Apache Hadoop-focused Cloudera has launched an expanded partner program under the name Cloudera Connect: Cloud, which is based on its Cloudera Connect Partner Program and is meant to drive further partner opportunities in Hadoop Big Data analytics in the cloud.

Cloudera unveiled the new program at the Strata + Hadoop World Conference in New York this week. At the same time, it announced that Savvis, SoftLayer, T-Systems and Verizon Cloud had joined the program as charter members.

According to Cloudera, Big Data and Hadoop are evolving within organizations, and as enterprises continue to adopt Hadoop, there's a need for partners to integrate the capabilities of the open source platform into the cloud. Cloudera's partner program is meant to help fill that gap, enabling its channel partners to introduce Hadoop Big Data analytics cloud services.

"We remain committed to solving higher-order Big Data problems for our customers that will enable them to ask bigger questions and derive more sophisticated insights from their data—wherever it lives—from a single, unified enterprise data management platform. Cloudera's richly diverse partner ecosystem is helping to provide the innovation and variety that our customers require to solve all of their data challenges," said Tom Reilly, CEO of Cloudera, in a prepared statement.

The new program is meant to meet the growing needs of customers looking to optimize Hadoop deployments in the cloud. Cloudera plans to offer a variety of partner solutions to support unified data management and analytics in cloud-based environments.

The company noted it also plans to provide support for customer deployments on Amazon (AMZN) Web Services shortly, as well as private cloud deployments through OpenStack and VMware (VMW).