Cloudera, the fast-growing Big Data and analytics company, is now striving to incubate an industry around itself. The company, focused on Apache Hadoop, has launched Cloudera Labs -- which aims to "fast track" promising open source initiatives.

In a prepared statement, Cloudera VP Charles Zedlewski said: “To realize their true potential, projects often benefit from a collaborative approach where they can be explored and developed more deeply -- and looked at from every angle." Hence, the formation of Cloudera Labs -- and continued incubating around Apache Parquet, Apache DataFu, and more.

LinkedIn Connections

So where is Cloudera Labs heading next? Keep an eye on Apache Kafka, "a highly-scalable, fault-tolerant publish-subscribe messaging system." Kafka, founded and in production at LinkedIn, can broker terabytes of data from thousands of users across a single cluster serving as the backbone for any large organization, Cloudera claims.

Also on tap is more work with RecordBreaker, Hive-on-Spark Integration, Exhibit, and Oryx.

Admittedly, Cloudera Labs isn't the only incubator in the Big Data market. The Apache Software Foundation is incubating numerous projects. Plus, Hive Data is incubating data-driven companies. Even GE is getting into the act, incubating 30 Big Data startups.

Still, the Cloudera effort is somewhat different than the Hive Data and GE initiatives. Cloudera, after all, is trying to develop additional services that wrap around or extend its Hadoop offerings.

Additional Clues? 

So where else might Cloudera invest its incubator efforts? In a recent interview with Information Management, Cloudera Chief Strategy Officer Mike Olson mentioned the company's big push for interoperability beyond Hadoop.

"Clearly Cloudera is a big bettor on Hadoop," he said. "But most of the vendors [at Pentaho's recent customer conference] talked about integrated approaches to data. So where’s it coming from? How do we bring different repositories together? How do we move data to the right place and build cross platform pictures of the data. And then build analytics on that."

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