Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quick thoughts on EMC acquiring Greenplum

EMC announced today that they are acquiring Greenplum. Below are the first thoughts that crossed my mind when I heard about this deal.

  • Congratulations to the whole team at Greenplum. Every interaction I’ve had with a Greenplum employee has been very positive (especially Florian Waas, Luke Lonergan, and I guess Joe Hellerstein even though he’s just an advisor), and I’m really happy for all of them.
  • Aster Data’s launch a couple of years ago seems to have hurt Greenplum more than any other company. Aster Data and Greenplum have extremely similar products (a parallelization layer over PostgreSQL with MapReduce integration), though Greenplum has made more changes and innovations at the DBMS level than Aster Data has (most notably the column-storage option which I have written about in the past). However, Aster Data has reshaped their focus on deep, embedded analytics with extensive analytic libraries, which has met the market with more success than Greenplum’s focus on the enterprise data cloud (EDC) vision, since Greenplum’s product was not ready yet to compete with the likes of Teradata in the EDC space. Greenplum’s recent Chorus offering also seems to have also been a failure. Hence, I do not think the acquisition price was an extremely large number.
  • This deal seems like bad news for Greenplum’s direct competitor, ParAccel, which is extremely close to EMC and relies on EMC for their “enterprise-class” solution that includes high availability and disaster recovery. I believe EMC routinely helps win ParAccel some business.
  • People predicted that the DatAllegro acquisition by Microsoft would spur additional industry consolidation. That clearly did not happen, as two years passed and there were no non-trivial acquisitions in the data warehouse space. But then SAP squired Sybase (and Sybase IQ) and EMC acquired Greenplum, so I am sure people will be predicting that 2010 is the year for all the predicted consolidation. I have my doubts, since HP is the only major player that clearly needs to upgrade its “Big Data” offerings. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one more acquisition this year.
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