Microsoft apparently wants to try its hand at enterprise hardware since today it announced the acquisition of data warehousing appliance vendor DATAllegro for an undisclosed sum:
Microsoft Corp. today announced that it intends to acquire DATAllegro Inc., a provider of breakthrough data warehouse appliances. The acquisition will extend the capabilities of Microsoft’s mission-critical data platform, making it easier and more cost-effective for customers of all sizes to manage and glean insight from the ever-expanding amount of data generated by and for businesses, employees and consumers.
“Integrating DATAllegro’s nonproprietary hardware platform and flexible software architecture into Microsoft SQL Server will provide customers with the strongest offering in the market,” said Stuart Frost, CEO of DATAllegro. “We are excited to join forces with Microsoft and continue the innovation this company was founded on.”
Unlike most data warehouse appliance vendors targeting the 1–25 terabyte range, DATAllegro has specialized in large-volume, high-performance data warehouses. DATAllegro’s data warehouse appliance installations boast some of the largest data volume capacities in the industry — up to hundreds of terabytes on a single system. DATAllegro clients span such markets as retail, telecommunications and manufacturing.
DATAllegro’s boxes are lash-ups of Dell server hardware running Linux, EMC storage, and Cisco switches providing a customized version of the Ingres open source database which isn’t a bad way to go if you are going to do hardware. However, Microsoft intends to put their own stamp on things:
As soon as the acquisition closes, we’ll start the work of moving our technology from Ingres & Linux to SQL Server and Windows. Our feasibility studies over the last few months indicate that SQL Server is a significant improvement in terms of performance – especially in key areas such as star joins, I/O throughput and in-memory operations. The engineering team here at DATAllegro is VERY excited about the next version of the product.
Current customers will be supported, but I wonder whether the sales team will have anything to sell before the Microsoft version is done.
In any case, the big picture is that Microsoft feels that commoditization in the data warehousing business is such that they have to have their own proprietary data warehousing hardware even if they have some work ahead to make it fit.