With the continued surge of Internet and smartphone usage across the globe, data storage is becoming increasingly complex. It's also a nice growth business.

So, to stay ahead of the curve, EMC (EMC) said Tuesday it has agreed to purchase Greenplum, a next-generation storage and analytics operator. (The terms of the deal were not disclosed).

No doubt, California-based Greenplum is a hot company. After all, its customer base includes data-hungry companies like Nasdaq OMX, NYSE Euronext, Skype, Equifax, T-Mobile and Fox Interactive Media.

Greenplum History


Founders Scott Yara and Luke Lonergan started Greenplum back in 2003. Both had plenty of experience in Internet infrastructure, with stints at companies like Digital Island, Sandpiper Networks and Didera.

At Greenplum, their mission was to build the world's fastest and most scalable database system by using thousands of off-the-shelf systems together in a data cloud, which allows for easy access and analysis without interrupting the daily flow of business.

Like any ambitious plan, it was far from easy and Greenplum encountered many challenges. But eventually the vision became a reality and the company has been growing fast.

One key was making the system do more than just storage. Aside from data warehousing, Greenplum also offers analytics software to help companies understand their data and improve their performance.

The Battle for Big Data

According to research from IDC, digital-data creation is expected to increase 44 times during the next decade. Clearly, this market for "big data" will be a boon for data-warehouse providers like Oracle (ORCL), Teradata (TDC) and Netezza (NZ).

But to truly capitalize on this opportunity, these companies will need standout technologies that can expand cost-effectively. And Greenplum appears to have made significant breakthroughs in this market, with its performance purportedly ranging from 10 to 100 times better than traditional database systems.

All in all, EMC is making a smart move by picking up Greenplum. Now the company will be a key player in the strategic market for big data.

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