Prior to the spinoff that saw him appointed him CEO at Hortonworks last month, Eric Baldeschwieler led the evolution of Apache Hadoop from a 20 node prototype to a 42,000 node service that is behind every click at Yahoo!. He also served as technology leader for Inktomi’s Web service engine, which Yahoo! acquired in 2003.

How do you feel about the Hortonworks spinoff after being so heavily invested at Yahoo all these years? The history is that we started working on Hadoop at Yahoo five or six years ago when it was just a prototype and 20 nodes. We built out the team and we've been focused on driving it forward for the last six years. Yahoo has built all the releases, has been the majority contributor to all the releases of Hadoop so as a team we're used to supporting a wider community anyway. The difference is, of course, we're now going to be supporting Yahoo explicitly as a customer. The key takeaways are that Hortonworks is an independent company and Yahoo is an investor, a customer and a development partner. Yahoo is maintaining a deep bench of folks who have contributed to Hadoop and who have built applications on top of it. We have more than 1,000 active users of Hadoop at Yahoo.

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