On Friday, SAS announced a partnership with privately held Hortonworks, a fast growing developer of open source Hadoop programming that is helping turn “cloud computing” into a mega opportunity for growth. But Hortonworks also has another local connection: Red Hat.

And look for that relationship to grow stronger in the future. 

In a recent interview with ZDnet, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst touted the future of Hadoop:

“Hadoop will be massively used. I could see Hortonworks and Cloudera [A Hortonworks rival that also works with SAS] becoming the Oracle and IBM DB2 of Hadoop. I can also see Hadoop being embedded everywhere and the value is upstream.”

John Kreisa, vice president of strategic marketing for Hortonworks, talked with WRALTechWire about the importance of his firm’s alliance with SAS and its work with Red Hat (NYSE: RHT).

  • How significant a deal is the SAS announcement for Hortonworks?

SAS is a very important partner for Hortonworks and brings leaders in Hadoop and business analytics closer together enabling us to meet more customer needs around analyzing data.

  • Is this the first deal between the company and a company primarily focus on data analytics?

It’s not the first deal, however it is the most significant given SAS’s position as a global leader in business analytics.

  • Is analytics the next big field for Hadoop?

Hadoop has been used for analysis of data before, however we believe for Hadoop to achieve broad adoption it needs to enable organizations to leverage their existing skills.

With a massive installed base of SAS users this means that more organizations are able to exploit the benefits of Hadoop for analyzing even more data.

  • Why did the company choose to work with SAS?

Hortonworks was formed from the original engineers and architects of Apache Hadoop and provides the only 100 percent open source distribution of Hadoop. SAS is partnering with us because of our leadership with the technology, vision for the future of the technology and strategy of enabling partners to deeply integrate with Hadoop.

  • Hortonworks works with many companies but I didn’t see Red Hat losted at a list of clients/partners. Do you work with Red Hat and Linux? If so, how.

Yes, we partnered with Red Hat around OpenStack and Red Hat Storage, in addition to other ways we are working with them that have not been announced yet. We support the Red Hat Linux platform for use with our product, the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP).