Why I Joined Cloudera: A Focus on Open Source

Categories: Open Source Software

Why I joined Cloudera, in a nutshell:  Search is critical to extracting value from Big Data, Apache Hadoop is the foundation of Big Data, and Cloudera is the leader in Hadoop.

Of course, there’s a little more to it.  As the creator of Apache Solr, open source and the Apache Software Foundation are very important to me.  I was looking for synergy.  A place where Solr, open source, and The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) were central.  A place where open source was actually part of the corporate strategy, as opposed to merely being important.  I had been following Cloudera since its inception, and I already knew they were tremendously committed to open source, especially as an ASF Platinum sponsor, but the real sign of an open source company comes in other ways.  One need only look at the number of committers and project founders that call Cloudera home, and it becomes pretty clear just how much open source is part of Cloudera’s DNA.

I’ve always enjoyed creating software to tackle big problems, and that just fit right in with Hadoop and the Big Data movement.  The future of data looks like Hadoop. Hadoop has become part of the core data strategy for many companies today, and as more data ends up there, it’s the natural place to solve big search problems.  It’s incredibly helpful to see what customers that are combining a variety of large data sets are trying to accomplish, and be able to use those use cases to help drive Solr’s roadmap.

Search is the ideal way to explore Big Data.  Very few people can write MapReduce jobs, a few more can write SQL queries, but everyone can search. In addition, fast ad-hoc queries, faceting, and real-time analytics enable powerful business intelligence and business analytics.  It feels like we’ve really only scratched the surface of what can be done with a search engine.  The folks at Cloudera share my vision of where we can go with powerful search, and share my passion for pushing Solr forward to new heights.  If you look at Solr’s future, its improved performance, increased scalability, and a host of new analytic query capabilities will continue to expand the domain of problems that people will look to search to solve.

Another reason I joined Cloudera is the people!  Starting with Doug Cutting, who I had worked with in the Lucene community, way back before Solr was open sourced, to Mark Miller, who along with me created the SolrCloud feature set, Cloudera is overflowing with brilliant technical minds dedicated to developing open source solutions to tackle some of the world’s largest data problems. I look forward to working closely both with other Lucene/Solr committers on the Search team, including Greg Chanan and Wolfgang Hoschek, as well as some other very recognizable names in the open source world outside of search.

Lastly, in the big data world, it’s hard not to hear about Cloudera. Cloudera’s future is certainly bright and I’m excited to help them continue to grow and lead the industry for big data and search.



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