2014年，Apache Flink开源项目开发者创建了data Artisans平台。
In another sign of its growing enterprise ambitions, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. today announced that it has acquired high-flying analytics startup data Artisans GmbH.
The deal is reportedly worth 90 million euros, or about $103 million. It’s a respectable exit for Berlin-based data Artisans, which was founded in 2014 by the developers of the open-source Apache Flink project.
Flink is a stream processing engine used by tech giants such as Netflix Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. to power their real-time analytics applications. The software’s main advantage over competing tools is its speed. Flink can ingest millions of data points per second and do so while keeping track of relevant contextual information. A fraud detection system, for instance, could use the engine to process new transactions as soon as they’re logged and compare each entry against the user’s previous purchases as a way of finding anomalies.
Last year, data Artisans launched a commercial version of Flink aimed at enterprises. The platform includes features for automating the setup and maintenance of large-scale deployments. It also provides support for ACID, an approach that makes it possible to guarantee the reliability of important information such as financial records.
In today’s acquisition announcement, data Artisans revealed that Alibaba is one of the platform’s largest users. Bringing aboard the engineers who created Flink will give the Chinese e-commerce giant access to valuable analytics know-how. Online retailers such as Alibaba rely on stream processing for a wide range of mission-critical use cases including fraud detection, ad serving and generating product recommendations.
Just as importantly, the deal enables Alibaba to bring data Artists’ commercial Flink distribution into its product portfolio. The company could potentially use the offering to bolster the analytics capabilities of its public cloud platform. Alibaba’s cloud unit is its fastest growing business: The group saw revenues surge more than 90 percent last quarter, to 5.7 billion yuan, or $825 million.
The company plans to continue investing in the open-source version of Flink as part of its analytics efforts. In the wake of the data Artisans acquisition, Alibaba will become the project’s main backer.
“Moving forward together, data Artisans and Alibaba will not only continue, but accelerate contributions to Apache Flink and open source Big Data,” data Artisans co-founders Kostas Tzoumas and Stephan Ewen wrote in a blog post. “As a first step, Alibaba announced their commitment to contribute their in-house developments around Flink — Blink — to the open source community.”