Virginia’s FoundationDB Acquired by Apple

25 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Acquires Durable Database Company FoundationDB.

Apple has reportedly acquired database company FoundationDB, a move that would allow the company to improve the underpinnings of its existing services and also lay the groundwork for an Internet of Things (IoT) expansion. Apple bought a start-up that’s developing a lightning-fast database, a sign the tech giant may be seeking ways to run software services like iMessage more efficiently.

FoundationDB has been improving over the years of development, but as a small noSQL database company, it may seem an odd acquisition for a mega company like Apple. Asked to confirm the deal, first reported by TechCrunch, Apple responded by saying that it from time to time buys smaller companies but doesn’t discuss its plans. Apple agreed to acquire FoundationDB, a Virginia-based startup that developed database technology designed to crunch massive quantities of digital information very quickly. The Vienna, Virginia-based software maker posted a message on its website saying it was no longer offering downloads. “We have made the decision to evolve our company mission,” FoundationDB said.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has been overseeing some of Apple’s most aggressive purchases in recent years, including buying Beats Electronics LLC for $3 billion in 2014, as he looks to strength parts of the technology company beyond iPhones and iPads. All this, along with the fact it is a cloud-based service fits with Apple’s desire for iCloud services become as popular as other technologies such as iPhone and iTunes. To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Higgins in San Francisco at; Jack Clark in San Francisco at FoundationDB hosted a booth at TechCrunch Disrupt SF in 2012, where we first wrote about its approach to a modern NoSQL database and its ‘NoSQL, YesACID’ motto. Apple should be able to take advantage of this performance across most of its services, including iTunes, the App Store and a rumored TV streaming service.

Peter Goldmacher, a former Wall Street software analyst who works for Aerospike Inc., a competitor of FoundationDB, said this type of database technology lets companies process information at high speed without incurring the typical huge costs for computer servers and the people to run them. Apple currently (at least from analysis of the jobs it advertises) uses NoSQL databases including MongoDB, Cassandra, and Couchbase, but it looks like it has decided it would be better to own its own proprietary database technology – and to acquire the developers who have been working on it. At current (December 2014) AWS (non-spot) pricing and including enterprise FoundationDB licenses for all 480 cores with full 24/7 support this mega-cluster only costs about $150/hr. To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, install the I Programmer Toolbar, subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Linkedin, or sign up for our weekly newsletter.

The company has already dipped its feet in that rapidly growing sector with HomeKit, a framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected things in a user’s home. FoundationDB had raised a total of $US22.7 million, including $US17 million in November 2013, according to Crunchbase, which tracks funding of start-ups.

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