IBM has acquired Ahana, a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based provider of PrestoDB, for an undisclosed sum.
PrestoDB, or Presto, is an open source, distributed SQL query engine created at Facebook (now Meta) that is tailored for ad hoc analytics against data of all sizes.
IBM said that its acquisition of Ahana is in line with its strategy to invest in open source projects and foundations. The company acquired Red Hat in 2018, cementing its open source strategy.
“IBM is now a prominent contributor to open source communities — working across the cloud native ecosystem, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and quantum computing. One example is our role as a founding member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which fostered the growth of Kubernetes. We see our involvement with Presto Foundation as a similar relationship,” IBM’s vice president of hybrid data management Vikram Murali and CEO of Ahana Steven Mih wrote in a joint statement.
Explaining the rationale behind Ahana, IBM cited the company’s contributions to the Presto open source project. Ahana is involved in has four project committes and has two technical steering committee members, IBM added.
Other companies that offer PrestoDB include Starburst, which offers the Starburst Enterprise platform with Trino — a forked version of Presto. Starburst Galaxy is the cloud-based distribution of Starburst Enterprise.
In contrast, Ahana offers a managed version of Presto in the form of Ahana Cloud.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a competing service, named Amazon Athena, that provides a serverless query service to analyse data stored in Amazon S3 storage using standard SQL.
Ahana’s acquisition, according to the companies, will aid in the development of new capabilities to the query engine and increase its reach in the market.
“The acquisition brings Presto back to life and makes it a more inviting target for bulking up its ecosystem,” Tony Baer, principal analyst at dbInsight, wrote in a LinkedIn post, adding that Presto had seen a rise in contributions over the last few years.
Currently, IBM offers databases such as Hyper Protect DBaaS, Cloud Databases for PostgreSQL, Cloud Databases for MySQL, Cloud Databases for MongoDB and Db2 database for IBM Z mainframes.
Silicon Valley-headquartered Ahana, which was founded by Ali LeClerc, Ashish Tadose, David Simmen, George Wang, Steven Mih, and Vivek Bharathan in April 2020, has raised about $32 million in funding till date from investors such as Lux Capital, Third Point Ventures, Liberty Global, Leslie Ventures and GV.