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DataStax slurps DataScale, burps out own managed cloud

NoSQL business moving towards revenue generation?

By Alexander J Martin, 15 Nov 2016

NoSQL-business DataStax has today announced its acquisition of the similarly-named DataScale, as well as plans to launch its own managed cloud offering next year.

DataStax'a Martin Van Ryswyk, EVP of Engineering, confirmed to The Register that the specific financial terms of the acquisition weren't going to be revealed, but told us that "the acquisition has closed and DataScale was acquired through a combination of stock and cash."

DataScale was a Cassandra-focused business which provided cloud-based management services on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Its executive chairman, Christos Kalantzis, said of the deal that “DataScale's elimation of operations is a perfect complement to DataStax Enterprise.”

Peter Bakas, DataScale's founder, told The Register that he saw the acquisition as "a continuation of our strategy. By joining forces with DataStax we can accomplish more, faster, and help a much more diverse set of customers. In our minds this is the next chapter in the DataScale story, not the end."

DataStax is sill in pre-profit mode — a very familiar refrain in the NoSQL space — and the Santa Clara-based business currently generates its revenue by developing and supporting its commercial Apache Cassandra database, DataStax Enterprise (DSE).

DSE's version 5.0 was released back in June, when its chief customer officer and co-founder Matt Pfiel told The Register that the business was focused on “being the best database for cloud in the world.”

Van Ryswyk confirmed that "all full-time engineering employees [at DataScale] will join DataStax", and the NoSQL business has also announced plans to make available its own DataStax Managed Cloud – a “secure, fully-managed data service” – which will debut on AWS in early 2017, before arriving on other public clouds.

The management side of that “fully-managed” service will include providing automated best-practices and operations, as well as either automated or manual provisioning and scaling.

"DataStax has seen significant interest from our customer base and prospects in having a fully managed offering," Van Ryswyk told us. "We believe this will be additive to revenue over next year as we bring the offering to market."

DataStax Managed Cloud is "a natural evolution of our product strategy and we we believe it will be an important avenue for delivering value to our customers," he continued, "as such we think it is a big deal to the market."

Jonathan Ellis, DataStax's CTO, said its new managed cloud will give the business “direct visibility into our customers' challenges and successes, allowing us to make DataStax Enterprise even more relevant for the next generation of cloud applications.” .

Cassandra was created at Facebook in the late noughties, named for the mythical daughter of the king of Troy. Cassandra had the power of prophecy but was also cursed to never be believed. At some point its creators evidently reckoned the reference to a troubled oracle would earn it some smiles from potential users.

DataStax picked up $45m in growth funding in 2013, back when the company only had around 50 employees. It now has over 400 staffers, including around 40 employees in the UK (based in an office in Windsor).

DataStax customers will be offered the opportunity to enrol in the managed cloud beta programme from early 2017. ®

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