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Red Hat considering NoSQL/Hadoop acquisitionMatthew Aslett, August 23, 2011 @ 10:44 am ET
InternetNews.com yesterday published an article based on an interview with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst asking the question “Is Red Hat Interested in the Database Market?”
In truth there was no real need to ask the question, as Whitehurst’s comments made it pretty clear that Red Hat is interested in the database market, and specifically the NoSQL database market.
“When I say I don’t want to be a database company, I’m saying that I don’t want to be a SQL database company,” Whitehurst said.
In case the implications of that statement were not entirely clear, he later added:
“But we would be very interested in a NoSQL type database or Hadoop type thing,” Whitehurst said. “Those are interesting as they represent net new.”
The article adds that Whitehurst would not specifically state whether Red Hat will or will not actually acquire anyone, as is to be expected, but the comments are the clearest indication yet that Red Hat sees value in a potential NoSQL acquisition.
This is something that we have seen for some time, pointing out in May 2010 that “We have consistently noted that the database remains a missing layer in Red Hat’s software stack… and would see advantages in adding an open source NoSQL database to its portfolio to target MySQL users.”
We are by no means the only people to have highlighted the database-shaped hole in Red Hat’s portfolio, but while Red hat has previously shied away from speculation linking it with a relational database vendor (seemingly in order to avoid disrupting its relationship with Oracle) as Jim points out, NoSQL and Hadoop are far more attractive given their growth is based on new projects, rather than the much tougher proposition of competing for incumbent database projects.
So what emerging open source projects might be of interest to Red Hat? Its OpenShift PaaS launched with support for 10gen’s MongoDB and later added support for Couchbase’s Membase, which makes them obvious contenders. We suspect that avoiding overlap and delivering compatibility with Red Hat’s JBoss Enterprise Data Grid technology would be a key part of the decision-making process.
As for Hadoop – Cloudera is the obvious choice but we imagine that any move would be likely to start a bidding war from which Red Hat might not emerge victorious. Hortonworks has only just emerged from Yahoo, of course, but might be an option for a more services-led approach.
Then there is DataStax, which could give Red Hat the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone with its Brisk Hadoop distribution and Apache Cassandra-related software and services.
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