WANdisco snaps up AltoStor in big data push

UK-based software company WANdisco has bought AltoStor for its big data expertise in a bid to break into the growing market.
Written by Sam Shead, Contributor

Enterprise software company WANdisco has purchased Silicon Valley data firm AltoStor for $5.1m (£3.2m) in order to help it make inroads in the potentially lucrative big data market.  

WANdisco (Wide Area Network Distributed Computing) is best known for its Subversion products that use active-active replication technology to enable geographically distributed software developers to work together simultaneously. The company hopes that it can combine its traditional systems with AltoStor's Hadoop big data knowledge to create new products, pencilled in for launch in 2013.

"Active-active replication implies that two servers with data can be both readable and writable at the same time and it should be able to deal with conflicts and WAN latency and other things," WANdisco chairman and CEO, David Richards, told ZDNet on Monday. 

AltoStor is an open-source big data company with deep expertise in Apache Hadoop, which enables applications to work with vast amounts of data stored on more than one server and is used by the likes of Facebook, Amazon and Yahoo to help them manage their expansive databases.

"AltoStor has the unique knowledge, particularly in Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), that we need to apply active-active replication to Hadoop," said Richards. 

WANdisco hopes that its new line of big data products will provide sufficient datacentre fail over for Hadoop deployment. 

"You see the likes of Amazon EC2 going down and taking Pinterest and Instagram with it because there is no full scope datacentre fail over. We will be able to provide that using our active-active replication technology," Richards said.

AltoStor founders Konstantin Shvachko and Jagane Sundar will join WANdisco and play a key role in the company's product development and rollout. Both Shvachko and Sundar were among the original team of 12 to develop Apache Hadoop at Yahoo.

The deal is being funded with $3.6m (£2.3m) in shares and $1.5m (£940k) in cash, "payable on completion as a signing bonus", the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

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