When there’s disruption in an industry, bold statements are made. And in an era of Big Data, we seem to be hearing them all the time.

Last week at the Cloudera Summit, we heard another one. Cloudera’s chief executive, Mike Olson, called on Enterprises to “unaccept the status quo” as it relates to data management. He preached the gospel of Hadoop:

For more than thirty years, the data management industry has relied on relational databases, dedicated expensive storage and other very expensive special purpose legacy systems,” he said. “While that approach was very powerful for decades, the accelerating tsunami of data arriving every minute, every hour, every day has begun to overwhelm those systems. Advancements in business analytics have been hindered by the relatively small fraction of the total data made available, and the cost to store, move and process it. Today, the existing standard approach is changing. The center-of-gravity of the enterprise data center is shifting -- it’s moving toward Hadoop.”

And while few doubt that Hadoop can/will make a profound impact on how decisions will be made in the future, just how, how big and how soon is open to question. Vendors like EMC say they are “all in” on Hadoop -- in fact, they are so far in that they've spawned Pivotal, a company whose mission is to build a new data fabric whose starting point is Hadoop.

Other vendors like Teradata, SAP and Microsoft say that Hadoop is important, but not so important that it overshadows other important technologies.

One of the great joys of reporting on technology is that we get to look at the big picture and watch things unfold; we ask questions and make generalized conclusions far more often than we take sides.

In this case, we've asked data management leaders about Hadoop, its significance and its future. Here’s what (comments in alphabetical order by vendor name) each of them have to say with regards to Hadoop and other data management/data warehousing technologies:

Notes: 1) We contacted a few other vendors for their opinions, but they did not respond. 2) We’ll be looking at Big Data databases in a future article which is why they aren't featured here.

Cloudera’s CEO, Mike Olson (from a prepared statement):

Storing and analyzing all (of) one’s data with old guard legacy systems doesn’t make sense economically or technically. Now organizations have a choice. They no longer need to make undereducated, on-the-fly decisions about what data to keep and what to offload, or business decisions with insufficient information.

Hadoop has fundamentally transformed the economics of data management, making it possible to choose to keep all (of) one’s data, without an exorbitant, ongoing investment in a cumbersome technology that can’t keep pace with the growth of data or the evolving needs of a business.

Cloudera (and its Hadoop-related products) is making it possible to store and manage all data -- today -- so organizations can leverage it whenever and however they see fit. This opens up new opportunities for data discovery and insights that were never before possible under the old paradigm. Welcome to the new era of data management.”

Microsoft’s Director of Product Marketing, Server and Tools Business, Herain Oberoi:

Technology will continue to improve, making big data more accessible to more users on the platforms of their choice. These improvements will help more people get actionable insights quickly, conveniently and more economically from their data.

Hadoop is both a compelling solution for analyzing unstructured data at low cost and a critical part of the big data ecosystem, and Microsoft has been working with Apache Hadoop project founding member and most active committer, Hortonworks, to deliver Hadoop based solutions (HDInsight) both on Windows and in the cloud on Windows Azure. The portability, security and simplified deployment of these solutions, as well as their interoperability with Microsoft’s award-winning business intelligence tools, create unique and differentiated value for customers.”

Pivotal’s Chief Scientist, Milind Bhandarkar:

We're seeing rapid adoption with the Hadoop business growing 60-70% a year and we believe it will continue to grow in popularity. Apache Hadoop provides a great foundation for the next-gen data platform and we’ve leveraged it to add a proven, interactive standard SQL query layer: our innovative HAWQ technology. HAWQ is essentially a fully functional, high-performance relational database that runs in Hadoop and speaks SQL natively to deliver performance improvements of 50X to 500X as it helps customers gain insight from different types of data spread across multiple systems.”