Since its creation, the Apache Hadoop platform has been natively Linux-based. Today, however, Hortonworks announced that a beta port of the open-source Big Data platform has come to the Windows operating system. The announcement is aimed at bringing existing Windows shops on board with the Apache Hadoop Big Data revolution.

Shaun Connolly, vice president of corporate strategy at Hortonworks, said this beta release should appeal to businesses that have core competencies in Windows. He said the port to Windows was brought about for companies where “people are integrating Hadoop into their broader enterprise data architecture, and they want to preserve their existing investment and skill sets.”

The work to bring Hadoop to Windows isn’t restricted to the area inside Hortonworks’ firewall, either. Connolly said one of the guiding principles of Hortonworks is to contribute back into the Apache Hadoop project, to ensure that the company is always servicing and supporting the vanilla Apache distribution.

As such, the work on Hadoop for Windows has been contributed back to Apache as well. “All our code at Hortonworks we develop within Apache. When we make patches for the Hortonworks Data Platform, we push that patch directly into the Apache trunk,” said Connolly.

Hortonworks has already been working with Microsoft for some time on its HDInsight and Azure HDInsight platform and tools. Those projects, said Connolly, offer developers the benefit of being able to quickly stand up a Hadoop cluster within a cloud. Similarly, the Hortonworks Data Platform strives to bring this simplicity to the private data center. But it is incumbent upon customers to remember that Hortonworks is an open-source software company, he insisted.

“We’re not selling software licenses, we sell annual support subscriptions to the Hortonworks Data Platform,” said Connolly. “It’s a traditional enterprise open-source software model, with support, training and some consulting.”

He added that a typical installation of Hortonworks Data Platform can be priced from US$15,000 to $20,000.