San Diego’s Analytics Cluster Adds Algebraix, a Texas Transplant

12/11/09Follow @bvbigelow

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me years ago, when I was still running RealAge. I knew the analytics problem…and that modern databases aren’t set up these days to do deep analytics.”

The startup was founded by David L.R. Stein, a co-founder of the Gartner Group, which provides IT strategic consulting and market research services, and Chris Piedmont, a software entrepreneur and expert in XSP (Extended Set Processing) Technology. The technology they developed takes an unusual approach to organizing and retrieving data.

As Silver explains it, a conventional approach typically requires database administrators to organize, or structure, a large database so queries will run faster. The primary techniques require indexing, partitioning, pre-sorting, and pre-aggregating data to minimize the transfer of unneeded data, which is time-consuming, and to streamline other inefficiencies.

Algebraix says its proprietary software operates faster by not requiring that the data be structured before running queries. Instead, by applying advanced algebraic algorithms and parallel processing, Algebraix says its software can monitor users’ query patterns, and adaptively restructures the data while analyzing terabytes of data. Algebraix says the performance of its software ranges from 10 to 300 times faster than conventional databases and is less costly because it is designed to run with Linux or Microsoft Windows 64-bit platforms on commodity computer hardware.

The startup, which so far has been entirely funded by the founders and individual investors, got some validation when BAE Systems, the U.K. defense and aerospace giant, agreed to partner with Algebraix to develop real-time analytic platforms based on the technology.

The London-based company, which was formed with British Aerospace’s $12.7 billion buyout of GEC Marconi, has about 105,000 employees worldwide and ranks as the largest foreign-owned defense contractor in the United States. As part of the deal, BAE Systems acquired San Diego-based Marconi Electronics, reorganizing the business as its Mission Solutions business unit within its Information Systems Sector. Among other things, Mission Solutions specializes in advanced technologies used by U.S. intelligence agencies for producing and analyzing aerial photos, and by the military for planning and managing battlefield missions.

It’s a far cry from running a website to help people look and feel younger, and Silver says he doesn’t know much about Algebraix’s new partner. “The projects we work on with them are all top secret,” Silver says. He also won’t say anything to explain their partnership to co-develop “geospatial intelligence software,” saying a recent statement required the approval of “many, many, many levels at” BAE.


Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • JB

    Speaking of Austin, why are you guys not there? A lot more going on there than here in SD. A company in OC just moved to there, and actually even said in it’s press release the reason was talent pool.