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Microsoft has snatched up a startup — one that specializes in big data and analytics. In a blog post, the Seattle company today announced that Citus Data, which develops an extension to the open source database management system PostgreSQL that effectively transforms it into a distributed database, is joining its ever-growing portfolio.

The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“As part of Microsoft, we will stay focused on building an amazing database on top of PostgreSQL that gives our users the game-changing scale, performance, and resilience they need. We will continue to drive innovation in this space,” Citus CEO Umur Cubukcu wrote in a post announcing the news. “We remain as committed to our customers as ever, and will continue providing the strong support for the products our customers use today. And we will continue to actively participate in the Postgres community, working on the Citus open source extension as well as the other open source Postgres extensions you love.”

Citus Data was founded eight years ago by Cubukcu and Sumedh Pathak, with the goal of making relational databases — i.e., databases structured to recognize relationships among stored items of information — “horizontally scalable, resilient, and worry-free.” It’s purpose-built for powering real-time analytics dashboards and reconciling transactional and analytical workloads, with a parallelized structure that can scale across multiple nodes.


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As Rohan Kumar, corporate vice president at Microsoft’s Azure Data division, explained: “[Citus] gives enterprises “the performance advantages of a horizontally scalable database while staying current with all the latest innovations in PostgreSQL.”

Citus is available as a fully managed database-as-a-service, as enterprise software, and as a free open source download. Citus Cloud — the cloud-based service offering — powers billions of transactions each day, according to Cubukcu, across customers ranging from companies with a few core applications (like Chartbeat, Agari, and PushOwl) to Fortune 100 enterprises.

It previously raised over $13 million from Khosla Ventures, Data Collective, SV Angel, and other investors.

“Together, Microsoft and Citus Data will further unlock the power of data, enabling customers to scale complex multi-tenant SaaS applications and accelerate the time to insight with real-time analytics over billions of rows, all with the familiar PostgreSQL tools developers know and love,” Kumar said. “[W]e will accelerate the delivery of key, enterprise-ready features from Azure to PostgreSQL and enable critical PostgreSQL workloads to run on Azure with confidence.”

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