Yahoo’s Hadoop cluster lab at IIT Bombay: a win-win industry-academia collaboration?


Hadoop, is an open-source project of Apache, for distributed computing over large data sets. One of the methods it uses is the famous MapReduce paradigm for distributed computing over large data sets that Google is believed to have pioneered. 


Yahoo runs one of the largest Hadoop clusters- and it has one of the largest data sets to to work with. It is now helping the IIT Bombay to set up a hadoop cluster lab by donating a cluster of servers running the yahoo version of the open –source hadoop software.

Its a win-win situation. For the students of IIT Bombay it is now easy to play around with Hadood and terabytes of data and distributed architectures.For yahoo, the research that goes in academic institutions like IIT Bombay advances the Hadoop and directly benefits Yahoo who depends on such critical innovation and cannot do everything by itself.

It is not the first time that Yahoo has collaborated with academia. It foe so  in US, but this is the first time they have collaborated with a foreign university. Yahoo, is also not the first one to set up collaborative labs in ITS. during my stay in IITD , back in 1994-1998, I remember labs being set up by all and sundry-Intel, IBM etc.

However, each such industry-academia collaboration is a reassertion of the great value each can bring to the other- while some IIT Bombay grads getting jobs in Yahoo as a result of this initiative would be the least of the welcome outputs I would be looking forward to, this sets up the stage for other players in the filed to improve and enhance basic infrastructure in our premier institutes in a lure of catching them young and utilizing their talents early on.

To me, this is a welcome step. What do you think? is such industry collaboration the future, or is this a  one-off event?

  1. Madhav Shivpuri says

    I think this is a great idea and should be encouraged from other businesses and from various industries too.

    The colleges/ universities should take legal advice on how to retain or benefit from any IP that might come out of such activities. The expectations should be clear to the management and the students lacking which there might be a bad taste on the tongue left if one party feels that the other got the better of them.

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