Yahoo forms Hortonworks, a new Hadoop company

Hortonworks' mission is to advance and refine the Hadoop technology so its use will spread among enterprises

Yahoo and Benchmark Capital have founded a company tasked with advancing the open source Hadoop software framework for applications that manage massive amounts of data.

The company, called Hortonworks, will be staffed with some of the most active engineers who contribute to the Hadoop Apache project, of which Yahoo has been a main backer.

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Hortonworks will be launched in July with an initial staff of about 25 employees. It will accelerate the development of Hadoop and making it easier for enterprises and vendors to install, manage and use the software, said Jay Rossiter, senior vice president of Yahoo's Cloud Platform Group.

Yahoo, which uses Hadoop extensively to serve up its ads and content, has much interest in seeing Hadoop develop and thrive. "So we're an investor, partner, and user of Hortonworks," Rossiter said.

Eric Baldeschwieler, former vice president of Hadoop engineering at Yahoo, will be Hortonworks' CEO. His priorities include strengthening the open-source community around Hadoop, establishing a partnership program and finding customers. Hortonworks will also work to make the software easier to manage and install, and will improve its availability and performance.

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