How a little open source project came to dominate big data

1. July 2014

Date: 01-07-2014
Source: Fortune

It began as a nagging technical problem that needed solving. Now, it’s driving a market that’s expected to be worth $50.2 billion by 2020.

There are countless open source projects with crazy names in the software world today, but the vast majority of them never make it onto enterprises’ collective radar. Hadoop is an exception of pachydermic proportions.

Named after a child’s toy elephant, Hadoop is now powering big data applications at companies such as Yahoo and Facebook; more than half of the Fortune 50 use it, providers say.

The software’s “refreshingly unique approach to data management is transforming how companies store, process, analyze and share big data,” according to Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri. “Forrester believes that Hadoop will become must-have infrastructure for large enterprises.”

Globally, the Hadoop market was valued at $1.5 billion in 2012; by 2020, it is expected to reach $50.2 billion.

It’s not often a grassroots open source project becomes a de facto standard in industry. So how did it happen?

‘A market that was in desperate need’

“Hadoop was a happy coincidence of a fundamentally differentiated technology, a permissively licensed open source codebase and a market that was in desperate need of a solution for exploding volumes of data,” said RedMonk cofounder and principal analyst Stephen O’Grady. “Its success in that respect is no surprise.” Read the rest of this entry »