Intel Just Poured $740 Million Into Cloudera. But What Is It?

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Cloudera just raised a whole bunch of money -- $900 million, to be exact.

Intel alone invested $740 million for an 18 percent stake and says it's going to make the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company its main distributor of Hadoop software.

So, what is this company that's getting so much investor love? And what is Hadoop, for that matter?

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Cloudera gives clients a place to store process and analyze Big Data. The company helps its clients use Hadoop to derive value from large quantities of information that cannot easily be handled by traditional data processing systems.

Hadoop is an open-source software developed by Google to make sense of large quantities of different types of complex data. Cloudera and rivals such as Pivotal and HortonWorks use the software as part of their approach to helping clients manage Big Data.

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Intel was promoting its own custom version of Hadoop but will no longer do so as a result of the deal.

Cloudera, now valued at $4.1 billion, is expected to go public later this year.

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