The deal came out of partnership meetings between Vienna, Virg.-based FoundationDB and Akiban, one of Boston’s hot database startups, a few months ago, said FoundationDB co-founder David Rosenthal.
“We were building a storage substrate, a core product for storing and scaling data, but were agnostic about the data model. Our ambition was to provide layers to run different data models. Akiban had this SQL engine and we knew we’d get into SQL some day,” said Rosenthal. “They built their product around the same abstraction our substrate used. It was a fortuitous coming together,” he said. Terms of that coming together were not disclosed.
“Akiban’s unique SQL capabilities are directly applicable to distributed systems and the world of NoSQL because it operates on top of objects,” said Akiban CEO Ori Hernnstadt, who along with the rest of the company’s key technical people will stay on.
“This is not a ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ partnership but a real coming together of NoSQL and SQL worlds,” Rosenthal added.
The fact is, customers need both relational and non-relational, SQL and non-SQL capabilities. The combined Akiban and FoundationalDB will try to meet that demand.