Rackspace announced on Monday the availability of the Hortonworks Data Platform powered by Apache Hadoop in its managed hosting environment, as well as its public cloud. Rackspace also announced managed support around its big data solutions.
Sean Anderson, product marketing manager, Rackspace Data Services, says that Rackspace has been working since January to build out its partnership with Hortonworks and bring big data product offerings to market.
The managed service offering gives customers a fully featured and supported Hadoop infrastructure through a single vendor contract, while the Rackspace Cloud Big Data Platform features an Apache Hadoop distribution that customers can deploy and scale rapidly with no upfront investment, according to Rackspace.
“We’re excited to announce these two products,” Anderson says. “One of the after effects of the cloud product that we were able to find out in our customer preview was that using a common distribution of the Hortonworks data platform really allowed a lot of our partners to build on top of it. Of course having a great Hadoop infrastructure is a great product but we’re really excited about what these business intelligence vendors and ETL vendors are going to be able to build on top of this platform to really create a more all-encompassing big data solution.”
Anderson says Rackspace has an advantage when it comes to big data since it doesn’t offer a single big data solution, and can work with clients on their specific use cases to determine the best approach.
“When we look at the big data landscape a lot of these technologies are fairly new, maybe they’re about four to five years in tenure, and so a majority of our customers that are in the enterprise space specifically are just starting to understand how they can leverage Hadoop, or the insights that Hadoop gives them,” Anderson says. “One of the conversations that we have often when consulting with the customer is that it isn’t first and foremost a storage problem.”
“What we see a lot of times is it can be very disruptive to go down the path of a big data technology, and obviously these products are designed to alleviate a lot of that burden,” he says. “Even still, we first want to make sure we’re providing the right solution for the customer. We have the luxury of not providing a single big data solution, we serve legacy technologies, we have newer technologies, and we just want to make sure that we’re partnering with the best technology to help that specific use case.”
The big data offerings introduced on Monday mark the first updates in a portfolio of data services products that Rackspace plans on rolling out over the next year.
“A couple announcements that we’ve made this year are that we’ve acquired Object Rocket, a company that provides kind of an optimized MongoDB environment, we purchased a company called Excellent Cloud Services that provides a Redis To Go product, and then also made a principal investment in a company called Cloudant that provides a CouchDB service,” Anderson says. “So as we move throughout the year we look to expand this data services portfolio to not only encompass our legacy technologies like SQL and Oracle and MySQL but of course to include Apache Hadoop and shortly after MongoDB and Redis To Go.”
Rackspace’s support for managed dedicated servers enables customers to come to Rackspace, deploy a Hadoop environment where the application and infrastructure are managed by Rackspace, while leveraging the expertise of the Hortonworks team, according to Anderson.
“We know the majority of the deployments nowadays are actually on dedicated servers,” he says. “Maybe they have some compliance concerns or guiding reasons that makes them want to stay on their own servers, and so we want to provide that same kind of Fanatical Support that we’ve traditionally done with Windows and Linux and expand that to Apache Hadoop.”