Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, May 17, 2022

SAP Seals Altiscale Deal 

SAP completed it acquisition of big data analytics startup Altiscale Inc. this week, saying it would fold Altiscale's data cloud and Hadoop services into its existing SAP HANA cloud and emerging analytics efforts.

Reports that SAP (NYSE: SAP) was pursuing Altiscale, based in Palo Alto, Calif., began surfacing in August. SAP did not disclose details of the acquisition, but reports pegged the deal at north of $125 million.

Altiscale is a leading big data services vendor specializing in Hadoop and Apache Spark data platforms, SAP said those platform would be leveraged to accelerate and "operationalize" big data deployment in the enterprise via the SAP HANA cloud.

The deal promises to extend SAP’s reach into the Hadoop ecosystem. For example, it added a new in-memory query engine called Vora to SAP HANA last year to boost interactive analytics capabilities running on Hadoop along with other new cloud platform services.

In announcing completion of the Altiscale deal, SAP added that the startup's Hadoop-as-a-Service capabilities would enable it to offer a more comprehensive enterprise solution. Along with a cloud implementation of Hadoop, Altiscale also offers a cloud version of Spark.

SAP HANA Vora software is designed to target distributed data to provide contextual awareness while improving “business process awareness” across enterprise applications and analytics, the company said. SAP has previously stressed that data moves much faster between HANA and Apache Spark. Vora is a distributed computing framework that extends Spark’s execution engine to address shortfalls in processing big data for enterprise use.

SAP has been positioning it Vora query engine as a way to conduct online analytical processing directly on large datasets using in-memory technology and stored in Hadoop. Previously, SAP said, mining large datasets for contextual information using Hadoop was a challenge.

The Altiscale deal also expands the capabilities of the SAP HANA relational database management system as the vendor looks to new data-driven use cases such as financial services and the Internet of Things (IoT) where networks of connected devices are generating torrents of unstructured machine data. SAP said Altiscale's data cloud along with Hadoop and Spark services could help it address IoT uses cases ranging from manufacturing and utilities to transportation and smart cities. It also cited cyber-security and fraud detection as potential financial services use cases.

Industry observers have noted that Altiscale’s deep Hadoop expertise would help SAP address emerging big data market segments, freeing customers from relying on third-party vendors. Moreover, those capabilities along with the deep Hadoop roots of Altiscale’s founder and CEO Raymie Stata, who helped deploy Hadoop at Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) , made the startup attractive to SAP as its seeks to offer its own distributions of big data platforms like Hadoop.

 

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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