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We Just Acquired Big Data / Hadoop Company AltoStor.

I believe that the combination of AltoStor’s expertise and WANdisco’s patented active-active replication technology is the proverbial ‘marriage-made-in-heaven’.  The AltoStor acquisition will enable us to launch products into the highly lucrative Big Data / Hadoop market early next year.

So how lucrative is this market?  Well, I recently read an interesting article in Wikibon “Big Data: Hadoop, Business Analytics and Beyond” that Big data / hadoop market sizereiterated what we already knew.  Big Data isn’t a might happen next year thing.  No, it’s here today, to steal a quote from the excellent article: “Make no mistake: Big Data is the new definitive source of competitive advantage across all industries. Enterprises and technology vendors that dismiss Big Data as a passing fad do so at their peril and, in our opinion, will soon find themselves struggling to keep up with more forward-thinking rivals…. For those organizations that understand and embrace the new reality of Big Data, the possibilities for new innovation, improved agility, and increased profitability are nearly endless.”

So why did we acquire AltoStor?

First off, the founders (Dr. Konstantin Shvachko and Jagane Sundar) are really good guys.  This was an ‘old-school’ acquisition.  An initial deal was struck very quickly with a handshake.  Both sides could see very clear value – so doing the deal was incredibly simple.  I love the fact that they wanted stock as consideration – that’s real proof that they see significant long term-value creation rather than short-term gain.

For WANdisco Big Data is a Big Market.  We can see clear synergy between our unique / patented active-active replication technology and the hadoop logocreation of Hadoop high availability (HA) solutions.  This is one of the reasons why AltoStor was so attractive to us.  They have unique knowledge in the space:

•            The AltoStor founders have been working on Hadoop since its inception in 2006 at Yahoo.  Konstantin was part of Doug Cuttings team that created and implemented Hadoop.  His focus was massive scale, performance and availability of Hadoop – developing the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).  He then went on to eBay where he implemented Hadoop.

•            The Founders are intimately aware of the problem WANdisco is planning to solve around Hadoop HA and hence understand the value of the solution in large scale Big Data replication over a Wide Area Network.

•            Finally, AltoStor are developing a product that is slated for release in Q1 2013, that will significantly simplify deployment of Hadoop / Big Data for enterprises.

Following the acquisition we now expect to have products available in the first quarter of 2013.  That’s very good news.

There’s going to be a lot of noise in this space over the coming months and years.  Many will jump on the ‘bandwagon’, making all sorts of lavish claims to be ‘the big data this’ and ‘the big data that’.  It always happens in hype-cycles like this.  In reality most are just companies repurposing existing legacy products and slapping a new label on it.  This is NOT one of those.  We are building from the ground-up with unique knowledge and information that only a few in the world have (the amount of brain-power in the room during some of the early design meeting was frightening!)

In 2005 when we founded WANdisco my peers would tell me that active-active replication over a Wide Area Network was impossible.  Well we’ve got hundreds-of-thousands of users using the technology for core development every day.  Applying this technology to Hadoop is groundbreaking and I think it will change the way the industry views network storage.  We like making the impossible possible at WANdisco.

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About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants-WANdisco / uberSVN Achieves the ‘Made in Sheffield’ Mark.

In the 1740s Benjamin Huntsman developed a new technique for producing steel called crucible steel in his workshop in Sheffield, England.  Prior to this, Sheffield produced about 200 tonnes of steel per year.  Move on a hundred years, and, using Huntsman’s technique the amount had risen to over 80,000 tonnes per year – almost half of Europe’s total production.  Sheffield evolved from a small town into one of Europe’s leading industrial cities and England’s 4th largest city.

Sheffield was at the heart of the industrial revolution that started in Great Britain and spread to the rest of the world.

We are truly honored today because we have been given the right to use the “Made in Sheffield” mark in conjunction with our uberSVN product.  Dating back as early as 1297 the Made in Sheffield mark is awarded for high quality products made in the city.

Of course the initial intent of the mark was primarily to recognize the superior quality of the steel products made in the city.  But I’m delighted that the committee recognized that we have a new industrial revolution based on tech.  The first iteration was a ‘faux-revolution‘ – most of the dot-coms really weren’t doing anything sustainable or revolutionary.  But the one’s that survived and prospered really are.  Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer by a country mile, while Google and eBay dominate.  Not so sure about the likes of Boo.com [spent $188m in 6 months and then went pop], pets.com or webvan though.

Machine-based manufacturing in the late 18th century enabled the second, more explosive part of the industrial revolution with the development of steam-powered ships, railways, and later the internal combustion engine and electrical power generation.

A similar pattern is emerging in the tech revolution.  The creation of the world wide web as a pervasive network is revolutionizing almost every aspect of commerce.  This revolution started in Silicon Valley and spread quickly to every corner of the globe.

One of the side effects is that smart companies realize that location alone no longer provides significant competitive advantage.  Code developed in India and China is as good as code developed in Silicon Valley.  We took what some perceived to be a unusual step of moving our software development center to Sheffield a couple of years ago.  I think it’s very strange that so many US companies automatically locate their UK HQ in London or even Bracknell for goodness sake.   The UK in general loves to sterotype and apparently people in Sheffield live like the guys in “The Full Monty”, wear flat caps and breed whippets.  Do people in London spend all of their time rioting and looting shops I wonder?

The move for us paid immediate and tangible dividends.  Our award-winning uberSVN product is “Made in Sheffield”.  It’s terrifically successful with tens-of-thousands of downloads taking the software development tools space by storm.

Being born in Sheffield and coming from a long line of steel people this award probably means more to me than most.  I am very proud to be Made in Sheffield.

avatar

About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies. Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth. With over 15 years' executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards. David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Specialties:IPO's, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A