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11/30/2012
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SAS Acquires rPath Assets To Boost Cloud Services

Analytic vendor SAS buys automation technologies, hires key staff to bolster its rapidly scalable cloud delivery capabilities.

10 Cloud Computing Pioneers
10 Cloud Computing Pioneers
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SAS announced Friday that it has acquired technology and hired staff from rPath, a Raleigh, N.C.-based company that billed itself as a platform-as-a-service company. SAS said the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, will enable it to better automate the setup and management of SAS applications in a variety of deployment approaches.

"It's one thing to be elastic in a cloud, but it's quite another thing to be elastic in a public cloud, a private cloud or a hybrid approach," said SAS CTO Keith Collins, in an interview with InformationWeek.

rPath, a startup located less than a mile from SAS's Cary, N.C. headquarters, developed source-code management software designed to quickly and virtually deploy application technology stacks from the operating system up. The technology also ensures that maintenance activities and patches are consistently deployed across every virtual instance for operation within regulated environments.

[ Want more on SAS Visual Analytics? Read SAS Introduces Big Data Visual Analytics Platform. ]

rPath had raised $32.5 million through four rounds of venture capital funding, but as reported on Thursday by GigaOm, the company was seen as "ahead of the curve," had seen management turnover and was the subject of sale rumors. SAS has acquired the company's intellectual property and has hired key employees while rPath is in the process of shutting down, Collins said.

SAS already offers many analytic applications as hosted services, but that delivery model involves longer lead times and less flexibility than is typical in true cloud deployments. SAS also needs greater flexibility in combining a mix of public, private and hybrid scenarios. SAS had already been working on these things, but the rPath technologies and talent will accelerate those initiatives, Collins said.

"The first and biggest area where you're likely to see this is in making it very easy to consume our Visual Analytics solution," Collins said. The Visual Analytics app, which is detailed in this video, puts a business-user-friendly graphical user interface for data exploration on top of a big-data-scale, Hadoop-based data store.

SAS said in a statement that rPath employees will join the company as of Nov. 30 to form the Platform Deployment Technologies group within SAS Research and Development.

Predictive analysis is getting faster, more accurate and more accessible. Combined with big data, it's driving a new age of experiments. Also in the new, all-digital Advanced Analytics issue of InformationWeek: Are project management offices a waste of money? (Free registration required.)

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