Starburst buys acceleration technology for its distributed query engine


Starburst Data Inc.developer of a commercial distribution of the distributed SQL query engine Trino, today announced that it has acquired Varada Ltd.a Tel Aviv-based manufacturer of a data lake analytics accelerator.

Pricing was not disclosed. Varada, formerly Expandb Technologies, previously raised $19.5 million in seed and venture funding, according to Crunchbase.

Starburst said it will combine Varada’s proprietary and patented indexing technology with its flagship Trino-based on-premises and cloud-based analytics engine to improve query response times by up to seven times. Trino is a fork of the Presto query engine developed by Facebook Inc.

All of Verada’s approximately 15 employees will join Starburst, including co-founders Roman Vainbrand and Tal Ben Moshe. Varada’s technology is expected to be integrated into Starburst’s platform within the next 30 days and become generally available in the fall.

It’s time to buy

Starburst, which raised $414 million including a whopping $250 million round in February, has made no secret of its intentions to grow through acquisition. The timing of the investment was propitious, as it came just before tech stocks began a four-month slide that saw some companies’ valuations plummet as much as 70%.

This decline “is going to be a big opportunity for us,” said general manager Justin Borgman (pictured). “I think you’re going to see a lot of mergers and acquisitions over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Varada’s technology speeds up queries by simplifying the underlying infrastructure and using intelligent indexing and caching. Its software divides data into chunks and automatically chooses the most efficient index for each based on content and structure. Frequently accessed data is automatically stored in cache memory to reduce disk access requirements. Workload-level monitoring detects hot data and bottlenecks and alerts data engineering teams to address them. Starburst claimed that the simplified environment can reduce cloud computing costs by 40%.

Varada was also attractive because its technology works with all community-supported connectors for Presto SQL, the precursor to Trino. This allows the query engine to access a variety of data sources. It also supports high availability of “coordinator” and “worker” servers that orchestrate distributed requests.

Borgman said Starburst had his eye on Varada for some time. “We got to know them through their work in the open source community,” he said. “My co-founders, who created Presto and Trino, said they were smart guys and we kept an eye on them.”

Starburst has no immediate plans to raise prices to customers to offset the cost of the acquisition, Borgman said. In addition to making Trino a stronger competitor, the acquisition also gives Boston-based Starburst a foothold in an important overseas talent market. “It gives us the opportunity to hire great engineers in another geography,” he said.

Photo: star data

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