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Hortonworks IPO ‘to launch Hadoop into primetime’

The floating of key Hadoop company Hortonworks on the Nasdaq last week should provide a huge boost for the technology and help propel it into 'primetime' for 2015, analysts have predicted.

The launching of Hortonworks is expected to bring a huge amount of attention to Hadoop, and the early signs are the investors are enthusiastic about its future. From an initial public offering of $16 a share, the stock has already jumped by over 50 per cent to $24.35, which CNBC noted gives the company a market value of over $1 billion.

And this is set to be just the start, as the new provider noted that Hadoop is a term many businesses will need to become more familiar with in the coming year.

In an interview with Gigaom, chief executive of Hortonworks Rob Bearden said that Hadoop has crossed a tipping point, where companies are no longer asking themselves whether or not to deploy the technology. Instead, it is a "predetermined assumption" that the tools will be adopted at some point, and the only real questions are to what extent it will be rolled out, and how quickly.

"The enterprise sees the functional and economic value that Hadoop enables them to achieve," Mr Bearden noted, adding that companies are increasingly willing to devote significant resources to building Hadoop environments, as they become confident such investments will benefit them in the long term.

For the big data industry in 2015, key next steps include the consolidation of data into centralised locations, which Mr Bearden said will enable the next generation of data applications to flourish.

He highlighted predictive analytics solutions that can improve supply chain operations by studying customer behaviour patterns to forecast demand as one area that stands to benefit from this 'data lake' approach.

Another will be the use of sensor data on fleet vehicles to improve logistics operations. These are both areas that are set to "explode" in 2015, Mr Bearden stated.

There are several technology advances that will make this possible, the Hortonworks chief executive continued, with affordable cloud computing tools having a major role to play. However, Mr Bearden said one crucial element is the availability of YARN, Hadoop's resource management framework.

This enables the technology to run many different types of computing jobs within the same clusters and Mr Bearden said it is no coincidence that the introduction of this tool has come at the same time as a new wave of Hadoop applications.

"YARN did for Hadoop what the combustion engine did for transportation," he said.

The excitement surrounding Hadoop is being reflected by investors, with Hortonworks far from the only company in the sector to attract interest. CNBC highlighted figures from Allied Market Research that estimates that sales of Hadoop-related software will climb to $50.2 billion annually by 2020, from $1.5 billion in 2012.

Meanwhile, research from CB Insights found investments in Hadoop companies have jumped more than five-fold this year compared with 2013, from $236.8 million to $1.28 billion.