WANdisco hails US buy as huge coup

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SOFTWARE group WANdisco hailed its $5.1m (£3.2m) purchase of a Silicon Valley firm working in the fast-expanding ‘Big Data’ market as a “massive coup”.

Sheffield-based WANdisco yesterday revealed a deal to buy Californian software firm AltoStor, funded by cash and shares.

WANdisco said the purchase will speed up and enhance its ability to develop products for the Big Data market – the rapidly-growing volume of complex, diverse and high-speed data which underpins an increasing number of firms.

AltoStor’s founders Dr Konstantin Shvachko and Jagane Sundar were two of the founding developers of Apache Hadoop, software which is used by firms including Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon and eBay to manage their vast databases.

“In business terms it’s the most important thing I’ve ever done,” said WANdisco chief executive David Richards. “It’s a coup. For a small company to acquire the founders of Hadoop is massive. It’s the hottest space in IT today.”

Buying AltoStor will accelerate WANdisco’s launch of its own Big Data products by a year. It now hopes to launch an enterprise tool “within months”, said Mr Richards.

Mr Sundar will join as chief technology officer and vice president of engineering for Big Data, while Dr Shvachko becomes chief architect for Big Data.

WANdisco is issuing $3.6m of shares, subject to a three-year lock-in, and also paying the founders $1.5m in cash.