Databricks Follows Cloudera by Adopting Iceberg, Whereas Snowflake Mulls Open Supply Method


A continuing circulate of breaking information from the information lakehouse house is making notable tech headlines this week.

On Tuesday, Databricks introduced that it’s going to purchase Tabular, an information administration firm based by the creators of Apache Iceberg, Ryan Blue, Daniel Weeks, and Jason Reidfor. The deal was for an unconfirmed sum, however some experiences counsel that quantity to be between $1B and $2B (and allegedly outbidding Snowflake). The transfer goals to unify the 2 hottest open-souce lakehouse codecs – Apache Iceberg and Linux Basis Delta Lake – to boost knowledge compatibility throughout totally different codecs.

The prior day, Snowflake – nonetheless coping with the aftermath of final week’s knowledge breach – introduced Polaris Catalog, a vendor-neutral, open catalog for Apache Iceberg. The corporate additionally introduced at its annual person convention that Polaris Catalog will likely be open sourced within the subsequent 90 days.

So, how do you make sense of all these bulletins and what does this imply to you? 

Iceberg is the Champion within the Desk Format Struggle

Databricks placing this a lot worth in Iceberg is proof that Delta Lake has misplaced the desk format struggle, and Iceberg is the clear winner. Iceberg will additional develop into, and can stay, the de facto commonplace for large-scale knowledge and analytics deployments for the long term. 

Cloudera was a first mover in adopting Iceberg as central and native to our knowledge, analytics, and AI platform – reinforcing our credibility as the very best vendor to work with whenever you need managed Iceberg knowledge estates, at scale, throughout all clouds and on-premises. 

How Open is Your Open Supply?

Regardless of its claims because the open knowledge lakehouse firm, Databricks is NOT well-known for being true to open supply. In contrast to Tabular, Databricks has made industrial variations as proprietary implementations of open supply know-how in a bid to retain buyer lock-in, and it’ll stay to be seen if this transfer adjustments that method. 

Cloudera is a impartial social gathering that manages Iceberg with out vendor lock-in and at scale – in all clouds and on-premises. Cloudera additionally counts as clients most of the different giant organizations that straight contribute to the venture.  That’s actually open supply.

Tabular Does Not Personal Iceberg

Tabular was based by the originators of the Iceberg venture. The corporate has about 20% of the Iceberg contributors and committers on employees (corporations like AWS, Google, Dremio, Starburst, Adobe, Apple, Netflix, and extra), which make up the majority of the contributions. It has a wholesome neighborhood, not like Delta Lake, and a variety of massive tech corporations who’re invested in conserving it open supply and vendor unbiased.

This can be a dangerous and expensive acquisition by Databricks, significantly if the 80% of the committers determine that different committer affiliations weaken the mission to stay open supply for all.

Welcome to the Occasion

Cloudera has been forward of this recreation for years. Our 2022 open lakehouse position blog post was primarily the blueprint for the Databricks acquisition announcement

Iceberg has, and continues to be, central to Cloudera’s open knowledge lakehouse structure throughout hybrid clouds – not simply one thing for use on the facet. Databricks failed to realize adoption for Delta Lake from communities and third-party distributors, and now should make this BIG and expensive wager. On the similar time, Snowflake’s Polaris catalog timing exhibits that they’ve been compelled into this house because the market and clients have moved Iceberg because the central desk format for his or her knowledge two years after Cloudera.

They’re each not solely late to affix the social gathering, however will miss the enjoyable–and alternative–as they play catch as much as these of us who’ve been right here from the beginning. 

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