Breaking Analysis: Syncsort’s New Acquisition Primes Partners for Real-Time Big Data

Syncsort, a global maker of Big Data software, is moving fast under the direction of Lone Jaffe.  His first acquisition as CEO of Data Integration is UK-based Circle Computer Group, kicking off the acquisition-heavy growth strategy he revealed earlier this year. Circle offers a portfolio of software products that allow organizations to make valuable, previously “locked away” mainframe data securely available for new enterprise-wide Big Data initiatives without requiring any changes to existing applications, reducing software costs in the process.

“We’re looking to acquire fast-growing companies with extraordinary talent and highly differentiated software that will advance our strategy and easily snap into our existing technology,” said Jaffe. “We were really fortunate to find such a company in Circle.”

Circle’s flagship product, DL/2, provides a software engine that enables the rapid, transparent migration of applications accessing large quantities of data from the IBM Information Management System (IMS) to DB2 on z/OS, without requiring any application changes. This mission-critical mainframe data can be made securely available to familiar Big Data platforms like Apache Hadoop via Syncsort’s  DMX-h product line. Circle also provides similar capabilities for moving IBM Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) data.

Addressing Big Data’s pain points


While this helps lower adoption costs for the enterprise, Circle technology also helps address the skills challenges many organizations face due to dwindling IMS and VSAM expertise. According to Syncsort, over 90 percent of the Fortune 1000 enterprises use IMS for their mission-critical data management needs, processing more than 50 billion transactions a day and managing over 14 petabytes of data. CICS VSAM processes tens of billions of online transactions every day at the world’s largest companies, and this is a big data pain point Syncsort is anxious to address.

“Many large enterprises with substantial Hadoop projects have told us that up to 80 percent of their corporate data originates in the mainframe” said Geoff Cooke, General Manager of Circle Computer Group. “With mainframe data being such a critical piece of the enterprise’s Big Data strategy, Syncsort and Circle create a formidable combination of expertise and a trusted ability to bring measurable value to mainframe customers.”

Syncsort has a growing global customer base that’s reached into the thousands, and today’s acquisition marks the next step in enhancing data management for industrial-grade enterprise software. It’s part of a return to the well established skill in data sorting, based on concepts first introduced in the 1970s and popularized by legacy IT firms like IBM.

Betting on real-time data demands


“Syncsort emerged with the world’s best collection of large-scale sorting, merging, copying and other data management utilities, together with the ability to programmatically fit this into operation stability,” explained David Floyer, Wikibon co-founder and CTO.

“The world is moving towards these skills again,” Floyer goes on. “One big data key business value driver is the enablement of near real-time data analytics from many data sources, and to operationalize these processes to automate change in real-time online systems. Sorting is a large component of elapsed time in both the ETL and selection processes. Jaffe is betting that the same technologies (with the addition of large in-memory sorts) are going to be needed for big data.”

Bold move to attract partners


Jaffe’s latest move is one that could ultimately attract more partners, an important aspect of the CEO’s strategy towards growing Syncsort into the data-driven future. Syncsort’s already teamed up with Cloudera and more recently Tableau for enabling the right technologies in automating data management for business systems, as well as initiating a partner program specific to Big Data. CIOs and CTOs should take note. According to Floyer, Syncsort is making itself quite the attractive partner, saying:

“CIOs and CTOs should be setting out a roadmap for the introduction of near real-time data analytics, and partnering with companies that can provide the key technologies to enable automation of rapid change to business systems. Syncsort is likely to be one such important technology to reduce the elapsed time of complex data transformation, especially for companies that hold large amounts of important data in IBM mainframe hierarchical databases.”


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