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Industry Computer software
Founded 2011; 7 years ago (2011)
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, United States
Products Hortonworks Data Platform, Hortonworks DataFlow
Number of employees
~1,110 (2017)[1]
Website Hortonworks.com

Hortonworks is a big data software company based in Santa Clara, California. The company develops, supports, and provides expertise on an expansive set of entirely open source software designed to manage data and processing for everything from IOT (think: connected car), to single view of X (think: customer, risk, patient), to advanced analytics and machine learning (think: next best action and realtime cybersecurity). Hortonworks believes it is a data management company bridging the cloud and the datacenter. Hortonworks now offers three interoperable product lines: HDP (based on Apache Hadoop, Apache Hive, Apache Spark), HDF (based on Apache NiFi, Apache Storm, Apache Kafka), and Data Plane Services (based on Apache Atlas and Cloudbreak and a pluggable architecture into which partners such as IBM can add their services. [2]


Hortonworks was formed in June 2011 as an independent company, funded by $23 million venture capital from Yahoo! and Benchmark Capital. Its first office was in Sunnyvale, California.[3] The company employs contributors to the open source software project Apache Hadoop.[4] The Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) product includes Apache Hadoop and is used for storing, processing, and analyzing large volumes of data. The platform is designed to deal with data from many sources and formats. The platform includes Hadoop technology such as the Hadoop Distributed File System, MapReduce, Pig, Hive, HBase, ZooKeeper, and additional components.[5]

Eric Baldeschweiler (from Yahoo) was initial chief executive, and Rob Bearden chief operating officer, formerly from SpringSource. Benchmark partner Peter Fenton was a board member.The company name refers to the character Horton the Elephant, since the elephant is the symbol for Hadoop.[3][6] Additional investors included a $25 million round led by Index Ventures in November 2011.[7]

In October 2011 Hortonworks announced Microsoft would collaborate on a Hadoop distribution for Microsoft Azure and Windows Server.[8] On February 25, 2013, Hortonworks announced availability of a beta version of the Hortonworks Data Platform for Windows.[9] In November 2011 it announced HParser software from Informatica would be available for free download by its customers.[10]

In February 2012 Teradata announced an alliance.[11] In October 2012 Teradata's Aster Data Systems division announced an appliance supporting Hortonworks' distribution,[12][13] and Impetus Technologies announced a partnership.[14]

In June 2013 Hortonworks announced another $50 million in financing, from previous investors and adding Tenaya Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group.[15] In September 2013 SAP AG announced it would resell the Hortonworks distribution (as well as one from Intel).[16] By the end of 2013, Bearden, who had become chief executive by 2012, denied rumors the company would soon go public or be acquired.[17]

In March 2014, another $100 million investment was announced, led by BlackRock and passport capital.[18] In May 2014, Hortonworks acquired XA Secure, a small data security company founded in January 2013, for undisclosed terms.[19] The company used a provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act to avoid disclosing registration forms with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2014.[20][21] The filings showed about $37 million lost in 2013, and $87 million in the first half of 2014.[22] In December 2014, Hortonworks had their initial public offering, listed on the NASDAQ as HDP. Almost $100 million was raised.[23]

In August, 2015, Hortonworks announced it would acquire Onyara, Inc., the creator of Apache NiFi, a top-level open source project. Apache NiFi was made available through the NSA technology transfer program in 2014. Over eight years, Onyara’s engineers were the key contributors to the U.S. government software project that evolved into Apache NiFi.[24] [25] [26]

When a secondary share offering was announced in January 2016, the share price dropped to about half of what it was at the IPO.[27] After operating losses deepened through 2015 and 2016, Herb Cunitz (who had been president since 2012) left the company in August 2016.[28] In 2016, the company was ranked #42 on the Deloitte Fast 500 North America list.[29] After a round of layoffs, Raj Verma was the president and chief operating officer from January 2017 to July 2017.[30] Scott Davidson was named the new chief operating officer from July 2017.

Originally a host with Yahoo! of the Hadoop Summit in California, Hortonworks now hosts the DataWorks Summit community trade show on several continents.[31] Hortonworks is a sponsor of the Apache Software Foundation.[32]


Hortonworks partners with software-related companies, including IBM, SAS, BMC Software for business service management and automation,[33] Attunity[34] and Cleo for data integration,[35] and SAP and VMware for cloud, database and other virtualization infrastructure, and with Stratoscale.[36] In 2015 Hortonworks started partnering with ManTech Commercial Services and B23 to develop OpenSOC.[37]

Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP)[edit]

The Hortonworks Data Platform, powered by Apache Hadoop, is a massively scalable and 100% open source platform for storing, processing and analyzing large volumes of data. It is designed to deal with data from many sources and formats in a very quick, easy and cost-effective manner. The Hortonworks Data Platform consists of the essential set of Apache Hadoop projects including MapReduce, Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), HCatalog, Pig, Hive, HBase, Zookeeper and Ambari. Hortonworks is the major contributor of code and patches to many of these projects. These projects have been integrated and tested as part of the Hortonworks Data Platform release process and installation and configuration tools have also been included.[38]

The HDP distribution consists of the following components:[39]

HDP Components
  • Core Hadoop platform (Hadoop HDFS and Hadoop MapReduce)
  • Non-relational database (Apache HBase)
  • Metadata services (Apache HCatalog)
  • Scripting platform (Apache Pig)
  • Data access and query (Apache Hive)
  • Workflow scheduler (Apache Oozie)
  • Cluster coordination (Apache Zookeeper)
  • Management and monitoring (Apache Ambari)
  • Data integration services (HCatalog APIs, WebHDFS, Talend Open Studio for Big Data, and Apache Sqoop)
  • Distributed log management services (Apache Flume)
  • Machine learning library (Mahout)

The foundational components of HDP are YARN and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). While HDFS provides the scalable, fault-tolerant, cost-efficient storage for Big Data lake, YARN provides the centralized architecture that enables organizations to process multiple workloads simultaneously. YARN also provides the resource management and pluggable architecture for enabling a wide variety of data access methods. HDP enables enterprises to deploy, integrate and work with unprecedented volumes of structured and unstructured data.

With YARN at its architectural center, HDP provides a range of processing engines that allow users to simultaneously interact with data in multiple ways. YARN enables a range of access methods to coexist within the same cluster against shared datasets, thereby avoiding unnecessary and costly data silos.

HDP enables multiple data processing engines that range from interactive SQL, real-time streaming, data science and batch processing to leverage data stored in a single platform thereby unlocking an entirely new approach to analytics.


HDP can be deployed using any one of the following options:

  • Easy tryouts for HDP
  • Automated Install (Ambari)
  • Deploying Manually installing software packages (RPMs)


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  16. ^ Chris Kanaracus (September 11, 2013). "SAP looks to boost 'big data' position with Hadoop deals, new apps". Computer World. Retrieved October 14, 2013. SAP agrees to resell Hadoop distributions from Intel and Hortonworks; unveils specialized use case apps 
  17. ^ Gavin Clarke (November 21, 2013). "Rob 'Flipper' Bearden plans to FLOAT his Hadoop heffalump: Hortonworks hears an IPO-OOOO". The Register. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
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  29. ^ "2016 Winners by rank" (PDF). Deloitte. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
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  31. ^ "Sponsors". Hadoop Summit 2013 web site. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  32. ^ Sponsors, Apache Software Foundation
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  37. ^ William Terdoslavich for InformationWeek. October 1, 2015 Aims To Make Hadoop Easier To Use
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  39. ^ About Hortonworks Data Platform, retrieved January 13, 2018 

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