With Impala now GA, Cloudera’s CEO sizes up the SQL-on-Hadoop market

Gigaom

There is no shortage of confidence in the Hadoop space, and market leader Cloudera bolstered its own on Tuesday with the general availability of its Impala SQL query engine for Hadoop. And if CEO Mike Olson’s comments are any indication, we’re in for a long ride of competitive jockeying and oneupmanship as Cloudera and its peers go all Microsoft(s msft) or Google(s goog) and create myriad new data-processing engines to turn their Hadoop distributions into bona fide platforms.

Launched as a private beta in May 2012 and made public in October, Impala is Cloudera’s attempt to address the growing demand for interactive SQL analytics on Hadoop data. It’s essentially a massively parallel database designed to share the same storage platform and metadata as Hadoop MapReduce, only it is its own separate processing engine.

Impala actually uses the same “nearly ANSI” version of SQL as does current standard bearer Hive, but…

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