Saturday, April 27, 2013

Actian acquires Paraccel


Paraccel was founded in 2005 by former Netezza executives as a big data alternative to Netezza's DW appliance idea. Paraccel runs on a commodity platform. It got lots of VC money (I've heard estimates as high as $90m) but has comparatively few customers. 

Paraccel apparently hoped to generate a little revenue with hosting deals, which are always low priced. Or maybe they were just in it for the publicity. The technology is used for MicroStrategy Wisdom. I doubt MicroStrategy paid them very much, as is typical for deals like this. Recently they entered a deal with Amazon to license their technology for Redshift, which Amazon is reselling at very low rates. With the takeover, Amazon no longer owns a share of Paraccel.

Paraccel's struggles aren’t very surprising, since so many other vendors in the space except Teradata lost their independence in 2010/2011. Sybase, Netezza, Kickfire, Greenplum, Vertica and Aster Data were all acquired. Also HP killed Neoview in the same time frame. 

Actian is the newish name for Ingres, and controls the open source database by the same name. It also has several other databases including VectorWise., There seems to me to be a good deal of overlap between the VectorWise and Paraccel. Actian is not a high profile company but it will be interesting to see what strategy they adopt to squeeze cash out of this highly funded and presumably expensive company.

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