Should the spin-off take place, the new entity would be one of a growing number of companies supporting Hadoop. Cloudera offers its own distribution of Hadoop. DataStax offers a version paired with its Cassandra data store. IBM has packaged Hadoop into its analytics offerings, and even used the framework as part of its Watson Jeopardy-playing supercomputer.
Kobielus predicted that the spin-off entity would not create its own distribution of Hadoop, given that Yahoo discontinued its own distribution earlier this year. Instead the new company would focus on consulting, professional services and systems integration for enterprises.
The possible spin-off could also trigger further investment in the technology, Kobielus said. Venture capitalists might fund more Hadoop-based startups, which traditional enterprise data warehouse (EDW) vendors might snap up for themselves.
"Forrester strongly expects that many of the startups already in the Hadoop market will be acquired by established EDW and analytics vendors who need to bootstrap their efforts in this new arena," Kobielus said.
Companies such as Oracle, Teradata, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard could be taking a hard look at Hadoop-focused startups such as Cloudera, Karmasphere, Datameer, Hadapt and HStreaming, Kobielus wrote.
Despite all this interest, work still needs to be done to bring Hadoop to enterprise IT departments, which may not have the engineering expertise to implement the technology to run the software in-house, Kobielus noted. It has no reference framework providing the core specifications, APIs (application programming Interfaces) or code base. It still lacks some basic features, such as real-time analysis. Also, there are not yet enough modeling tools that could translate the data integration logic in Hadoop components such as MapReduce and Pig into terms that can be understood by business intelligence analysts.
Despite these limitations, Hadoop is "extremely close" to be being ready for the enterprise, Borgman said. "We're on the cusp of a really interesting new world of big data analytics."