On the other hand, to address the question in the title—would custom distributions clarify Hadoop versions—I think that while custom distributions might be helpful for experimenting or getting started with Hadoop, long term they’ll actually lead to more segmentation in the market and bigger maintenance and upgrade costs for end users.
There are just a few companies with a track record of maintaining and distributing open source projects—in the Hadoop space these are Cloudera and Hortonworks (nb Hortonworks is supporting the Apache Hadoop distribution). So if a vendor tries to sell you a Hadoop package ask them about their history managing open source distributions.
Original title and link: Apache Hadoop 1.0 Doesn’t Clear Up Trunks and Branches Questions. Do Distributions? ( ©myNoSQL)