HP Invests in Hortonworks to Jumpstart its Transformation

The news is that is investing $50 million in for about a 5% ownership stake in the company (’ Series D valuation is estimated at $1.1 billion) and a seat on ’ board. HP will resell the Data Platform (HDP) and provide Tier 1 support to customers. The two companies will also work together to certify the HP analytic database on YARN.

For Hortonworks, the investment and partnership is in keeping with its go-to-market strategy of empowering incumbent enterprise software and hardware vendors to resell and integrate Hortonworks’ open source platform. HP joins the ranks of SAP, Microsoft, Red Hat and Teradata as HDP resellers. Hortonworks’ open source approach is relatively non-threatening to IT incumbents that know they must embrace to compete in the Big Data space but want to limit the damage to their existing relational database or otherwise “traditional” data management product portfolios.

The deal is a change of strategy for HP, however. Or at least a pivot. Until last week, HP played nice with all three commercial Hadoop pure-play vendors. It offers a Hadoop appliance with either HDP or Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution preconfigured on HP hardware, and it partners with MapR to allow Vertica to run natively on MapR’s Hadoop distribution to enable “SQL-on-Hadoop” functionality.

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