EMC gets into Database Management

By Subraya Mallya - July 2010 | Topics - Cloud Computing

Storage leader EMC, the original acquirer par-excellence is at it again. Today they announced the acquisition of Greenplum to get into Cloud Computing and specifically database management.

For a company that started out as a furniture reseller (I bet you did not know that !), they made successful transition into memory disk drives and eventually becoming the leader in Network storage platforms. They followed it up with entry into new areas of information management, i.e, Content Management with Documentum and Security Management with RSA acquisitions. In what is considered as a master stroke they acquired VMWare when very few people knew about Virtualization. Now with all the Cloud Computing push the world is into, VMWare is positioned squarely in the middle of it. At this point EMC still retains a majority stake in VMWare. No other technology company including  Cisco , IBM or Oracle, the other serial acquirers, can claim to having successfully integrated and multiplied the potential of an acquisition as has EMC.

Today with Greenplum acquisition, EMC took another major stride. The acquisition gives EMC entry into what is soon becoming a hot area – Cloud based Business Intelligence. Greenplum offers a MapReduce based Datawarehousing and Analytics database based on a PostgreSQL kernel, and a column oriented database designed to work at massive scale on commodity hardware.

MapReduce is a framework designed by Google based on the functional programming constructs of Map and Reduce. The concept behind it is to chop the large datasets into smaller chunks and distribute it across distributed filesystem and assigned to multiple worker nodes and to combine the results to deliver the answer to the original problem. The most popular open source implementation of this concept is the Apache Hadoop MapReduce project.

Greenplum on its website claims amongst its customers  –  Sony, Sears, Skype, Vodafone, Alibaba.com, Nasdaq and interestingly Sun. Although not listed on its website Ebay uses Greenplum for its much publicized multi-petabyte datawarehouse, one of the largest in the world.

This acquisition puts EMC squarely in the cross hairs of Oracle, IBM, Netezza in the database for Datawarehousing. Take that Oracle for getting into Exadata/ Storage business as part of Sun acquisition. This also puts other Cloud DB companies like Vertica, Aster Data, Par Accel on the list of next acquisition targets.

In an interesting twist to the story, Greenplum website lists Sun Microsystems as one of its investor (and a customer). With Oracle now owning that investment, makes for a interesting discussion.

Would HP be the next to acquire a DB vendor? Would Oracle acquire another storage vendor to get back at EMC?

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: