“The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using a simple programming model. It is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage. Rather than rely on hardware to deliver high-availability, the library itself is designed to detect and handle failures at the application layer, so delivering a highly-availabile service on top of a cluster of computers, each of which may be prone to failures.”
So, how do you make money giving software away? Ask HortonWorks:
Bearden insists that Hortonworks will not be a Hadoop consultant. It will provide Hadoop training and high-level support. But at least in the beginning, he says, the company’s primary concern will be expanding the Apache Hadoop project. “As we make Hadoop more consumable as a platform, we create a vast ecosystem of companies and individuals that can build applications on it. Initially, we are going to be focused on the ease-of-consumption and productization of Hadoop for both the enterprise and the ecosystem in general.”
Yes, the world can make its own software and share it. Hadoop is already in use by many players on the web, cloud and just data-processing. From a few (Able Grape search engine for wines) to thousands (Yahoo!) of nodes working together can process a lot of data and keep it safe. The software is sufficiently complex and flexible that training/support should be a lucrative business sufficient in itself to justify the investment in Hadoop. At the same time the whole world benefits from the result.