Starburst buys acceleration technology for its distributed query engine

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

The price wasn’t disclosed. Varada, which was formerly named Expandb Technologies, had 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 on-premises and cloud analytics engine based on the Trino to improve query response times up to sevenfold. Trino is a fork of the Presto query engine developed at 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.

Time to buy

Starburst, which has raised $ 414 million, including a massive $ 250 million round in February, has made no secret of its intentions to grow through acquisition. The timing for the investment was propitious, since it came just before technology stocks entered a four-month decline that has seen valuations of some companies drop by as much as 70%.

That decline “is going to be a great opportunity for us,” said Chief Executive 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 accelerates queries by simplifying underlying infrastructure and using intelligent indexing and caching. Its software breaks data into blocks and automatically chooses the most effective 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 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. That enables the query engine to access a variety of data sources. It also supports high availability of the “coordinator” and “worker” servers that orchestrate distributed queries.

Borgman said Starburst has had its eye on Varada for a while. “We’ve known 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 have 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 more potent competitor, the acquisition also gives Boston-based Starburst a foothold in an important overseas talent market. “This gives us an opportunity to hire great engineers in another geography,” he said.

Photo: Starburst Data

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