Hadoop specialist WANdisco acquires HBase-like startup OhmData

Shiny database

WANdisco, a company focused on providing maximum uptime for systems including Hadoop, has acquired a San Francisco database startup called OhmData for $2.1 million. OhmData’s technology, called C5, is a take on the popular Apache HBase database, only built to be easier, more transactional (it’s an OLTP database) and more resilient.

C5 is an open source database that was designed to run in cloud environments, and which OhmData was piloting as a cloud service. While C5 uses the HBase APIs and data model, OhmData says the technology provides instant failover and consistent writes in part because because it doesn’t rely on the Hadoop Distributed File System. The company claims C5 is fast; can run on disk, flash or cloud resources; and can scale to thousands of nodes.

It’s a small deal monetarily, but not entirely inconsequential. WANdisco positions itself as a specialist in keeping Hadoop and HBase clusters running in the case of system failures, and OhmData’s technology will help bolster that capability. Among larger vendors, only Hadoop distribution vendor MapR — which announced $110 million in additional capital on Monday — has taken a stab at really improving the core HBase technology to make it faster and more reliable for mainstream production environments. A startup called Splice Machine is also pushing a version of HBase for OLTP workloads.

Alex Newman, OhmData’s co-founder and CEO, is a veteran of Cloudera and was a technical co-founder at the now-defunct SQL-on-Hadoop startup Drawn to Scale (which multiple sources say had solid technology despite its untimely demise). OhmData’s other co-founder, Ryan Rawson, is an Apache HBase committer who was vice president of engineering at Drawn to Scale and worked at Google, StumbleUpon and Amazon prior to that.

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