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Microsoft Buys Big Data Analytics Startup Metanautix

Microsoft announced the acquisition of Metanautix today, a three-year-old startup company that makes a Big Data analytics solution.

Metanautix's solution addresses the "biggest challenge" of data analytics, which is how to bring various data resources together, according to Joseph Sirosh, Microsoft's corporate vice president for the data group, in Microsoft's announcement. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup makes a Quest "data compute engine" that's designed to take data of any size from various data silos and turn it into standard SQL. The concept is illustrated in the following diagram:

[Click on image for larger view.] Using the Metanautix Quest engine to generate standard SQL. Source: Metanautix data sheet.

Metanautix claims that data sources don't have to be transformed and moved around to be used with its system. End users just connect. The Quest software does the extract transform and load (ETL) process in the background so that end users can just run SQL queries, per a Metanautix blog post description.

Sirosh said that Metanautix Quest works across private and public clouds, tapping disparate sources.

"The solution can integrate data across traditional data warehouses like SQL Server, Oracle and Teradata; open source NoSQL databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra; as well as business systems like Salesforce.com and wide array of other cloud and on-premises data stores," he wrote.

Microsoft is targeting Metanautix's technology for use with SQL Server and the Cortana Analytics Suite, Sirosh explained, adding that more information would be shared later.

The financial aspects of the deal weren't disclosed. Metanautix's CEO Theo Vassilakis noted the deal in a blog post, offering few other details, such as customer transition information.

Overall, the year 2015 has turned out to be one of Microsoft's more aggressive software company acquisition periods, with most purchases falling under the "social, mobile, analytics and cloud" category. For detailed analysis of Microsoft's 2015 buying spree, see this article by Redmond Channel Partner Editor in Chief Scott Bekker.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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