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HDS acquires Pentaho, wants to store, analyze Internet of Things

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) acquired data analytics software vendor Pentaho this week, and it will share that technology across Hitachi as part of an initative that stretches beyond storage.

Pentaho sells an open source-based business analytics platform with comprehensive query and reporting capabilities. HDS already had an OEM deal with Pentaho, but had not yet integrated the data analytics into any of its products.

The deal is expected to close in June. Pentaho will then operate as an independent company as part of HDS. The 300-person Pentaho team, including CEO Quentin Gallivan, is expected to join HDS.

Pentaho will become part of Hitachi’s Social Innovation business. If you’re wondering what that is, it is Hitachi’s strategy for storing and using data from connected machines and sensors – what is known as the Internet of Things. The Social Innovation theme runs through Hitachi, although HDS is managing the big data part because the Internet of Things comprises vast amounts of unstructured data.

“This is an HDS acquisition, but Hitachi’s executive team expects that we will bring Pentaho’s capabilities into other [Hitachi] groups,” said Kevin Eggleston, HDS senior vice president, Social Innovation and Global Industries.

Eggleston said the acquisition is part of Hitachi’s plan to compete with conglomerates General Electronics and Siemens as well as traditional technology companies.

Pentaho is a 10-year-old privately held company. Gallivan said it has about 1,500 paying customers with “tens of thousands” of others using community editions of the open-source product. He said Pentaho will continue to market its existing products under its brand. “We provide an easy way for companies to move, transform and orchestrate data from the unstructured world into an Hadoop platform and out of Hadoop into NoSQL databases,” Gallivan said. “We also blend that data into relational databases.”

HDS did not disclose the purchase price but industry sources put it at around $500 million.