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The more Hadoop grows, the better Cloudera looks

Hadoop's community continues to grow, which is great news for Cloudera, the company behind the industry's first commercial distribution of Hadoop.

The Internet largely abolishes scarcity in digital goods, shifting competitive advantage to those that can profit from abundance, not scarcity, like Red Hat, Google, and Facebook. For this reason, the more Hadoop grows as a community, the better the business opportunity for Cloudera, the start-up that distributes a commercial version of Hadoop.

Let me explain.

As CNET's Tom Krazit explains, "Hadoop is essentially an open-source version of the software Google uses to run its Web indexing servers." Yahoo also uses it internally for roughly the same reason, and has released its own open-source version of Hadoop to nudge adoption by other firms and to encourage contributions to the Hadoop project.

As Savio Rodrigues points out, however, Hadoop is already getting significant contributions from outside Yahoo. While initially dominated by Yahoo employees, Rodrigues points to recent data that indicates that 70 percent of Hadoop's community isn't employed by Yahoo.

That's great progress for Hadoop, and it's also great for Cloudera, the company that aims to make Hadoop relevant and useful for companies that lack the scale of a Google or Yahoo. Cloudera actively contributes to the Hadoop project, but perhaps its greatest contribution is in providing a commercial distribution of Hadoop.

The more contributors to Hadoop and the more complex it becomes, the greater the need for a Cloudera to provide a conservative, trusted distribution of Hadoop for enterprise customers. In other words, the greater the abundance of community around Hadoop, the more enterprises need scarcity: one throat to choke for their Hadoop deployments, not many.

As Yahoo and others contribute heavily to Hadoop, in short, they're also contributing to the likelihood of Cloudera's success.

Follow me on Twitter @mjasay.