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Arun Murthy, co-founder and chief product officer, Hortonworks. (LinkedIn Photo)

One big disadvantage that comes with a hybrid cloud strategy is forcing your developers to learn and understand the different techniques required by cloud providers and on-premises software vendors for lots of applications. Hortonworks, the company behind several tools for big-data darling Hadoop, plans to revamp its software over the next few years in order to make modern cloud-native development practices part of its on-premises tools, giving hybrid cloud developers one less thing to worry about.

Hortonworks plans to announce the Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative Monday, kicking off the project that will allow customers running Hadoop and Hortonworks tools on their own servers to take advantage of newer infrastructure ideas that have become popular since the big-data analysis software was created, said Arun Murthy, co-founder and chief technical officer of Hortonworks. It’s yet another sign that while self-managed servers aren’t disappearing as fast as people once thought they might, the infrastructure concepts of the cloud-native era are going to eventually become de facto standards.

A very popular tool within enterprise data teams, Hadoop was built at Yahoo more than a decade ago as a big data analytics tool, and it was originally designed for a world of on-premises servers in which storage and compute are tightly coupled, Murthy said. However, one of the primary benefits of cloud computing is that storage and compute are decoupled from each other, which means you can upgrade your storage needs without having to change anything on the compute side, or vice versa.

Hadoop was built for a world in which storage and compute were tightly coupled (left), but modern cloud computing separates the two. (Hortonworks Image)

The Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative will build on existing code written by the Hadoop community to create a way for on-premises Hadoop users to enjoy the benefits from decoupling storage and compute, Murthy said. It also will add support for containerized application development shops through partnerships with Red Hat and IBM around Kubernetes, the open-source container-management project enjoying its time in the sun just as Hadoop did earlier this decade.

“It becomes hard for the enterprise to learn multiple systems, one, two, three, four systems, beyond the ones they already know,” Murthy said, describing how the rise of hybrid cloud and multicloud strategies can give companies some operational flexibility but often makes life harder for the developers. The idea here is that developers will be able to manage Hadoop and Hortonworks tools across both on-premises and cloud servers using the techniques they need to learn to make everything work on the cloud, rather that flitting back and forth between two (or more) different application models.

Hortonworks is kicking off this project on Monday, but expects it to take well over a year before all the steps are completed.

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