On April 12, Hortonworks and Pivotal announced a deepening of their strategic relationship as major players in the space for commercial Hadoop distributions and Big Data analytics. Pivotal will standardize its Hadoop distribution on Pivotal HDP, a platform that is identical to the Hortonworks Data Platform. Meanwhile, Hortonworks will offer Pivotal’s SQL on Hadoop platform, Pivotal HDB, as an offering within its own portfolio under the branding Hortonworks HDB. Powered by Apache HAWQ, Hortonworks HDB will be identical to Pivotal HBD and conversely illustrates Hortonwork’s standardization on a Pivotal technology as a counterpoint to Pivotal’s embrace of the Hortonworks Data Platform as its core Hadoop distribution. The expanded collaboration between Pivotal and Hortonworks means that Pivotal aligns with one of the industry’s most widely used Hadoop distributions in the form of Hortonworks. Hortonworks, on the other hand, now can brand and offer professional services for Pivotal’s Hadoop Native SQL platform in ways that give it parity with Cloudera’s Impala. The deepening of the partnership between Pivotal and Hortonworks promises to complicate the battle for Hadoop distribution supremacy by giving Hortonworks enhanced access to Pivotal’s renowned big data application development and analytics capabilities. As such, the real winner here is Hortonworks, although Pivotal stands to gain from standardizing on HDP and thereby enabling it to focus on its core strengths in analytics and application development.