Whatever industry-first announcement big data-cruncher Cloudera intends to make at its Strata + Hadoop World Conference in San Jose, Calif. tomorrow, it has just been preempted by news from the Open Data Platform Initiative (ODPi).

ODPi is a Linux Foundation- housed nonprofit group whose stated aim it is to accelerate the state and adoption of Apache Hadoop and big data technologies in the enterprise.

“Our first release of the ODPi runtime specification and test suite for Hadoop is ready,” John Mertic, senior manager of ODPi told CMSWire.

It’s the result of a twelve month effort between more than 25 ODPi member companies, all of whom have agreed to use the same reference platform — a Hadoop core which features specific releases of HDFS, YARN, and MapReduce components — for big data solutions.

Major Milestone

It took time, negotiation and hard work to get the likes of   Capgemini, EMC, Hortonworks, IBM, Infosys, Pivotal, SAS, Teradata, VMware and at least 16 others to agree on the same criteria. Their names mean something to enterprise buyers many of whom have already invested in their software.

“A big congratulations to the ODPi technical community,” said IBM vice president Todd Moore in regards to the achievement.

Gartner analyst, Merv Adrian, called it “a start” on Twitter.

It’s the first piece of tangible proof that Hadoop vendors, ISVs and end user organizations have produced working together in pursuit of standardizing Hadoop and other big data technologies to spur enterprise adoption.

If all goes as Mertic expects, ODPi could be a game-changer for Enterprises who plan to embark on big data implementation because they won’t have to spend their precious time and resources worrying whether one Hadoop leveraging solution or application will be compatible with the next and the next because they’ll all be based on the same core.

“Test once, run everywhere,” is the rule under OPDi.

Solutions that aren’t ODPi certified could be less desirable to the market.

What? Me Worry?

But Hadoop vendors like Cloudera and MapR, who don’t belong to ODPi, don’t seem all that worried.

Jack Norris, senior vice president data and applications at MapR questions the motivation between ODPi.

Learning Opportunities

““The Open Data Platform Initiative is a vendor program that addresses a very narrow subset of components not a broad community initiative.  Our focus is on a broader converged data platform that provides enterprise-grade, real-time capabilities.”

He said this even though ODPi is under Linux Foundation governance where each member gets on vote regardless of their contributions to the initiative.

Cloudera, another primary Hadoop vendor hasn’t replied to our request for comment.

When ODPi was first released, company co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Mike Olson cautioned that ODP (as it was called before the Linux Foundation took over governance) could slow innovation. He also expressed disdain for the notion that vendors had to pay-to-play.

Welcome to Change Your Minds

Mertic told CMSWire that both vendors should consider coming to him with their concerns “My personal hope is that ODPi, Cloudera and MapR get past our differences and turn the tide,” he said.

But even if they can’t, ODPi, as a whole, may not be affected that much. “Most everything we do is upstream,” said Mertic.

As for the timing of ODPi’s announcement, is it purely a coincidence that the members of the consortium reached a consensus on the eve of Strata + Hadoop World? Big data vendor and ODP founder Pivotal had a habit of preempting other vendors with its announcements, is ODPi up to the same tactic?

“We certainly want to get in on the Strata coverage,” Natasha Woods, senior manager, Linux Foundation, told CMSWire. She expects to be at the conference handing out information on ODPi.