A new report by Market Research Media suggests that the current spike of interest in Apache Hadoop will continue for the next several years. Apache Hadoop is an open-source framework for reliably running distributed applications on large hardware clusters, and has become a go-to technology for many companies (including IBM and Facebook) with epic amounts of data to crunch. The MapReduce framework processes problems across huge datasets and clusters of machines, deriving its reliability from the master node’s facility for distributing work to nodes within the cluster as appropriate. Suggesting “it would not be an exaggeration to say that today Hadoop-MapReduce is the only cost-sensible and scalable Big Data management alternative” to commercial platforms on the market, the market-research firm predicts that the market for the framework will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 58 percent over the next few years, becoming a $2.2 billion market by 2018. The firm sees two factors at work in the expansion: rapidly proliferating corporate data, which must be stored and analyzed, and “cost-prohibitive pricing models” associated with many commercial software platforms on the market. That $2.2 billion target is significantly higher than the one offered by research firm IDC back in May. IDC believed that worldwide revenues for Hadoop-MapReduce ecosystem software would rise to $812.8 million by 2016—a notable jump from 2011, when revenues approached $77 million. In its own report on the issue, IDC also alluded to the same tension between proprietary and open-source platforms. The firm believed that competition between the two flavors would ultimately force commercial software vendors to lower product licensing fees, which in turn could reduce revenues; a lack of employees trained in using the framework could also have a suffocating effect on the bottom line. “The Hadoop and MapReduce market will likely develop along the lines established by the development of the Linux ecosystem,” Dan Vesset, vice president of Business Analytics Solutions for IDC, wrote in a statement at the time. “Over the next decade, much of the revenue will be accrued by hardware, applications, and application development and deployment software vendors.” In other words, even if Hadoop’s on the rise, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee the fortunes of IT vendors—and there are a number of them—pushing some proprietary variation on the framework.   Image: negative/Shutterstock.com