We think it’s a done deal.
All signals suggest that Apple has bought flexible, fast database maker FoundationDB. TechCrunch first reported the news.
The company’s community site states:
“Thank you for your support of FoundationDB over the last five years. We’re grateful to have shared our vision of building the best database software and we strongly value your participation in this community. We have made the decision to evolve our company mission and, as of today, we will no longer offer downloads. If you have any technical questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
But pulling the code is exactly what very proprietary Apple would insist on. Regardless of how the FoundationDB community might react.
Code Pulled From Github
I can't believe @FoundationDB shut down their whole community. What about companies built on the tech? What happens to them?— Adam Miskiewicz (@skevy) March 24, 2015
A Little Background
David Rosenthal, Dave Scherer, Nick Lavezzo founded the Vienna, Va.-based company in 2009. It describes itself as the creator of a high-performance distributed database with ACID transactions.
Rosenthal has called it “the foundation for the next generation of distributed applications and systems."
ACID stands for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability; in other words, a set of properties that guarantees that database transactions are processed reliably.
Last December Rosenthal announced that FoundationDB’s new transaction engine tested at average of 14,400,000 random writes per second. “Or, as I like to say, 14.4MHz,” he wrote in blog post.
In plain English that translates to “Hold onto your hats, our database is fast!”
FoundationDB, at that time, had proven itself to be:
- 1,396 times faster than the event-record 618,725 TPM (tweet-per-minute) rate when Germany won the 2014 World Cup
- 4.2 times faster than Facebook’s OLTP row update per second numbers in Nov. 2010
“If I had started that old RDBMS doing 100 random writes per second thirteen years ago, FoundationDB 3.0 would catch up in 48 minutes,” Rosenthal wrote in a blog post.
Why Buy FoundationDB?
Using it for the (supposedly) forth coming Apple TV is one possibility.
TechCrunch suggests that it might reinforce Apple’s backend for iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Connect and/or the App Store. With Apple’s ever-growing population of apps, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that more horsepower is in order.
We contacted Apple to ask if the rumor is true, and it provided a boilerplate quote, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
FoundationDB's decision to sell seems to have been sudden. The company invested in team jackets less than a week ago.
And they moved to new, spacious offices that they couldn’t take enough pictures of just last month.
The company had raised $22.7 million in two rounds from SV Angel, Sutter Hill and CrunchFund. Its valuation (and the price that Apple paid) had to be significant.