Google’s Mind-Blowing Big-Data Tool Grows Open Source Twin

Cade Metz | Wired | August 21, 2012

Mike Olson and John Schroeder shared a stage at a recent meeting of Silicon Valley’s celebrated Churchill Club, and they didn’t exactly see eye to eye.

Olson is the CEO of a Valley startup called Cloudera, and Schroeder is the boss at MapR, a conspicuous Cloudera rival. Both outfits deal in Hadoop — a sweeping open source software platform based on data center technologies that underpinned the rise of Google’s web-dominating search engine — but in building their particular businesses, the two startups approached Hadoop from two very different directions.

Whereas Cloudera worked closely with the open source Hadoop project to enhance the software code that’s freely available to the world at large, MapR decided to rebuild the platform from the ground up, and when that was done, it sold the new code as proprietary software. On stage last month during a panel discussion dedicated to Hadoop, Olson and Schroeder went toe-to-toe over whose approach made the most sense, and as so often happens in the Valley when open source is the subject at hand, the dispute raised more than a little heat from those sitting in the audience.