This perennial question resurfaced recently in a thoughtful blog post by Andreas Neumann, Chief Architect of Cask, called What is Hadoop, anyway?. Ultimately, after a careful deconstruction of the terms in the question, Andreas concludes with
“Does it really matter to agree on the answer to that question? In the end, everybody who builds an application or solution on Hadoop must pick the technologies that are right for the use case.”
We’ve agreed from the beginning – that is the only answer that really matters. Still, the question continues to come up for end users of the stack and for vendors like Cask (it helps them think about what to support in their application development offering Cask Data App Platform (CDAP).
Analysts too: I’ve discussed it several times, including a post a year ago called What Is Hadoop….Now? tracking the path from 6 commonly supported projects in 2012 to 15 in June 2014, across a set of distributors that included Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR and IBM. “Support” here means you pay for subscription that explicitly includes the named project.
This year, the expansion process has continued – and it does matter.