Cloudera Recruits Channel Partners for Hadoop

By Chris Talbot

Cloudera is turning to the channel to build out its business around Apache Hadoop. A new partner program will also introduce what Cloudera is calling the industry’s first Hadoop certification program.

According to Ed Albanese, head of business development at Cloudera, the installed base for the open source Apache Hadoop is growing, and that’s driving opportunities for the channel. As a strong supporter of Hadoop with developers regularly working on applications for the Hadoop platform, Cloudera is launching the Cloudera Connect Partner Program, which is open to resellers, system integrators, ISVs and independent hardware vendors (IHVs).

"I think what’s going to catch both partner and customer interest is the fact that we have the industry’s first certification program [for Hadoop]," Albanese said.

The core tenet of the program is "zero to Hadoop," so the company is looking to work with partners of all experience levels in Hadoop, including those that are looking through the eyes of someone fresh to the open source platform. Through the program, Cloudera will provide training and marketing resources through a partner portal, a staff and technology certification program for Hadoop, deal registration for Cloudera Enterprise, and various pieces of sales and marketing collateral.

One major feature that Cloudera expects will be of interest to its partners is the ability to not only certify staff on Hadoop, but also technology. Hadoop is a distributed computing infrastructure, so it is no small feat to certify Hadoop interoperability on a partner’s technology, Albanese said.

"We’re allowing them to take their existing technology and then, through access to all of our resources, be able to get their technology to work with Apache Hadoop," he said.

Cloudera will be offering its comprehensive Hadoop knowledge base to partners – a knowledge base it currently only provides to customers. Free technical training and standard discounts on technology certification training will also be available. Partners will also have access to a developer portal.

"This certification program is a great step to enable customers and partners to tell their stories," Albanese said.

The announcement of the Connect Partner Program follows closely on the heels of the announcement that Cloudera and Dell had jointly released a complete Apache Hadoop solution. Dell has joined the program as an IHV. Likewise, several other vendors are on board as IHVs or ISV, including Cisco, Fujitsu, SGI and IBM.

With a mix of vendors, IHVs, ISVs, systems integrators and resellers in the program, Albanese said he’s not concerned about creating channel conflict. Not everyone in the program will be authorized to resell Cloudera products. Instead, the company will be selecting resellers from the program based on the geographies and verticals they serve, he said.

Cloudera plans to expand its coverage areas, and resellers will be chosen based on the regions they serve. He described the interest from the community as "huge."

"We get inquiries on a daily basis from partners," he said.

This article was originally published on 2011-08-11