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MapR has been very busy recently. Since closing a new round of funding in mid-March it has announced a partnership with Onepoint IQ to provide certified MapR training across Europe, it has opened an office in France (with executives to populate it) to add to the ones it already had in the UK and Germany, it has partnered with Canonical to make the MapR distribution of Hadoop available on Ubuntu, it has made its source code available via GitHub, it has announced the availability of MapR M7 and, finally, it has stated that it will be distributing (this is currently in beta) LucidWorks Search (which effectively does for Lucene/Solr what MapR does for Hadoop, which is to say that it provides enterprise grade security, user management and so forth). As a part of its latest funding round the company has also stated its intention to expand into the Asia-Pacific region.
It is clear that MapR is expanding outwards (perhaps I should say scaling out?) rapidly. That seems like good strategy to me. I think there’s no question that MapR has established itself as the leading independent provider of Hadoop distributions for the enterprise and that’s fine if you think of Hadoop as an emerging market. However, I think we have now got to the point where Hadoop has emerged from its chrysalis and there are growing numbers of serious deployments rather than just people trying it out. This creates a different market dynamic.
What we’ve seen recently is IBM launch its PureData System for Hadoop and EMC launch HAWQ (Hadoop with [SQL] query), just to mention a couple of things, and the message is clear: the big boys are getting serious about Hadoop. Well, they were always serious but now they are walking the walk. This has important implications for MapR: it has to establish itself as a serious competitor to the likes of IBM if it is not to fade away and dwindle. The sort of activity it has recently been busy with is exactly the sort of development, not to mention marketing noise, which it needs to get into this position. Of course, it may get acquired anyway in the end but that could be counted as a success story as far as MapR is concerned.