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BDE is the enterprise version of Project Serengeti, the open-source project started in 2012 by VMware to virtualize Hadoop distributions. BDE connects to vCenter to allow administrators to create, monitor and oversee Hadoop components on the vSphere platform.
VMware released BDE in 2013 and updated it to version 2.0 in 2014. BDE works with several Hadoop distributions including Apache, Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR and Pivotal. BDE requires vSphere 5.0 or higher running on an Enterprise or Enterprise Plus license.