Power servers

Two elephants: Hortonworks and IBM

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I have a two-year-old son at home. Wait, no — he’s almost three.  Wow, that happened FAST.

Anyway, I have a young son, and one of the rituals we both look forward to every night is story time.  We have fairy tale books, books about farm animals, books about letters and numbers and colors.  But, invariably, we always seem to come back to the Dr. Seuss classics.  You know the ones: The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Fox in Socks… and Horton Hears a Who.  We have been reading Horton Hears a Who a lot, so much that we actually have two copies of it.  I could probably recite it from memory.  If you don’t know the book, it tells a story of an elephant (Horton) who protects a community of people (the Whos) living on a small speck of dust.

I’m at IBM Edge this week, which means I’m missing out on storytime with my son for the next few days.  Maybe that’s why when the CTO of Hortonworks announced yesterday that he was proud to be working with IBM (another elephant in the IT world) to bring their open distribution of Apache Hadoop to the IBM Power Systems platform, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Dr. Seuss character that serves as the company’s namesake.

Hortonworks has become an elephant in its own right. This solution was created when the Hadoop team at Yahoo spun off their own company to further develop Apache’s open distribution of Hadoop.  IBM joined them in declaring a strong commitment to Apache Hadoop.  Today, they are the most widely-deployed distribution of Apache Hadoop that’s based entirely on open source technology.

Given that open, collaborative innovation is a core part of Hortonworks’ DNA, it makes sense for them to join forces with IBM Power Systems and the OpenPOWER Foundation.  At a base level, Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) will work with POWER to provide more scalable, more efficient data lakes for structured and unstructured business data.  POWER also provides a high-performance platform for running analytics on that data and updating insights in real time through the use of streaming data sources.

Our OpenPOWER partners are hard at work developing systems capable of advancing artificial intelligence, deep learning, high-performance data analysis (HPDA) and other data-intensive tasks.  Customers exploring the creation of a big data platform to support their future needs in these areas now have an industry-standard, future-proof option in Hortonworks on Power Systems.

I’m reminded of a passage from Horton Hears a Who, where an eagle named Vlad snatches the clover Horton was using to carry his new friends, the Whos. He drops it many hours later into a vast field of clovers “a hundred miles wide.”  In the book, Horton spends most of a day searching clovers in the field, one by one, until he finds his friends at last “on the three millionth flower.”  Searching three million clovers for a tiny dust speck in a matter of hours may seem implausible, but I realize now that tremendous possibilities come from great partnerships and strong commitments.

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