Storage giant EMC announced this week that it plans to acquire data warehousing vendor Greenplum. Analysts say the move could be a harbinger of more acquisitions in the data warehousing space.
EMC's plan to buy data warehousing
specialist Greenplum may be a harbinger of more acquisitions in the data warehousing space, analysts say.
According to EMC, the deal will help lay the foundation for a
new data computing product division within EMC's Information
Infrastructure business. Greenplum's database uses a shared-nothing MPP
(massively parallel processing) architecture designed for business
intelligence and analytical processing on commodity hardware, and the
company has made a push to help enterprises to store data in the cloud.
According to Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus, the deal
signals the data warehousing space is at the start of a new round
"Just as Oracle acquired Sun in part to offer fully one-stop
integrated data warehousing appliances (i.e., Oracle Exadata over
Oracle Sun hardware), EMC comes from the other end of the telescope -
acquiring a DW software vendor to layer on top of its hardware and
possibly leverage its other software technologies at a later date," he
said. "In this way, EMC now becomes one of the few data warehousing
appliance vendors that can provide a reasonably full stack of hardware
and software from its own portfolio."
"When I say 'reasonably full' in this context, I'm referring to the
hardware (EMC is storage, but will still rely on third-parties to
provide the server and interconnects), database (Greenplum has
extended/customized the open-source BizGreSQL), query
planning/optimization, data-loading, and workload management (Greenplum
has built its own technology in those three areas)."
In that regard, EMC will be one of several integrated, one-stop
hardware/software stack data warehouse appliance vendors on the market,
a list that also includes IBM, Oracle/Sun and HP are others, he added.
Curt Monash, head of Monash Research, said it is a bit much to
say the EMC/Greenplum deal will "trigger" more acquisitions, but
consolidation in the market is inevitable.
"Participants with good reasons for surviving include Oracle,
Microsoft, IBM, Sybase, Teradata, Netezza, Greenplum, Vertica
[Systems], Aster [Data], and more," he told eWEEK. "That's too many to
all remain as independent companies. Some will buy each other. HP needs
to buy somebody at some point. Dell and Cisco [Systems] are the ones
who might feel a bit pushed to make acquisitions if their competitors'
stacks are too successful."
According to EMC, the deal is a head nod to the industry's shift
toward "big data" analytics, with Greenplum's MPP, scale-out
architecture and self-service consumption model combining with EMC's
virtualized Private Cloud infrastructure to offer a solution for
tomorrow's big-data challenges.
"EMC's strength in the enterprise, and Greenplum's push to fully
transform data warehousing and business analytics, makes for a perfect
fit," said Scott McNealy, executive advisor to Greenplum, in a
statement. "Together they are brilliantly bringing together the power
of cloud computing, virtualization, and social collaboration to help
customers as they venture into the next phase of computing and business