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 reiterated 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 creation 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.