Cloudera Enterprise will be a subscription service consisting of management and production support tools for clouds built using the Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop (CDH).
Critics are calling this open core but this is not proprietary software layered on top of open source. Instead it's paid services laid on top of open source. The bigger your cluster the more you pay to support it.
CNET's Dave Rosenberg notes that the new tools make Cloudera clouds seem more like conventional IT set-ups, with things like user authentication and tools for managing incoming data feeds. The new tools make Cloudera viable in the service provider space.
In other words, business models are built on business models. Cloudera sells services that make clouds more like conventional IT, and service providers can then parse the results into salable bites for their customers.
You can think of it as a wholesale offering which lets service providers "break bulk," selling and billing individual items rather than whole clouds.
Since it's now sounding like wholesaling and retailing, you won't be surprised to learn that Cloudera is building a channel, with partners like Acer, AMD, Datameer, Netezza, Talend and Vertica now anxious to sell their gear and software as part of a Cloudera installation.
The hope is that with all this Cloudera will prove the "open core" model, but in fact success would prove just one iteration of that model.
Success depends on making a service purchase logical, reasonable and practical, something a customer can in turn make money from, rather than just sticking the vendor hand into the customer wallet.