The deal was announced on Friday and the Metanautix website went down almost immediately afterwards. All that is left is a simple post from Metanautix CEO Theo Vassilakis saying how excited he is about the acquisition and giving credit to his staff.
A Quest to take the query to the data
One of the main challenges for the big data explosion has been the vast amounts of data and network bandwidth consumed BEFORE any real analysis takes place. This is because the data is often held in multiple data stores around the enterprise and in the cloud. As a result, data has to be extracted from where it sits, transformed to a common file and record format, moved across the network and then loaded into a new database (ETL). Finally the queries can be run against the data.
The Metanautix Quest platform changes all of this. First of all it queries data in situ reducing a significant amount of cost wasted doing ETL. It doesn’t care where the data is located, local applications, on-premises, private cloud and public cloud are all treated as if they were a single location.
It makes it easy for the user to create a query that can be run across multiple data stores even when they are using different fields names and record structures. For example you can run a query against both structured data and unstructured data such as a sales database and data held inside email. Once the query has been designed the user simply sits back and waits for the results.
Why does Microsoft want Metanautix?
This is more than just reducing the cost of doing analytics to the end user. Companies are not only working with on-premises data and their own private cloud. Business Units have purchased a lot of different cloud-based applications and the IT department has to bring all of that together. The cost of integrating data stores to reduce the time taken for querying was becoming a major pain point for IT.
Having moved to the cloud, users have become used to just buying more resources as and when they need them. Being told that speeding up their queries is more than just buying more cloud resources and that there are technical, legal and compliance issues that are limiting what they can do has been frustrating. That frustration is being taken out on IT.
What made Metanautix interesting to many followers and it seems Microsoft as well was the ability to solve this pain point. While vendors such as IBM have been talking about the ability to use containers to move the query to the data, Metanautix went further and moved the query to ALL the data irrespective of file format and without a container.
Microsoft now gets a ready built and proven solution for multi-cloud business analytics that will do more than just enhance its database team. Its push into the CRM market with Microsoft Dynamics will also benefit from Metanautix as it will sit below Dynamics enabling faster querying of disparate data sets.
How long before we see this in the Microsoft sales channel? That’s a really big question. With the Metanautix site now down and Microsoft yet to set up its own Metanautix page it’s a wait and see moment.
In his blog announcing the acquisition of Metanautix Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President, Data Group, Microsoft said: “In the coming months, we will have more to share about how we will bring Metanautix technology into the Microsoft data platform, including SQL Server and the Cortana Analytics Suite.”
This is a really smart acquisition by Microsoft and it raises questions as to how IBM, Oracle and other analytics vendors failed to see the benefit of Metanautix. The ability to address all types of data irrespective of where they are located and whether they are structured or unstructured is something most companies need today.
While Sirosh says we will have to wait and see how Microsoft integrates Metanautix there will be a lot of customers out there for whom this cannot come soon enough. Microsoft has not disclosed how much it paid for Metanautix but it is unlikely to take long before the investment has earned out in helping Microsoft increase its sales of analytics solutions.