Data Warehousing

EMC Acquire PostgreSQL Database Warehousing Company Greenplum

Jessica Thornsby

Is EMC attempting to become the next one-stop shop for integrated hardware and software stack?

Information infrastructure solutions provider EMC Corporation, today announced they have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Greenplum, whose software is based on the open source PostgreSQL database.

Greenplum provides data warehousing technology by leveraging a “shared-nothing” massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture. Greenplum customers include T-Mobile, NYSE Euronext, Skype, and Equifax. According to the press release, Greenplum will become the basis of a new data computing product division within EMC: ‘Data Computing Product Division.’

James Kobielus, a data management analyst with Forrester Research, has predicated that the acquisition will see EMC join Oracle and IBM as “integrated one-stop hardware/software stack” DW appliance vendors, who attempt to deliver a complete data warehousing solution. But, is this a direct attempt to bring EMC into competition with Oracle and its Exadata product line?

Chuck Hollis, Vice President of Global Marketing CTO at EMC, dismisses this idea. In a blog post, he stated that EMC’s acquisition of Greenplum is not an attempt to directly compete with Oracle’s data management-based closed stack. He points out that Greenplum is not a general purpose database like Oracle’s, but instead targets large-scale data warehouse and business analytics. Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Brian Babineau seems to support Hollis’ statement, summarising EMC’s acquisition as attempting to fill “a void in the market from a software perspective to solve the database performance challenge,” while Oracle have instead opted for the “hardware approach.”

James Kobielus has his own, non-Oracle theory on why EMC have acquired Greenplum. He sees an alignment between EMC’s cloud offerings and what he calls “Greenplum’s enterprise data cloud push,” which could be the reason behind the acquisition.

The acquisition will be an all-cash transaction, and is currently expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2010. According to the EMC press release, the acquisition is not expected to have a material impact to EMC GAAP and non-GAAP EPS for the full 2010 fiscal year.

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