A long time ago, around the time of the dot-com bubble, four companies emerged as the tech powerhouses of their time. Sun, Oracle, EMC, Cisco were known as the four horsemen of the new economy. Sun built the computing hardware, Oracle developed the database systems, EMC provided the storage infrastructure and Cisco powered the networks. Sales boomed, stock prices soared, and fortunes were made. After the bubble burst the term “four horsemen” seemed even more appropriate (the original horsemen were harbingers of the apocalypse). Sun never recovered and is now owned by Oracle which continues to thrive. EMC reinvented itself by adding sophisticated document management, security and virtualization technology. Cisco is most closely still like itself. Still, despite the gloomy associations, it appears that people like this four horsemen metaphor.
A year ago Eric Schmidt identified the four horsemen of the internet as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (also known as the four horsemen of the consumer apocalypse). Recently Michael Boland named Apple, Ebay, Facebook and Yahoo as the four horsemen of digital media (even though it is unclear whether Yahoo can strike fear into anyone’s heart anymore).
I can’t seem to find anyone else’s view for four horsemen of big data, so here are my picks: IBM (Watson won Jeopardy after all), Google (organizing the world’s information), Apache Hadoop (big data’s favorite open source project right now), and Twitter (400 million tweets per day represents the global rush of random data about everything).
What are your picks for the four horsemen of big data, and why? You have to choose a list of four – more or less is cheating! Answers in the comments please.