So it looks like Teradata is spinning out their work on Presto as an open source project into a new company, Starburst.

I think this is for the best, as far as Presto adoption and growth goes — while Presto surely received a lot of investment at Teradata, that did it a lot of good, surely it couldn’t pursue its own evolution and mass adoption, as long as there was the tension of a parent company with its own agenda around Presto as part of their QueryGrid data virtualization strategy.

Now Teradata will be free to improve their support of their existing data warehouse in Presto and Presto can improve freely to support more data sources like Oracle, Redshift, NoSql databases and so on.

My ask: will they improve their support for other SQL platforms to handle more complex queries, including pushdown? As it stands now, Presto, while quite powerful on most sources it supports, has some gaps around its support for mainstream SQL databases, such as limited pushdown.

Facebook can’t have cared much, since most of their data is presumably in Parquet; Teradata had every reason to not invest in this area since it would only bring other databases up as peers to Teradata. This development could make Presto more of a rival to Drill and Dremio.

Anyway, the full press release is here:


Teradata Partners with Starburst, a New Company Focused on Continuing the Success of the Presto Open Source Project

Starburst will continue to grow and develop Presto for the enterprise with both companies partnering to provide support for the Presto user community
Teradata (NYSE: TDC), the leading data and analytics company, and Starburst, today announced a strategic relationship to keep the Presto community vibrant, growing and supported. The partnership builds on Teradata’s commitment and success with the Presto open source project, leveraging several former Teradata employees – key Presto contributors – who have formed Starburst. The new company will be focused exclusively on accelerating the development of Presto while providing enterprise-grade support to the rapidly expanding Presto user base. Teradata’s partnership with Starburst demonstrates a continued commitment to Presto and open source as part of its Teradata Everywhere strategy.

Originally created at Facebook as a successor to the Apache Hive project, Presto is a SQL engine that provides fast, interactive query performance across a wide variety of data sources including HDFS, S3, MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Cassandra, MongoDB, Kafka, Teradata, and many others. Teradata continues its commitment to Presto as part of Teradata QueryGrid which brings together diverse environments into an orchestrated analytical ecosystem.

“At Teradata, we embrace open source as part of our analytical ecosystem,” said Oliver Ratzesberger, Executive Vice President & Chief Product Officer at Teradata. “In addition to our extensive work with Presto, Teradata is also driving the open source development of Kylo for data lake ingest and management, and Covalent for user interfaces. With Starburst, we further support the growing adoption of Presto as a foundation for enterprise deployments.”

Over the past few years, Teradata has engineered numerous scalability, performance, security and manageability improvements into the core Presto engine. Starburst will continue investing heavily in query engine development while also certifying releases of Presto optimized for QueryGrid to provide Teradata users with the fastest path to query data wherever it may be.

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to pursue our ambitious goals for Presto as a new independent company,” said Justin Borgman, Co-founder at Starburst. “Whether you’ve been using Presto in production for years or you’re trying out Presto for the first time, we look forward to working with you to achieve your goals with the best open source SQL engine on the planet.”