ServiceNow announced today it has acquired Swarm64, a provider of open source software that accelerates the performance of transactions and SQL queries on open source PostgreSQL databases. Scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of this year, the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The Now platform is through which ServiceNow delivers a wide range of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications across a large number of databases and data stores, says Joe Davis, senior vice president for platform engineering at ServiceNow. The acquisition of Swarm64 presents an opportunity to add a database that enables analytics to be embedded within an online transaction processing (OLTP) database that could drive, for example, a wider range of customer service applications on the Now platform, notes Davis.
At the same time, ServiceNow intends to leverage the expertise of the engineers from Swarm64 to also accelerate the performance of other data stores employed by the Now platform, adds Davis.
ServiceNow is also planning to expand its participation in the overall open source community. Today the extensions created by Swarm64 are made available via a separate open source project. ServiceNow will be evaluating to what degree it might make sense to contribute specific technologies developed by Swarm64 to the larger PostgreSQL community, says Davis.
The PostgreSQL database is unique in that it is designed to be easily extensible, which enables other open source projects to exist alongside it. Where the line between the core database and other projects has always been a work in progress.
In the meantime, Davis notes Swarm64 in collaboration with the rest of the PostgreSQL community is making databases capable of processing analytics alongside transactions in a way that is affordable. Proprietary databases that have been able embed analytics within transactions have been available for decades. They just weren’t widely adopted because of cost, says Davis. “They were too cost prohibitive,” he adds.
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Implications of the Swarm64 Purchase
There may still be a need to analyze data using a separate database or data warehouse, but there are plenty of use cases where analytics applied to transactions in near real time will advance various digital business transformation initiatives. ServiceNow is clearly signaling its intent to enable organizations to both take advantage of a new class of SaaS applications provided by ServiceNow in addition to enabling IT teams to build a wider range of custom applications on the Now platform using low-code tools without needing to have a lot of database management expertise.
It’s clear that as ServiceNow continues to evolve the Now platform to enable it to support a wider range of applications it is clearly expanding well beyond its traditional IT service management (ITSM) roots. In fact, the company may soon be punching well above its current application weight class in way that many new and existing rivals may not expect. As such, the types of applications that IT organizations should expect to be able to access across the Now platform in the years ahead will be a lot more varied than they are today.
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