Cisco to acquire ParStream for IoT data-sifting

Borg borgs Borg-backed startup

Cisco-backed database and analytics newcomer ParStream is being re-assimilated, with the Borg announcing it's going to buy the "big data analytics" company (as it describes itself).

The Borg has signalled its interest in sifting Internet of Things data for quite some time, and since ParStream grew out of Cisco's "Entrepreneurs in Residence" startup program, it will have already had a close eye on the Cologne-based outfit's progress.

The Internet of Things problem is analogous to what Big Astronomy has to put up with: if you hook up dozens of telescopes on one hand, or a few billion chips on the other, you need to work out which data you're going to keep, because you won't be able to keep it all.

In the blog post discussing the acquisition, Cisco's Rob Salvagno (corporate business development veep) says the acquisition improves Cisco's "ability to provide analytics at the edge of the network, where data is increasingly being generated and in huge volume."

Using wind farms as an example, Salvagno says the technology is designed to track and monitor individual wind turbines, and respond to changes in wind direction and temperature.

"Instead of sending this data to a centralised server, now a company can store the data at the edge of the network, closer to the turbines and sensors, and track results even across a highly distributed network," he writes.

The key is a combination of compression and indexing, Salvagno says, that means the software can sift through "billions of records" in near-real time with "minimal infrastructure and operating costs at the edge."

The acquisition should be complete by Q2 2016. ®

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