Mobile platform company Appcelerator has acquired Nodeable, a company offering big data analytics processing for Hadoop. Once a startup buidling a “Twitter for machines” – a term used to describe its system for aggregating systems data across sources – Nodeable recently refocused its efforts this summer on StreamReduce, a cloud-hosted, real-time data analytics product.
The system uses the same architecture as its operations monitoring tool, but allowed Nodeable to expand beyond its customer base of developers and system admins. StreamReduce is based on Storm, a real-time analytics engine that was originally developed at BackType, a startup Twitter acquired last year. (Twitter allowed lead developer Nathan Marz to finish the project after buying the company and open source it, and Twitter now uses Storm internally.)
StreamReduce is Storm in the cloud, but with connectors to Apache’s Hadoop. As Nodeable CEO Dave Rosenberg explained to TechCrunch contributor Klint Finley this July, Storm is meant to complement, not replace, Hadoop. Hadoop isn’t great for processing streams of incoming data, which is where Storm and StreamReduce come in. StreamReduce can process and analyze raw data in real-time, in order to discover trends, summaries and anomalies that could increase efficiencies in data-driven businesses.
For Appcelerator, the acquisition will help the company round out its Enterprise Mobile Cloud offerings, which include real-time data processing, analytics, and enterprise data integration tools for business customers. Jeff Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator, explained that his company’s enterprise customers are in need of a a better way to analyze the large volume of data coming in through their applications.
The move is a timely one for Appcelerator, which has been working to build out its next-generation mobile cloud offerings for its enterprise customers for some time. “When you look at where a lot of information is coming from these days, and how people are accessing information, and how everything you do is a transaction – and when you look at how mobile has grown – we’re seeing the usage of mobile devices having gone way up and the volume of data…it’s increasing exponentially month-over-month,” says Nodeable’s Rosenberg. He says that his company begin working with Appcelerator around six months ago on how to integrate enterprise applications into mobile clients, while respecting enterprise concerns around security.
“You have this amazing ability where you can get data anytime, anywhere, but the enterprises aren’t really set up to do that,” he explains. “We had done a lot of that where you can take data from effectively any source, and do real-time processing of that.” If you’ve heard the saying about how some of the best brains in technology are working on better ads, Rosenberg quips, well, “it is a use case” for the technology his company built.
That being said, the Appcelerator enterprise customer is often more interested in simply adding mobility to their workflow. With Nodeable’s technology, these customers have the ability to not just have mobile traffic going across the network, but to have a way to analyze that traffic, see what apps are popular, make sure transactions are end-to-end, and more. This level of integration is tough, and it could have taken Appcelerator three or six months more to put a team together in order to solve the challenge. In mobile, that’s eons. Plus, Nodeable has a very strong expertise in this area, and even more so after its mini-pivot away from the systems side of things to focus on big data. It made more sense to acquire than hire, simply put.
In the cash and equity deal, eight of Nodeable’s ten employees have accepted a position at Appcelerator, and around fifteen San Francisco Appcelerator employees will now join Nodeable at their offices, instead of the other way around.
Following the acquisition, Nodeable’s StreamReduce will be open-sourced and posted on GitHub, under the Apache License, version 2.0, and its existing product will continue on unaffected. Going forward, the staff will now be forming the core of the new team which will focus on building out Appcelerator’s enterprise cloud offerings, where one of its first efforts will be in improving the analytics product.
This is the fourth acquisition for Appcelerator – it also picked up Cocoafish in January 2012, enterprise-grade IDE capabilities through Aptana in January 2011, and HTML5 expertise with Particle Code in October 2011.