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January 12, 2012

Appistry Weaves Vision of Big Analytics Growth

Nicole Hemsoth

For a small company, St. Louis-based Appistry has made some big advances in big analytics for the life sciences industry in particular, as well as in financial services and government markets.

Today the company called attention to its growth in these verticals with the announcement of a new headquarters space in its home city. More important than that news item, however, is the fact that companies providing high-throughput analytics to data-intensive industries like the three Appistry targets could be set to skyrocket in 2012.

Advances in data acquisition technologies across all three of Appistry’s main target markets (fraud detection, national security, genomics and personalized medicine) have led to an explosion in terms of need for advanced analytical platforms to handle such big data problems.

According to Kevin Haar, CEO of Appistry, “2011 was a crucial year for Appistry as we successfully positioned ourselves to achieve significant growth in the life science market through product development and employee acquisition.” He noted further that the life sciences market itself is expanding rapidly, with new investments in genomics as well as translational and personalized medicine.

Appistry’s high-throughput analytics have appealed to the likes of FedEx, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and others. They point to their ability to handle mission-critical, data-intensive applications by leveraging cloud architectures via their Ayrris offering.

The company claims that “traditional enterprise application architectures are characterized by a separation of application and data that is no longer viable in this new world of big data.” They claim that to counter this, Ayrris, which uses their patented “Computational Storage” can tie together the apps and data by distributing that data across a pool of commodity servers and automatically migrating the relevant data to the right servers.

As Haar noted, the life sciences industry benefits from Appistry’s cloud-based big analytics approach in a few key ways. The company claims that their approach eliminates the bottleneck between data generated and processed, leading to an next generation sequencing analytics solution that is faster and easier to implement than others. They point to the fact that their offering, in part because of their cloud approach, offers sequencing runs starting at $99.

While the company may be finding a home in life sciences, it is up against some stiff competition in terms of other cloud-based vendors providing the same thing. For one thing, a number of companies are using Amazon, Azure and other cloud/hosted solutions to run their own sequencing jobs using custom or open source software. Others, including Cycle Computing, are putting this capability of ease of cloud use into their hands, while still other companies are providing this service exclusively (i.e., not offering a platform for use in other markets).

What is worth mentioning here is that Appistry is targeting data-intensive application needs by addressing three key verticals who embody “big data”—life science, financial services and government/intelligence. By positioning itself as a leader in focused data-intensive application handling, it could find inroads to further growth over 2012.

The life science focus is, however, working for Appistry, or so it seems. In a statement today, they said their company doubled in size in 2011, bringing them to a total of 50 employees. While still very small, they say that they plan to “continue aggressively identifying and hiring the world’s most talented and experienced engineering and computer science professionals.”

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