Cisco aims to put analytics at the “edge” with acquisition of ParStream

Cisco Systems announced earlier this week that it intends to buy ParStream, a German analytics company that focuses on databases tailored to the Internet of Things. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, have not been made public.

ParStream’s databasing technology is designed for the massive volumes of data that are increasingly being generated by mobile devices, smart home products, autonomous sensor networks, and automation systems in buildings, farms and factories the world over. ParStream is part of a growing movement away from reliance on centralized cloud services to process and analyze data. Instead, those capabilities are being built into the “edge” of the network — local hubs and wireless routers that can collect and digest data close to the source.

By doing more work at the edge, there’s less to communicate between devices and cloud services. That reduces bandwidth, which is especially important for sensors and equipment in remote locations. ParStream’s Geo-Distributed Analytics server, for instance, provides a lightweight installation of the company’s databasing software that can run “in the field” to make it easier for things like wind turbines and cell phone towers to make smart decisions and report data efficiently back to the cloud.

“The value of IT has always been derived from the intelligence contained in data,” wrote Cisco VP Rob Salvagno at the company’s blog. “ParStream’s technology helps customers access data faster and at scale, rapidly analyzing and filtering billions of records and getting information to the business in near real-time.”

ParStream came up through the Cisco’s Entrepreneurs in Residence startup incubator. Once the acquisition is complete, it will be absorbed into Cisco’s existing portfolio of data analytics services and solutions.

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