On Thursday, Microsoft announced it has acquired Citus Data, an open source database startup.
Cirus Data was first founded in 2010, and raised a relatively meager $13.2 million in venture capital funding in that time. It was an early graduate from the Y Combinator startup incubator program, and attracted investors including SV Angel, Khosla Ventures, and Gmail creator Paul Buckheit. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
What Citus Data does is take PostgreSQL, a database management system that's popular with developers, and transform it into databases that can be dispersed over multiple computers. That gives developers the ability to bring their databases to ever-larger scales, for even the most demanding apps.
This acquisition could also give Microsoft an edge over Amazon Web Services, which is seen as the leader in the cloud wars. By investing in open source, Microsoft wants to win over developers and become known as the premiere place for even the most cutting-edge and heavy-duty applications. It can also be taken as a move against Oracle, which offers similar database technology to PostgreSQL.
"The acquisition of Citus Data builds on Azures open source commitment and enables us to provide the massive scalability and performance our customers demand as their workloads grow," Rohan Kumar, corporate vice president of Azure Data, wrote in a blog post.
Microsoft Azure has also already been investing in open source database services like MySQL, PostgreSQL and MariaDB. Last March, in fact, it launched its own database service for PostgreSQL. By acquiring Citus Data, Azure can continue scaling its database services for customers and run PostgreSQL workloads on Azure with more power and speed.
"We continue to be energized by building on our promise around Azure as the most comprehensive cloud to run open source and proprietary workloads at any scale and look forward to working with the PostgreSQL community to accelerate innovation to customers," Kumar wrote.