Don’t tell Oracle’s head honcho Larry Ellison that some of his former employees have taken a page from his book, but darn if geeks at Cloudera aren’t saying inflammatory things about the competition. In this case, the competition is Pivotal Software and certain members of the Open Data Platform (ODP) initiative. 

Check out the picture in the tweet below. It comes from a presentation at Cloudera’s analyst day held earlier this week. 

Fight or Flight

We’ve already documented many of the previous jabs, including a little ditty when Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly (not an Oracle alum, but many of Cloudera’s employees, including its Chairman of the Board, Mike Olson, are) seems to have declared that it’s game over in the Hadoop world and that victory belongs to Cloudera.

The question then is, why are they still talking about the competition?

It could be because they haven’t actually won, or that every client they do win costs them dearly.

But that’s not the only reason. It seems that ODP might have really put a bug in their bonnet because it might encourage both vendors and their clients to build applications on top of HDP, Hortonworks Data Platform. Pivotal will develop its solutions based on it. 

And as if that weren’t enough, last month Pivotal also announced that it was open sourcing its entire big data stack which includes Pivotal HAWQ, Pivotal Greenplum Database and Pivotal GemFire. Cloudera’s proprietary products compete with them.  

But applications matter too. And Pivotal is well recognized for building solutions for the enterprise that go well beyond data lakes and data hubs and actually address business problems. This is a more profitable business to be in, explained Constellation Research’s Holger Mueller in a conversation last night, and Cloudera isn’t in it. Its strategy is to let its partners, like Cask (formerly Continuuity) do that part of the job.

Mueller predicted that it won’t stay that way for long, that the margins in the data hub/data lake business are too low, which would suggest that Cloudera will eventually have to move toward building the solutions which are now the domain of its partners.

All For One, And One For .... 

While Cloudera consistently insists that open source is the way and that we can “build it better together,” the reality is that it wants to own the game.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with that except that you’re supposed to focus on your product and not throwing punches at your competitors.