Apple Acquires FoundationDB To Improve Cloud-based Services
Apple acquired a tiny 40-plus person startup that specializes in speedy, durable NoSQL database, a sign that Apple may be seeking a way to improve its own cloud-based services.
Cupertino-based Apple has agreed to acquire FoundationDB, a Virginia-based database company that develops scalable and fault tolerant databases that support multiple data models. Apple acquired FoundationDB to boost its database technology and help manage the huge amounts of data the company has to handle on a daily basis.
A notice on the FoundationDB's website notes that it's no longer offering downloads of its software products. Apple is traditionally secretive about acquisitions and technology development, so it comes as no big surprise that the tech giant has refused to comment about the financial terms of the acquisition.
FoundationDB may have been an attractive target for Apple due to its ability to handle ACID-compliant transactions quickly, coupled with strong stability. A post on the startup's blog claims that FoundationDB software can achieve ACID-compliant transactions at 14.4 million random writes per second or about 54 billion writes per hour. FoundationDB is also cost-efficient- about 3.6 million database writes per penny.
FoundationDB, based in Vienna, Virginia, was launched in 2009 by Nick Lavezzo, Dave Rosenthal and Dave Sheer to address the lack of transactional NoSQL database systems. The team draws on their experience in technology roles at their previous company, Visual Sciences (now part of Adobe Systems). FoundationDB is a multi-model and high-performance database that provides NoSQL and SQL capabilities. Such database technologies have become more popular in recent years because they offer the flexibility, scalability, speed and performance that today's application developers demand. The startup had a unique technology, it combines the advantages of modern NoSQL databases with the power and reliability of ACID-compliant transactions.
Before the acquisition, FoundationDB has raised a total of $22.7 million in two rounds from SV Angel, Sutter Hill and CrunchFund.
Apple confirmed the acquisition but didn't say what it intends to do with the newly acquired company, speculation has focused on improving Apple's server-side technologies attached to iCloud. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple said, in response to an inquiry about the deal.
The move follows Apple's stealthy acquisition of Acunu, a small UK-based data analysis company that built its tech on the NoSQL database Cassandra. Acunu makes technology that provide analytics on databases, its technology can be used improve other tools, like the Cassandra database. Apple is currently has some of the world's largest Cassandra deployments - about 75,000 nodes storing over 10 PB of data (According to the Apache Cassandra project).
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