On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, Intel surprised the Big Data world by announcing its own Hadoop distribution. Aptly named the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop, the distribution includes several Intel contributed enhancements that it claims will improve performance and security. Namely, it has contributed enhancements to HDFS, YARN, HBase and Hive projects. Intel also announced its proprietary Intel Manager for Apache Hadoop software.

Intel has been quietly releasing end-user software for several years now. Prior to this announcement, Intel released its Intel Cache Acceleration Software aimed to improve the experience with Intel solid state disks (SSDs) that is distributed through its network of resellers.

This announcement is likely to have a negative impact on existing Hadoop distribution vendors, especially Cloudera. Intel has deep influence over major OEMs such as Dell, HP and IBM. Along with the announcement of its distribution, Intel also announced a broad array of partners that include business intelligence and analytics vendors, data visualization tools, and major infrastructure vendors that include Cisco, Cray, Dell, RedHat, and SAP. Intel also announced service provider partners such as Infosys, Savvis, T-Systems and Wipro.

Large enterprise customers are likely to be interested in considering Intel’s distribution for the simple reason that Intel is a known entity. With a current market capitalization of over $100B, over $53B in revenue, and over $18B in cash, Intel can probably subsume

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the present valuation of the total Big Data start-up market.

The entrance of Intel is a further endorsement of this position. Enterprises that consider the Big Data is too nascent and immature can no longer rely on that excuse. With vendors like Intel jumping feet first into the market, enterprises need to take note that Big Data is no longer a buzzword, it’s a real business and competitive advantage.

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