Hadoop, the open source infrastructure for Big Data, and the cloud grew yet more intertwined this week at the Hadoop Summit, and so did business intelligence provider Pentaho and Rackspace (RAX), the cloud hosting and management company. The two organizations have announced a partnership to deliver "Hadoop as a Service" through a new platform called Rackspace BIG DATA, which will also involve collaboration with Hortonworks and Karmasphere.

For the record, my caps-lock key is not broken. BIG DATA is the official name of this Big Data product, which Rackspace and Pentaho are billing as a collaborative endeavor that integrates ETL—short for "extract, transform, load," one of the central processes of Big Data software operations—into the cloud by delivering Hadoop as a cloud-based service. Rackspace is offering managed dedicated servers as well as public, private or hybrid cloud options for hosting the Hadoop installations.

Pentaho enters the picture by delivering business analytics tools that will be integrated into Rackspace BIG DATA. Meanwhile, Hortonworks provides the Hadoop distribution that the platform will use, while Karmasphere offers Hadoop analytics.

Rackspace BIG DATA isn't the first platform to offer Hadoop as a service, but it may be the most collaborative one to date, since it involves so many channel partners. And the offering is a big deal for Pentaho in particular, which seems to be moving just slightly beyond its traditional focus of data analytics and business intelligence to embrace a larger role at the intersection of the cloud and Big Data.

In a statement, Pentaho had this to say:

This is Pentaho's first cloud strategic partnership. As the Big Data market has matured, it's now time for production workloads to be moved over to Big Data Service offerings. Rackspace is the recognized leader providing the enterprise with IaaS, with an enterprise-grade support model. We see Rackspace and a natural partner for us to make our move into this space. We are market leaders in our respective categories with proven experience that enterprises trust for service, reliability, scalability and support. As the market for Hadoop and Big Data is developing and maturing, we see Rackspace as the natural strategic partner for Pentaho to begin providing Big Data/Hadoop as a Service.

Rackspace BIG DATA is available now directly from Rackspace.