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Cloudera, Inc. is a company that develops and distributes Hadoop-based software and services designed to help organizations store, process, and otherwise manage big data.

The software that Cloudera produces merges Hadoop with select open-source projects, providing clients with a storage platform that offers a variety of frameworks for data processing and data analysis. Cloudera’s software is built this way to be scalable to the needs of users, both in enterprise-class and small-scale applications. In communications to the public, Cloudera emphasizes its commitment to open source projects, claiming that half of the output its engineers produce is donated to existing open-source projects licensed by Apache (e.g., Apache Avro, Apache HBase, Apache Hive, etc.), the same projects that make Cloudera’s solutions so widely scalable.

Aside from its scalability, Cloudera’s open source platform also helps integrate the process of data storage, management, and analysis, ensuring that users don’t have to transfer data between different sources. Cloudera calls this the “unification” of data and data related tasks, and markets its products as capable of unifying five critical facets of big data: security, helping to centralize where data is retrieved; management, consolidating the processes by which data’s every aspect, movement, transformation, etc. is administered; system, ensuring that all data activities are processed in one set of nodes; data, guaranteeing that all activity is run against the same data set; and metadata, so that a common metadata model is employed among all queries. In all, Cloudera claims that the products it creates are the most “widely deployed”* Hadoop-based software in the world

Cloudera offers three core products: CDH, Cloudera Standard, and Cloudera Enterprise. CDH is Cloudera’s open source platform, with the ability to conduct batch processing, interactive SQL, and interactive search. Cloudera Standard couples CDH with Cloudera Manager, a program that lets users access fundamental administrative applications for controlling Cloudera software, for a sort of “getting started” product for users with relatively basic needs. Cloudera Enterprise, as the name implies, is a version of Cloudera software for larger organizations with complex needs and multiple moving parts. Cloudera Enterprise combines CDH and Cloudera Manager with an application called Cloudera Navigator that provides advanced administrative capabilities. Cloudera also makes more enhanced capabilities like disaster recovery available through subscription-based software add-ons.

Cloudera’s current CEO, Tom Reilly, is the former general manager of enterprise security at HP and a long time executive in the field of technology. The company, however, was founded in 2008 by a group of relatively young engineers—Amr Awadallah, Jeff HammerBacher, and Christophe Bisciglia—with years of collective experience in technology working for companies like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. They were joined by Mike Olson, a former executive at Oracle. Because Cloudera dealt in Hadoop-based software and services, and because Hadoop is an open source version of Google’s MapReduce, Google could justifiably have taken Cloudera to task over intellectual property rights. However, Google has given Cloudera its blessing from the beginning, with Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, personally signing off on the enterprise to Christophe Bisciglia, a former Google employee.

Cloudera retains Mark Carfarella and Doug Cutting, the creators of Hadoop, as consultants, and since 2008 has raised a total of $141 million of enterprise capital from Accel Partners, Greylock Partners, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel, Meritech Capital Partners, and angel investors Marten Mickos, Diane Green, and Jeff Weiner, among others.

Cloudera, Inc.’s headquarters are in Silicon Valley. The company remains privately held with 400 employees, and maintains a diverse client base with customers including Allstate, eBay, the US Army, and the National Cancer Institute.

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