Like Google, Yahoo and Facebook before it, Twitter has played a role in evolving how we use the web, and software developed within its walls should be a hot commodity for present and future Twitter-inspired sites and products.

Which do you think will take off?

Read the full article here.

Photo courtesy Flickr user zzzack

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